Oceania is the term given to the countries of the Pacific Ocean, especially to those countries in the South-Western corner. The region is also sometimes called the South-West Pacific, South Pacific, South-East Pacific or Australasia. The area is made up of the continent and country of Australia, the country of New Zealand and numerous groups of isolated islands collectively called the Pacific Islands. The exact scope of Oceania is defined variously, with interpretations normally including Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and various islands of the Malay Archipelago. The term is also used by many authors and in many languages to define one of the continents.
Oceania has been
traditionally divided into Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, and
Australasia. Australasia is made up of Australia, New Zealand,
Norfolk Island, Cocos Islands, and Christmas Island and is by far
the largest region in Oceania.
Around 65% of the population of Oceania reside in Australia. New Zealand and Papua New Guinea make up most of the remaining population and both have similar populations to each other.
Some Pacific Island nations and territories have small but notable populations, such as Fiji, the Solomon Islands, French Polynesia and Western Samoa. The remaining nations have such small populations that independent governance can be hard.
The name Oceania is used
because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean and
adjacent seas rather than a continent that link the lands together.
Oceania is the smallest continent grouping in land area and the
second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.
Near Australia and north of New Zealand, you will find the South Pacific Islands. These islands conjure up images of paradise and
possess beautiful white sandy beaches, spectacular reefs, and lush
tropical vegetation. The South Pacific Island nations are grouped
into 3 main areas, called Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. The
more famous island groups within Micronesia include the Federated
States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Nauru. Melanesia
includes the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. In
Polynesia you will find exotic places like Tahiti and Samoa.
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