Legend has it that Pai and Vau, the two women who created Nanumea, also made Niutao, a tiny rectangular island a bit over two km long with a small brackish lake or lagoon. Coconut plantations cover most of the land.
The people were converted by Protestant missionaries who arrived in 1870, and in 1991 a sturdy new church was completed, yet many traditional beliefs survive. Niutao is known for its decorative and durable pandanus floor mats. People from overpopulated Niutao often spend time working on Niulakita Island.
Accommodation is available at the Island Council Guesthouse but the meals are overpriced.