A string of 11 coconut-covered islands surrounds the closed Nui lagoon on the northern, eastern, and southern sides. This six-km-long oval body of water is flanked by lovely white beaches. At low tide it's possible to walk or wade right up the east side of the atoll. Terikiai Island in the north is especially beautiful.
Nui was the first of the Tuvalu islands to be spotted by Europeans (Mendaña in 1568). Though the Nui people speak Gilbertese, their culture is thoroughly Tuvaluan. The main, or "old," village (Tekawa Nikawai in Gilbertese) has recently been joined by Fakaifou, which means "new village" in Tuvaluan. The houses in Tanrake village on Fenua Tapu Island are in orderly rows.
The Island Council Guesthouse in Tanrake charges extra for bedding. A less expensive guesthouse without toilet facilities is on Terikiai Island, but it's usually only for locals.