Australia / Oceania
Ferdinand Magellan of Spain discovered many of the islands in Oceania in 1500s. Oceania is a region that includes the sub regions of Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia & Polynesia. used more often to denote a continent comprising Australia, New Zealand, New Papua Guinea & proximate islands nations. Most of Australia and Oceania is under the Pacific, a vast body of water that is larger than all the Earth’s continental landmasses and islands combined.
The least populated continent after Antarctica, with roughly 30 million inhabitants, making 0.3% of the total earth population living there. With 73.3% identifying with, Christianity is the predominant religion. A large proportion also identify with no religion. Major languages include the Aboriginal Australian languages from the Pama–Nyungan and Trans–New Guinea families, and approximately forty Polynesian languages. Colonial languages include English in Australia and New Zealand,and in many other territories, while French is spoken in New Caledonia and French Polynesia. There are also mixtures of colonial languages with indigenous languages, such as Tok Pisin, Bislama, Chavacano, Norfuk and Pitkern. Also, as in other parts of planet, immigrants brought their own languages, such as Chinese, Greek and Italian.
GEOGRAPHY: Largest Country by size is Australia (7,686,850 sq km), & the Smallest is Nauru (21 sq km), while the largest country by population is Australia (22,028,000), & the smallest is Tuvalu (11,046). Horizontal Length is 5,889 miles (9,478 km) from Perth, Australia, east to Papeete, Tahiti & vertical Length is 3,910 miles (6.292 km) from Auckland, New Zealand northwest to Guam:
CLIMATE: Generally hot and humid year-round. The islands have no true winter or summer, but many areas experience seasonal changes in winds, ocean currents, and rainfall. Low islands are at the mercy of the winds, which can bring enough rain to create lush forests on some islands while leaving others dry wastelands. Australia, has an overall average temperature of 12.9 C, or 55 F. With low rainfall and humidity through much of Australia and winter temperatures barely dipping below freezing, the climate is quite moderate, although much of interior tends toward drought and extreme summer heat is quite common.
CULTURE: Agriculture was the basis of subsistence throughout all of island Oceania, farming hunting & gathering. Canoes have played a central role in the lives of Oceanians, and they have been used for fishing & everyday transport. Fish and sea food is the main cuisine in these parts. BBQ is very popular in Australia. You can also find the unique local fruits such as Kiwi and Granny Smith apples.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGY: The animal life of Australasia is wide and varied and in many cases unique to the continent. Kangaroos, koala, platypus, and wallaby are unique to Australia. New Zealand and Australia have a large sheep population.
ECONOMY: The tourism industry is the unifying economic force in Australia and Oceania. Tourism is the continent’s largest industry, measured by the number of jobs it creates and the money it spreads throughout the Pacific Islands.
FUN FACTS: The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef, and called the largest living organism on the planet.~ Ayers Rock, on Australia, is the largest rock in the world and considered a sacred site by the native Aborigines ~ Australia is the smallest continent but the world’s seventh largest country ~ The number of sheep to human ratio is 20 to 1 human in New Zealand.
TOURISM: Each year, more than 12 million people from around the world visit the Oceania for tourism purposes.
Visit the Forbidden bay in AMERICAN SAMOA, take a trip to the Uluru in AUSTRALIA, try game fishing in CHRISTMAS ISLAND, tour the Pulau keeling national park in COCOS ISLANDS, go Whale watching in COOKS ISLAND, see the Moais at Rano Raraku national park in EASTER ISLAND, cruise through mangrove forests along Viti Levu's coastline in FIJI, relax on the black sand Lafayette beach in FRENCH POLYNESIA, hike Mount Lamlam in GUAM, explore the worlds largest coral atoll in KIRIBATI, learn the history & local traditions of the Marshallese culture in the Alele museum MARSHALL ISLANDS, bathe in Pohnpei's magnificent waterfall in MICRONESIA, marvel at the Lunar-like landscape of NAURU, kayak the largest lagoon in the world seeking out submerged ship wrecks in NEW CALEDONIA, visit the Fiordland national park with famous sights like Milford sound in NEW ZEALAND, tour the huge gaping Avaiki cave in NIUE, play a game of golf on the seaside world heritage course in Kingston NORFOLK ISLANDS, get your taste buds fired up with spicy dishes in the Tinian hot pepper festival in the NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, visit the very diverse marine ecosystem at Palau aquarium in PALAU, go birdwatching at Chambri lakes in PAPUA NEW GUINEA, hand feed Ms T, PITCAIRN ISLANDS only galapagos tortoise, swim with turtles in Nuutele island SAMOA, see relics from WW2 in Honiara capital city of SOLOMON ISLANDS, climb the mountains of Otemanu and Pahia on the island of Bora Bora in TAHITI & HER ISLANDS, swim in the bright waters of TOKELAU ISLANDS, see the rare flying foxes of Kolovai in TONGA, partake in a game of kilikiti in TUVALU, try a meal of lap lap , the national dish of VANUATU & visit Lake Lalolao in WALLIS & FUTANA.