The waters off Niue are clear as can be, with countless species of colorful fish.
There are also many varieties of sea snakes. Though they're poisonous, their mouths are too tiny to bite, and divers handle them with impunity.
On most dives, underwater sightseers also spot white-tip reef sharks, but they're not dangerous and add to the thrill.
Butterflies are everywhere, as are orchids, hibiscus, frangipani, and bougainvillea.
One-fifth of the island's surface is covered by undisturbed primary forest, much of the rest by secondary growth.
A profusion of huge "crow's nest" (nidum) and other ferns, rhododendron, and poinsettia grow wild, and there are ancient ebony trees.
The birdlife is rich; white long-tailed terns, weka, swamp hens, pigeons, and parakeets abound. The Polynesian starling and Polynesian triller evolved into subspecies not found elsewhere.