Covering an area of 3,291,903 square miles in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania is often mistakenly considered a continent. It is however, only a collection of islands (including country islands), and sustains 14 UN recognized countries, 2 non-UN member countries and 23 territories. The most populated and largest country in Oceania is Australia, with Sydney being the largest city.
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About Oceania Map :-Though there is much debate over the definition of Oceania, the Pacific Islands including Australia and New Zealand are consistently included. This map of Australia and Oceania shows the many islands that dot the Pacific Ocean, such as Vanuatu, Fiji, Tuvalu, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and the Solomon Islands.
The 14 countries in the region are: Australia, Papua New Guinea.New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, Federation of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru and Tuvalu
The 2 non-UN member countries are: Cook Islands and Niue
The 23 UN recognized dependent territories are: American Samoa, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Baker Island, Coral Sea Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Ogasawara Village, Palmyra Atoll, Papua Pitcairn Islands, Tokelau, Wake Island, Wallis and Futuna, and West Papua.
Despite the large number of countries and territories, Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area. It is the second least populated grouping, after the continent of Antarctica. 40 million people are inhabited in the region.
It was between 50,000 and 30,000 years ago, that the earliest inhabitants arrived in Oceania. The first settlements were witnessed in Australia, New Guinea, and the large islands on the eastern side of Oceania. Europeans began their explorations in the 16th century. Between 1512 and 1526, Portuguese explorers arrived at the Tanimbar Islands, few of the Caroline Islands and west Papua New Guinea. In 18th century, James Cook, reached the Tahiti and east coast of Australia, on his first voyage. However, the major attention was brought to the Pacific region during the Second World War, owing to the rivalry between Allied Powers (United States and Australia), and Axis powers (Japan). Since, the social and political norms were altered because of the explorations, plenty discussions are being carried out recently by Oceanians, to have their individualistic identity and their own flag.
The islands situated on the geographic extremes of Oceania are:
Bonin Islands - a politically integral part of Japan
Clipperton Island – possessed by France
Juan Fernández Islands – a part of Insular Chile
Campbell Islands- administrated by New Zealand.
The islands sustain four basic types: continental islands, high islands, coral reefs and uplifted coral platform. Owing to the volcanic origin of High Islands, numerous active volcanoes are located here. Bougainville, and Solomon Islands are some of the examples of these High Islands. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is one of the coral reefs, sustaining chains of reef patches because they are stacked on dramatic lava flowing under the surface of the ocean.
Melanesia It stretches from New Guinea island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea. Moving on the east side is extends to Fiji.
Micronesia The region lies on the north of equator and West of the International Date Line, comprising thousands of small islands, located in the Pacific Ocean.
Polynesia The region includes islands located in the central and southern Pacific Ocean.
Australasia It comprises Australia, New Zealand (also a part of Polynesia), neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean and the island of New Guinea (also included in region of Melanesia).
Countries and subregions of geopolitical Oceania which are categorized according to the geographic subregions used by the UN.
Name of region with country
Ashmore and Cartier Islands (Australia)
Coral Sea Islands (Australia)
Norfolk Island (Australia)
New Caledonia (France)
West Papua (Indonesia)
Papua New Guinea
Federated States of Micronesia
Guam (United States)
Yaren (de facto)
Northern Mariana Islands (United States)
Wake Island (United States)
American Samoa (United States)
Pago Pago, Fagatogo
Cook Islands (New Zealand)
Easter Island (Chile)
French Polynesia (France)
Niue (New Zealand)
Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom)
Tokelau (New Zealand)
Wallis and Futuna (France)
Total (Excluding mainland Australia)
Ranging from the highly developed Australia and New Zealand, to the islands of Palau, Fiji and Tonga which entail medium sized economies, to countries like Kiribati and Tuvalu which are less developed – diverse economies are present in the region of Oceania.
Tourism industry also benefits the economy of the countries and islands in the region. People from Japan, the USA and the United Kingdom visit Oceania the most. Fiji Islands draw around 500,000 tourists. Vanuatu is known for its scuba-diving attractions as adventurers love to explore the rich coral reefs in the South Pacific region. Australia and New Zealand have also witnessed tourism being the significant component of its thriving economy. Australia observed around 7.4 million tourists in 2015 and in New Zealand, around 7.3 million people visited in 2013.
Other important facts about Oceania:
The longest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world, is none other than the Rock Art of Australian Aborigines.
Puncak Jaya in Papua is termed as the highest peak in Oceania
Australia has the most diverse flora in the region, as there are tropical rainforests in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east, and dry desert in the center of the country.