Australia and the Pacific
Volcanic islands and coral reefs, trekking and diving, euphoric mud drinks and French-inspired gourmet food.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Oceania offers everything from modern big cities with world-class architecture to isolated small islands where the locals live according to millennial traditions. The skyscrapers rise to the skies in Auckland and Sydney, and the coconut trees sway on the remote Pacific islands. In Oceania you can visit some of the world’s smallest states and the country which in itself is a whole continent.
Area: 8.5 million km²
Number of residents: 36 million
Largest country (by population)
- Australia – 23 million
- Papua New Guinea – 5 million
- New Zealand – 4 million
- Fiji – 850,000
- Solomon Islands – 500,000
Did you know that…
The Marian tomb is the deepest point in the world? Only four times has man managed to reach the bottom – among other things, director James Cameron went down with his expedition Deepsea Challenge in March 2012!
New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in 1893.
Geography of the Ocean
The continent of Oceania consists of three island regions in the Pacific Ocean (Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia) as well as the countries of New Zealand and Australia. Australia is so large that it is both a state and an independent continent.
Australia is also the sixth largest country in the world, and here you should have plenty of time if you want to catch up with everything. The urban life of Sydney and Melbourne, kangaroos and aboriginal cave paintings in Mutawintji National Park, the pleasure of feeding dolphins outside Brisbane and the joy of getting really close to the sea turtles at the fascinating Great Barrier Reef.
The Pacific Islands contain many maritime adventures – from the sight and sound of humpback whales rearing their calves in the warm waters off the Tongan islands, diving among huge World War II shipwrecks around the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Micronesia, to wonderful relaxation in the lagoons of Kiribati and Tuvalu. It is also worthwhile to go on a voyage of discovery in Samoa, where the great writer and adventurer Robert Louis Stevenson got his last rest. Or follow in Captain Cook’s wake around the islands – the legendary English captain made no less than three voyages of discovery to Oceania.
In addition to lots of coral reefs to snorkel around among, Oceania also has many volcanoes, several of which are still highly active. This is also true in New Zealand, whose fantastic nature received a lot of publicity when the director of the Sagan om ringen films chose to use filming locations on both the North Island and the South Island for the exciting film adaptation of the books. Experience, for example, the Tongariro National Park, which provided the backdrop for the land of evil Mordor in The Lord of the Rings, and which the Maori chief Te Heuheu Tukino IV donated to the state of New Zealand in 1877. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is dominated by the three large volcanoes Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro, which all emit sulfur.
Papua New Guinea
One should also not forget Papua New Guinea which is a real laboratory of ancient, indigenous cultures, tribal traditions and religions, and still one of the world’s most enigmatic countries. Here, more than 700 different languages are spoken by about the same number of different tribes. Life in the medieval-like villages on the Sepik and Fly rivers provides insights into a world that can be said to be very strange.
Main Cities in Papua New Guinea
Lae [ l ɑ ː ɪ ], port city on the Huon Gulf, Papua New Guinea, (2011) 148 900 residents.
TU, center of Lutheran mission, seat of a Catholic and an Anglican bishop; Botanical Garden; Glass and paper industry; largest transshipment point in New Guinea (export of coffee and other agricultural products); Airfield.
Madang [mə dæ ŋ ], formerly German Friedrich-Wilhelms Harbor, provincial capital and major port on the northeast coast of New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, (2011) 36,000 residents.
Catholic Archbishop’s Seat; Wood industry (sawmill), manufacture of tobacco products, export of copra, coffee and cocoa; Airfield.
Madang belonged to the German Kaiser-Wilhelms-Land protected area from 1884 to 1918.
Mount Hagen (city)
Mount Hagen [ ma ʊ nt he ɪ gən], city in Papua New Guinea, in the highlands near Mount Hagen, an extinct volcano (3777 m above sea level), (2011) 29 800 residents.
Western Highlands Province Administrative Headquarters; catholic archbishop’s seat; Trading center for coffee, tea and pyrethrum, tourism; Airfield.
Bismarck Archipelago, a Melanesian archipelago belonging to Papua New Guinea with over 200 islands, around 49,900 km 2, around 566,000 residents. The islands are partly of volcanic origin (with still active volcanoes and densely forested), partly they consist of coral limestone. The main islands are New Britain, New Ireland, Lavongai and the group of Admiralty Islands with the atoll of the Anachoreten Islands. The main town and port is Rabaul on the north coast of New Britain. The natives (mostly Melanesians) live from agriculture and traditional handicrafts (especially wickerwork); Copra, cocoa, mother-of-pearl and trepang are produced, and increasingly also palm oil and wood. There have been plans for deep-sea mining west of New Ireland since 1998. – The Bismarck Archipelago, discovered in 1616 by the Dutch navigators W. C. Schouten and J. Le Maire, was a German protected area from 1884 to 1918, together with the north-eastern part of New Guinea.
Louisiade Archipelago [l ʊ i ː z ɪ AED], Archipelago of Papua New Guinea, in the eastern end of New Guinea, approximately 2200 km. 2, about 18 500 residents (usually Papua); the largest of the over 100 islands are of volcanic origin, the smaller coral islands. The main islands are Tagula (866 km 2), Rossel (770 km 2) and Misima (280 km 2). Gold mining (especially on Misima); The main town is Bwagaoia (on Misima).