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Oceania (, , ) is a
geographic region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the wo ...

geographic region
that includes
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
,
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
,
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
and
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
. Spanning the
Eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 *Eastern Air Lin ...
and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 41 million. When compared with the
continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smal ...

continent
s, the region of Oceania is the smallest in
land area This is a list of the world's countries and their dependent territories A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence upright=1.0, Pedro I of Brazil, Pedro surr ...
and the second smallest in population after
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of . At 0.00 ...

Antarctica
. Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive
financial markets A financial market is a market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by Finland and Sweden Art, entertainment, and media Films *Ma ...
of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
,
French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = "La Marseillaise "La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a coun ...
and
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
, which rank high in
quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United N ...

quality of life
and
human development index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of , (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers ...
, to the much less developed economies such as
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
, Indonesian New Guinea,
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
,
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
and
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
, while also including medium-sized economies of
Pacific The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific
islands such as
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
,
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
and
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
. The first settlers of Australia, New Guinea, and the large islands just to the east arrived more than 60,000 years ago. Oceania was first explored by Europeans from the 16th century onward.
Portuguese navigators Portuguese discoveries (Portuguese language, Portuguese: ''Descobrimentos portugueses'') are the numerous territories and maritime routes recorded by the Portugal, Portuguese as a result of their intensive maritime exploration during the 15th and ...
, between 1512 and 1526, reached the
Tanimbar Islands The Tanimbar Islands, also called ''Timur Laut'', are a group of about 65 islands in the Maluku province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia' ...
, some of the
Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolat ...
and west
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
. On his first voyage in the 18th century,
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
, who later arrived at the highly developed
Hawaiian Islands The Hawaiian Islands ( haw, Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the Pacific Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, extending some from the Hawaii (island), island o ...
, went to
Tahiti Tahiti (; Tahitian ; ; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands The Society Islands (french: Îles de la Société, officially ''Archipel de la Société;'' ty, Tōtaiete mā) a ...

Tahiti
and followed the
east coast of Australia East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to eas ...
for the first time. The Pacific front saw major action during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, mainly between Allied powers the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
, and Axis power
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
. The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. In more contemporary times there has been increasing discussion on national flags and a desire by some Oceanians to display their distinguishable and individualistic
identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group expression and affiliation * Cultural identity, a person's self-affiliation (or categorization by others ...
. The
rock art In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural surfaces, typically vertical stone surfaces. A high proportion of surviving historic and prehistoric rock art is found in caves or partly enclosed rock shelters; this type also ma ...
of
Aboriginal Australians Aboriginal Australians are the various Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific ...
is the longest continuously practised artistic tradition in the world.
Puncak Jaya Puncak Jaya (; literally Glorious Peak) or Carstensz Pyramid, Mount Jayawijaya or Mount Carstensz on the island of New Guinea, with an elevation of , is the highest mountain in Indonesia. It is also the list of islands by highest point, highes ...
in Papua is the highest peak in Oceania at 4,884 metres. Most Oceanian countries are
multi-party In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political thoughts, political behavior, and as ...
representative Representative may refer to: Politics *Representative democracy, type of democracy in which elected officials represent a group of people *House of Representatives, legislative body in various countries or sub-national entities *Legislator, someone ...
parliamentary democracies A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive derives its democratic legitimacy fro ...
, with
tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and th ...

tourism
being a large source of income for the
Pacific Islands This is a list of islands in the Pacific Ocean, collectively called the Pacific Islands. Three major groups of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as w ...
nations.


Definition and extent

Definitions of Oceania vary. The broadest definition of Oceania encompasses the many transitional islands in the sea between
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
and the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
, with
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
being the only piece of land in the area large enough to constitute a continent. The culture of the people who lived on these islands was distinct from that of Asia and pre-Columbus America, hence the lack of association with either. Before the advent of
Europeans Europeans are the focus of European ethnology Ethnology (from the grc-gre, ἔθνος, meaning 'nation') is an academic field that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples A people is a plurality of person A ...
into the area, the sea barrier shielded Australia and Oceanian islands from cultural influences that raged through large continental land masses and adjacent islands. This is a common bond that ties the entire region together. Islands at the geographic extremes of Oceania are generally considered to be the
Bonin Islands The Bonin Islands, also known as the , or, Yslas del Arzobispo, are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small numb ...
, a politically integral part of
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
;
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
, a state of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
;
Clipperton Island Clipperton Island (french: link=no, Île de Clipperton or french: Île de la Passion, label=none; es, link=no, Isla de la Pasión) is an uninhabited coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is from Paris, France, from Papeete, Tahiti, a ...

Clipperton Island
, a possession of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
; the
Juan Fernández Islands The Juan Fernández Islands ( es, Archipiélago Juan Fernández) are a sparsely inhabited island group in the South Pacific Ocean reliant on tourism and fishing. Situated off the coast of Chile, they are composed of three main volcanic islands ...
, belonging to
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
; and
Macquarie Island Macquarie Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. Regionally part of Oceania and politically a part of Tasmania, Australia, since 1900, it became a Protec ...
, belonging to Australia. (The
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member states''), or of other organizations through formal ...

United Nations
has its own geopolitical definition of Oceania, but this consists of discrete political entities, and so excludes the Bonin Islands, Hawaii, Clipperton Island and the Juan Fernández Islands, along with
Easter Island Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent ...

Easter Island
and the
Galápagos Islands The Galápagos Islands (official name: , other Spanish language, Spanish name: , , ), part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of High island, volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding ...
.) The geographer
Conrad Malte-Brun Conrad Malte-Brun (12 August 177514 December 1826), born Malthe Conrad Bruun, and sometimes referred to simply as Malte-Brun, was a Danish people, Dano-French people, French geographer and journalist. His second son, Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun, was ...

Conrad Malte-Brun
coined the expression ''Terres océaniques'' (Oceanic lands) 1804., then in 1814 another French, , coined from this expression the shorter "Océanie" putting it on a map, « ''Océanie, ou cinquième partie du monde, comprenant l’archipel d’Asie, l’Australasie et la Polynésie (ou le continent de la Nouvelle Hollande et les îles du Grand Océan)'' ». ''Océanie'' derives from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...
word , and this from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
word (''ōkeanós''), "ocean". The term ''Oceania'' is used because, unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean that links the parts of the region together. In the used by the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, ''CIO'') is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens, Bretigny-sur-Morrens, Chavannes-près-Renens, ...
, and by many atlases, Oceania includes Australia and the nations of the Pacific from Papua New Guinea east, but not Indonesian New Guinea. In some countries, such as Brazil, Oceania is regarded as a continent in the sense of "one of the parts of the world", and the concept of Australia as a continent does not exist. Some geographers group the Australian continental plate with other islands in the Pacific into one "quasi-continent" called Oceania.


History


Australia

Indigenous Australians Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continen ...
are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands who migrated from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
to
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
around 70,000 years ago and arrived in Australia around 50,000 years ago. They are believed to be among the earliest human migrations out of Africa. Although they likely migrated to Australia through Southeast Asia they are not demonstrably related to any known Asian or Polynesian population. There is evidence of genetic and linguistic interchange between Australians in the far north and the Austronesian peoples of modern-day
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
and the islands, but this may be the result of recent trade and intermarriage. They reached
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
approximately 40,000 years ago by migrating across a
land bridge In biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A sp ...
from the mainland that existed during the last
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents an ...

ice age
. It is believed that the first
early human migration Early human migrations are the earliest Human migration, migrations and expansions of Homo, archaic and modern humans across continents. They are believed to have begun approximately 2 million years ago with the early expansions of hominin ...
to Australia was achieved when this landmass formed part of the
Sahul continent The continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in ...
, connected to the island of New Guinea via a land bridge. The
Torres Strait Islanders Torres Strait Islanders () are the Indigenous peoples of the Torres Strait Islands, which are part of the state of Queensland, Australia. Ethnically distinct from the Aboriginal Australians, Aboriginal people of the rest of Australia, they are ...
are indigenous to the
Torres Strait The Torres Strait (), also known as Zenadh Kes, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both s ...

Torres Strait
Islands, which are at the northernmost tip of
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
near
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
. The earliest definite human remains found in Australia are that of
Mungo ManMungo (also spelled Moungo) may refer to: People * Mungo (name), a list of people with the given name or surname * Mungo people, an ethnic group in Cameroon Places * Mungo, Angola, a town and municipality * Mungo National Park, Australia * La ...

Mungo Man
, which have been dated at about 40,000 years old.


Melanesia

The original inhabitants of the group of islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the present-day Papuan-speaking people. Migrating from South-East Asia, they appear to have occupied these islands as far east as the main islands in the Solomon Islands archipelago, including
Makira The island of Makira (also known as San Cristobal and San Cristóbal) is the largest island of Makira-Ulawa Province Makira-Ulawa Province is one of the nine provinces of Solomon Islands. Geography The main part of the province is Makira Is ...
and possibly the smaller islands farther to the east. Particularly along the north coast of New Guinea and in the islands north and east of New Guinea, the
Austronesian people The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
, who had migrated into the area somewhat more than 3,000 years ago, came into contact with these pre-existing populations of Papuan-speaking peoples. In the late 20th century, some scholars theorized a long period of interaction, which resulted in many complex changes in genetics, languages, and culture among the peoples.


Micronesia

Micronesia began to be settled several millennia ago, although there are competing theories about the origin and arrival of the first settlers. There are numerous difficulties with conducting archaeological excavations in the islands, due to their size, settlement patterns and storm damage. As a result, much evidence is based on linguistic analysis. The earliest archaeological traces of civilization have been found on the island of
Saipan Saipan ( ch, Sa’ipan, formerly in es, Saipán, and in ja, 彩帆島, Saipan-tō) is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a Commonwealth (U.S. insular area), commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. Acc ...

Saipan
, dated to 1500 BC or slightly before. The ancestors of the Micronesians settled there over 4,000 years ago. A decentralized chieftain-based system eventually evolved into a more centralized economic and religious culture centered on
Yap Yap ( yap, Waqaab) traditionally refers to an island group located in the Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island cha ...

Yap
and
Pohnpei Pohnpei "upon (''pohn'') a stone altar (''pei'')" (formerly known as Ponape or Ascension, Chuukic–Pohnpeic languages, Proto-Chuukic-Pohnpeic: ''*Fawo ni pei'') is an island of the Senyavin Islands which are part of the larger Caroline Islands g ...

Pohnpei
. The prehistories of many Micronesian islands such as Yap are not known very well. The first people of the Northern Mariana Islands navigated to the islands and discovered it at some period between 4000 BC to 2000 BC from
South-East Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...
. They became known as the
Chamorros The Chamorro people (; also CHamoru) are the indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particul ...
. Their
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...
was named after them. The ancient Chamorro left a number of megalithic ruins, including
Latte stone, Hagåtña, Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an Unincorporated_territories_of_the_United_States, organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia subregion of the western Pacific Ocean. It is the List of extreme points o ...
. The Refaluwasch or
Carolinian people Carolinians are Micronesian ethnic group who originated in Oceania, in the Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New ...
came to the Marianas in the 1800s from the
Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolat ...
. Micronesian colonists gradually settled the Marshall Islands during the
2nd millennium BC The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban de ...
, with inter-island navigation made possible using traditional stick charts.


Polynesia

The Polynesian people are considered to be by linguistic, archaeological and human genetic ancestry a subset of the sea-migrating
Austronesian people The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
and tracing
Polynesian languages The Polynesian languages form a genealogical group of languages, itself part of the Oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also cal ...

Polynesian languages
places their
prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study ...
origins in the
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( ceb, Kapupud-ang Malay, ms, Kepulauan Melayu, tgl, Kapuluang Malay, jv, Nusantara) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...

Malay Archipelago
, and ultimately, in
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...
. Between about 3000 and 1000 BCE speakers of
Austronesian languages The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign ...
began spreading from Taiwan into Island South-East Asia, as tribes whose
natives Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the b ...
were thought to have arrived through South China about 8,000 years ago to the edges of western Micronesia and on into Melanesia. In the archaeological record there are well-defined traces of this expansion which allow the path it took to be followed and dated with some certainty. It is thought that by roughly 1400 BC, "
Lapita The Lapita culture is the name given to a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by ...
Peoples", so-named after their pottery tradition, appeared in the
Bismarck Archipelago The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-largest island, and with an area of , t ...
of north-west Melanesia. Easter Islanders claimed that a chief Hotu Matu'a discovered the island in one or two large canoes with his wife and extended family. They are believed to have been
Polynesian Polynesian is the adjectival form of Polynesia. It may refer to: * Polynesians, an ethnic group * Polynesian culture, the culture of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia * Polynesian mythology, the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia * Polyne ...
. Around 1200, Tahitian explorers discovered and began settling the area. This date range is based on glottochronological calculations and on three radiocarbon dates from charcoal that appears to have been produced during forest clearance activities. Moreover, a recent study which included radiocarbon dates from what is thought to be very early material suggests that the island was discovered and settled as recently as 1200.


European exploration

Oceania was first explored by Europeans from the 16th century onwards. Portuguese navigators, between 1512 and 1526, reached the
Maluku Islands The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas () (''Molukken'') are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piec ...

Maluku Islands
(by António de Abreu and
Francisco Serrão Francisco Serrão (died 1521) was a Portugal, Portuguese Age of Discovery, explorer and a cousin of Ferdinand Magellan. His 1512 voyage was the first known European sailing east past Malacca through modern Indonesia and the East Indies. He became ...

Francisco Serrão
in 1512),
Timor Timor is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerry, s ...

Timor
, the
Aru Islands The Aru Islands Regency ( id, Kabupaten Kepulauan Aru) are a group of about ninety-five low-lying island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very smal ...
(Martim A. Melo Coutinho), the
Tanimbar Islands The Tanimbar Islands, also called ''Timur Laut'', are a group of about 65 islands in the Maluku province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia' ...
, some of the
Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolat ...
(by
Gomes de Sequeira Gomes de Sequeira was a Portuguese explorer in the early 16th century. It has been suggested by some historians that Gomes de Sequeira may have sailed to the northeast coast of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, ...
in 1525), and west
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
(by
Jorge de Menezes Jorge de Menezes (c. 1498 – 1537) was a Portuguese explorer, who in 1526–27 landed on the islands of Biak ( Cenderawasih Bay), whilst he awaited the passing of the monsoon season, and on the northern coasts of the Bird's Head Peninsula, call ...
in 1526). In 1519, a
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
expedition led by
Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; pt, Fernão de Magalhães, ; es, link=no, Fernando de Magallanes, ; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information In ...

Ferdinand Magellan
sailed down the east coast of South America, found and sailed through the strait that bears his name and on 28 November 1520 entered the ocean which he named "Pacific". The three remaining ships, led by Magellan and his captains
Duarte Barbosa Duarte Barbosa (c. 1480, Lisbon, Portugal1 May 1521, Philippines) was a Portuguese writer and officer from Portuguese India The State of India ( pt, Estado da Índia), also referred as the Portuguese State of India (''Estado Português da Ín ...

Duarte Barbosa
and
João Serrão Juan Rodríguez Serrano, also known as João Rodrigues Serrão in the Portuguese language, Portuguese version, (Fregenal de la Sierra - Cebu, 1521) was a 16th-century Spaniards, Spanish navigator, born in Fregenal de la Sierra, Province of Badajoz ...
, then sailed north and caught the
trade winds The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Ear ...
which carried them across the Pacific to the Philippines where Magellan was killed. One surviving ship led by
Juan Sebastián Elcano Juan Sebastián Elcano (sometimes misspelled ''del Cano''; 1486/1487 – 4 August 1526) was a Crown of Castile, Castilian explorer of Basque people, Basque origin who completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. After Ferdinand Magellan, M ...
returned west across the Indian Ocean and
the other In Phenomenology (philosophy), phenomenology, the terms the Other and the Constitutive Other identify the other human being, in their differences from the Self, as being a cumulative, constituting factor in the self-image of a person; as acknowle ...
went north in the hope of finding the
westerlies The westerlies, anti-trades, or prevailing westerlies, are prevailing winds from the west toward the east in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude. They originate from the high-pressure areas in the horse latitudes and trend tow ...
and reaching Mexico. Unable to find the right winds, it was forced to return to the East Indies. The Magellan-Elcano expedition achieved the first
circumnavigation 300px, In 2012, the Swiss boat '' PlanetSolar'' became the first ever solar electric vehicle to circumnavigate the globe. Circumnavigation is the complete navigation around an entire island, continent, or astronomical object, astronomical body ...
of the world and reached the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, the
Mariana Islands The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas; in ChamorroChamorro may refer to: * Chamorro language, an Austronesian language indigenous to The Marianas * Chamorro people, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific * Chamorr ...
and other islands of Oceania. From 1527 to 1595 a number of other large Spanish expeditions crossed the Pacific Ocean, leading to the arrival in
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
and
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, t ...

Palau
in the North Pacific, as well as
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
, the
Marquesas The Marquesas Islands (; french: Îles Marquises or ' or '; Marquesan language, Marquesan: ' (North Marquesan language, North Marquesan) and ' (South Marquesan language, South Marquesan), both meaning "the land of men") are a group of volcano, ...
, the Solomon Islands archipelago, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and i ...
and the
Admiralty Islands The Admiralty Islands are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Examples of ar ...

Admiralty Islands
in the South Pacific. In the quest for
Terra Australis Terra Australis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós Pedro Fernandes de Queirós ( es, Pedro Fernández de Quirós) (1563–1614) was a Portugal, Portuguese navigator in the service of Spanish Empire, Spain. He is best known for his involvement with Spanish voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean, ...
, sailed to
Pitcairn The Pitcairn Islands (; Pitkern: '), officially the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, is a group of four volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth Earth is the third planet ...
and
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
archipelagos, and sailed the
Torres Strait The Torres Strait (), also known as Zenadh Kes, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both s ...

Torres Strait
between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator
Luís Vaz de Torres Luís Vaz de Torres (Galician language, Galician and Portuguese language, Portuguese), or Luis Váez de Torres in the Spanish language, Spanish spelling (born c. 1565; fl. 1607), was a 16th- and 17th-century list of maritime explorers, maritime e ...
.
Willem Janszoon Willem Janszoon (; ), sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz., was a Dutch Republic, Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Dutch East Indies, Dutch East Indies in the periods 16031611 and 16121616, including as governor of ...
, made the first completely documented European landing in Australia (1606), in
Cape York Peninsula Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding w ...
.
Abel Janszoon Tasman Abel Janszoon Tasman (; 160310 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers ...

Abel Janszoon Tasman
circumnavigated and landed on parts of the Australian continental coast and discovered
Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land was the original name of the island of Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island States and territories of Australia, state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Mainl ...
(now
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
), New Zealand in 1642, and
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
islands. He was the first known European explorer to reach these islands. On 23 April 1770 British explorer
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
made his first recorded direct observation of
indigenous Australians Indigenous Australians are people with familial heritage to groups that lived in Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continen ...
at
Brush Island The Brush Island is a Island#Continental island, continental island, contained within the Brush Island Nature Reserve, a state park, protected nature reserve, known as Mit Island in the Dhurga language of the Murramamrang people of the Yuin natio ...
near
Bawley Point Bawley Point is a small coastal hamlet in New South Wales, Australia, in the Shoalhaven with a population of 698 people at the . It is located 30 minutes south of Ulladulla, New South Wales, and 30 minutes north of Batemans Bay, New South Wales, ...
. On 29 April, Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula. It is here that James Cook made first contact with an aboriginal tribe known as the
Gweagal The Gweagal (also spelt Gwiyagal) are a clan of the Tharawal, Dharawal people of Indigenous Australians. Their descendants are traditional custodians of the southern geographic areas of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Country The Gweagal l ...
. His expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered its eastern coastline of Australia.


European settlement and colonisation

In 1789 the
Mutiny on the Bounty The mutiny on the Royal Navy vessel occurred in the South Pacific Ocean on 28 April 1789. Disaffected crewmen, led by acting-Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, seized control of the ship from their captain, Lieutenant (navy), Lieutenant Willia ...

Mutiny on the Bounty
against
William Bligh Vice-Admiral Vice admiral is a senior naval flag officer rank, equivalent to lieutenant general and air marshal. A vice admiral is typically senior to a rear admiral and junior to an admiral. In many navies,Vice admiral is a three-star rank i ...
led to several of the mutineers escaping the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
and settling on
Pitcairn Islands The Pitcairn Islands (; Pitkern: '), officially the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, is a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic division ...
, which later became a British colony. Britain also established colonies in Australia in 1788, New Zealand in 1840 and
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...
in 1872, with much of Oceania becoming part of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
. The
Gilbert Islands The Gilbert Islands ( gil, Tungaru;Reilly Ridgell. ''Pacific Nations and Territories: The Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.'' 3rd. Ed. Honolulu: Bess Press, 1995. p. 95. formerly Kingsmill or King's-Mill IslandsVery often, this n ...

Gilbert Islands
(now known as
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
) and the Ellice Islands (now known as
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
) came under Britain's sphere of influence in the late 19th century. French Catholic missionaries arrived on Tahiti in 1834; their expulsion in 1836 caused France to send a gunboat in 1838. In 1842, Tahiti and
Tahuata Tahuata is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is located 4 km (2.5 mi.) to the south of the western end of Hiva Oa, across the Canal du Bordelais, ...

Tahuata
were declared a French protectorate, to allow Catholic missionaries to work undisturbed. The capital of
Papeetē Papeete (pronounced ) is the capital city of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of the France, French Republic in the Pacific Ocean. The Communes of France, commune of Papeete is located on the island of Tahiti, in the Administrative divisi ...

Papeetē
was founded in 1843. On 24 September 1853, under orders from
Napoleon III Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 18089 January 1873) was the first President of France The president of France, officially the President of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is t ...

Napoleon III
, Admiral Febvrier Despointes took formal possession of New Caledonia and Port-de-France (Nouméa) was founded 25 June 1854. The Spanish explorer
Alonso de SalazarToribio Alonso de Salazar, (died 5 September 1526) born in Biscay Biscay (; eu, Bizkaia ; es, Vizcaya ) is a province of Spain, lying on the south shore of the eponymous bay. The name also refers to a historical territory of the Basque Country ...
landed in the Marshall Islands in 1529. They were named by , after English
explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery Discovery may refer to: * Discovery (observation) Discovery is the act of detecting something new, or something previously unrecognized as meaningful. With reference to scienc ...

explorer
John Marshall John Marshall (September 24, 1755July 6, 1835) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the fourth chief justice of the United States The chief justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United Stat ...
, who visited them together with Thomas Gilbert in 1788, en route from
Botany Bay Botany Bay (: ''Kamay''), an open ic embayment, is located in , , , south of the . Its source is the of the at and the at , which flows to the east before meeting its at the , midpoint between the suburbs of and . The northern headland ...
to
Canton Canton may refer to: Administrative division terminology * Canton (administrative division), territorial/administrative division in some countries, notably Switzerland * Township (Canada), known as ''canton'' in Canadian French Arts and entert ...

Canton
(two ships of the
First Fleet The First Fleet was a fleet of 11 ships A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, r ...
). In 1905 the British government transferred some administrative responsibility over south-east New Guinea to Australia (which renamed the area "
Territory of Papua The Territory of Papua comprised the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-largest island, and with an area of , ...

Territory of Papua
"); and in 1906, transferred all remaining responsibility to Australia. The Marshall Islands were claimed by Spain in 1874. Germany established colonies in New Guinea in 1884, and
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...
in 1900. The United States also expanded into the Pacific, beginning with
Baker Island Baker Island (previously New Nantucket) is an uninhabited atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef, including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or ...

Baker Island
and
Howland Island Howland Island () is an uninhabited coral island located just north of the equator The Earth's equator is an imaginary planetary line that is about long in circumference. The equator divides the planet into the Northern Hemisphere and S ...

Howland Island
in 1857, and with Hawaii becoming a U.S. territory in 1898. Disagreements between the US, Germany and UK over Samoa led to the Tripartite Convention of 1899.


Modern history

One of the first land offensives in Oceania was the
Occupation of German Samoa The Occupation of Samoa was the takeover – and subsequent administration – of the Pacific colony of German Samoa by New Zealand during World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war ...
in August 1914 by New Zealand forces. The campaign to take Samoa ended without bloodshed after over 1,000 New Zealanders landed on the German colony. Australian forces attacked
German New Guinea German New Guinea (german: link=no, Deutsch-Neuguinea) consisted of the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-larges ...

German New Guinea
in September 1914. A company of Australians and a British warship besieged the Germans and their colonial subjects, ending with a German surrender. The
attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike In the United States Armed Forces, military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite ...

attack on Pearl Harbor
by the Japanese
Imperial General Headquarters The was part of the Supreme War Council The Supreme War Council was a central command based in Versailles that coordinated the military strategy of the principal Allies of World War I The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers were a c ...
, was a surprise
military strike In the United States Armed Forces, military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite a number of others, come under the formal umbrella of military operations other than war (US), military oper ...
conducted by the
Imperial Japanese Navy The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN; Kyūjitai are the traditional forms of kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside the Japanese language, Japanese syllabic ...
against the United States
naval base A naval base, navy base, or military port is a military base, where warships and naval ships are docked when they have no mission at sea or need to restock. Ships may also undergo repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft tha ...
at
Pearl Harbor Pearl Harbor is an American lagoon File:Kara-Bogaz Gol from space, September 1995.jpg, Garabogazköl, Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by a narrow landform, su ...

Pearl Harbor
,
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
, on the morning of 7 December 1941. The attack led to the
United States' entry into World War II Empire of Japan, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor took place on December 7, 1941. The U.S. military suffered 18 ships damaged or sunk, and 2,400 people were killed. Its most significant consequence was the entrance of the United States into World War ...
. The Japanese subsequently invaded New Guinea, Solomon Islands and other Pacific islands. The Japanese were turned back at the
Battle of the Coral Sea The Battle of the Coral Sea, from 4 to 8 May 1942, was a major between the (IJN) and naval and air forces of the United States and Australia. Taking place in the of , the battle is historically significant as the first action in which s e ...

Battle of the Coral Sea
and the
Kokoda Track campaign The Kokoda Track campaign or Kokoda Trail campaign was part of the Pacific War of World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It invo ...
before they were finally defeated in 1945. Some of the most prominent Oceanic battlegrounds were the
Battle of Bita Paka The Battle of Bita Paka (11 September 1914) was fought south of Kabakaul, on the island of New Britain New Britain ( tpi, Niu Briten) is the largest island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">I ...
, the
Solomon Islands campaign The Solomon Islands campaign was a major military campaign, campaign of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign began with Empire of Japan, Japanese landings and occupation of several areas in the British Solomon Islands and Bougainville I ...

Solomon Islands campaign
, the Air raids on Darwin, the Kokada Track, and the
Borneo campaign The Borneo campaign of 1945 was the last major Allied campaign in the South West Pacific Area during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted fro ...
. The United States fought the Battle of Guam from July 21 to August 10, 1944, to recapture the island from
Japanese military The Japan Self-Defense Forces ( ja, 自衛隊, Jieitai; abbreviated JSDF), also known as the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) or Japanese Armed Forces, are the unified Armed forces, military forces of Japan that were established by the Self-Defense For ...
occupation. Australia and New Zealand became
dominions The term dominion was used to refer to one of several self-governing nations of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other De ...
in the 20th century, adopting the Statute of Westminster Act in 1942 and 1947 respectively. In 1946, Polynesians were granted French citizenship and the islands' status was changed to an
overseas territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names f ...
; the islands' name was changed in 1957 to ''Polynésie Française'' (
French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = "La Marseillaise "La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a coun ...
). Hawaii became a
U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to this shared sovereignty, are both of t ...
in 1959.
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
and
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
became independent in 1970. On 1 May 1979, in recognition of the evolving political status of the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
, the United States recognized the constitution of the Marshall Islands and the establishment of the Government of the
Republic of the Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or po ...
. The South Pacific Forum was founded in 1971, which became the
Pacific Islands Forum The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is an inter-governmental organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, or an association – comp ...

Pacific Islands Forum
in 2000.


Geography

Oceania was originally conceived as the lands of the Pacific Ocean, stretching from the
Strait of Malacca id, Selat Malaka th, ta, hi, zh, , native_name_lang = , other_name = , image = Strait of malacca.jpg , alt = , caption = The Strait of Malacca connects the Pacific Ocean to ...
to the coast of the Americas. It comprised four regions: ''
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
'', ''
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
'', ''Malaysia'' (now called the
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( ceb, Kapupud-ang Malay, ms, Kepulauan Melayu, tgl, Kapuluang Malay, jv, Nusantara) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...

Malay Archipelago
), and ''
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
''. Today, parts of three geological continents are included in the term "Oceania": Eurasia, Australia, and
Zealandia Zealandia (prounounced ), also known as ( Māori) or Tasmantis, is an almost entirely submerged mass of continental crust 350px, The thickness of Crust (geology)#Earth's crust, Earth's crust (km) Continental crust is the layer of Igneous ...
, as well the non-continental volcanic islands of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
,
Wallacea in blue has been used to separate Wallacea into a western part pertaining to Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Wallacea
, and the open Pacific. Oceania extends to New Guinea in the west, the
Bonin Islands The Bonin Islands, also known as the , or, Yslas del Arzobispo, are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small numb ...
in the northwest, the
Hawaiian Islands The Hawaiian Islands ( haw, Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the Pacific Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, extending some from the Hawaii (island), island o ...
in the northeast,
Rapa Nui Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between ...

Rapa Nui
and Sala y Gómez Island in the east, and
Macquarie Island Macquarie Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the Southwestern Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica. Regionally part of Oceania and politically a part of Tasmania, Australia, since 1900, it became a Protec ...
in the south. Not included are the Pacific islands of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
, the
Ryukyu Islands The , also known as the or the , are a chain of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Ryukyu Islands
, and the
Japanese archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a ...
, all on the margins of Asia, and the
Aleutian Islands The Aleutian Islands (; ; ale, Unangam Tanaa, literally "Land of the s", possibly from ''aliat'', "island"), also called the Aleut Islands or Aleutic Islands and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic ...
of North America. In its periphery, Oceania sprawls 28 degrees north to the Bonin Islands in the
northern hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

northern hemisphere
, and 55 degrees south to Macquarie Island in the
southern hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

southern hemisphere
. Oceanian islands are of four basic types: continental islands,
high island Geologically, a high island or volcanic island is an island of volcanic origin. The term can be used to distinguish such islands from low islands, which are formed from sedimentation or the Tectonic uplift, uplifting of coral reefs (which h ...
s,
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

coral reef
s and uplifted coral platforms. High islands are of volcanic origin, and many contain active volcanoes. Among these are , Hawaii, and Solomon Islands. Oceania is one of eight terrestrial
biogeographic realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeography, biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial animal, terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregions, which are classif ...
s, which constitute the major ecological regions of the planet. Related to these concepts are
Near Oceania Near Oceania is the part of Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 4 ...
, that part of western
Island MelanesiaIsland Melanesia is a subregion of Melanesia in Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a p ...
which has been inhabited for tens of millennia, and
Remote OceaniaRemote Oceania is the part of Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 4 ...
which is more recently settled. Although the majority of the Oceanian islands lie in the South Pacific, a few of them are not restricted to the Pacific Ocean –
Kangaroo Island Kangaroo Island, also known as Karta Pintingga (literally 'Island of the Dead' in the language of the Kaurna people), is Australia's third-largest island, after Tasmania and Melville Island, Northern Territory, Melville Island. It lies in the s ...

Kangaroo Island
and
Ashmore and Cartier Islands The Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands is an uninhabited external territory of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (conti ...
, for instance, are situated in the
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. As such, it is regarded as the second-smallest of t ...

Southern Ocean
and
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
, respectively, and Tasmania's west coast faces the Southern Ocean. The coral reefs of the South Pacific are low-lying structures that have built up on basaltic lava flows under the ocean's surface. One of the most dramatic is the
Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held tog ...

Great Barrier Reef
off northeastern Australia with chains of reef patches. A second island type formed of coral is the uplifted coral platform, which is usually slightly larger than the low coral islands. Examples include
Banaba BanabaThe correct spelling and etymology in Gilbertese Gilbertese or taetae ni Kiribati, also Kiribati (sometimes ''Kiribatese''), is an Austronesian language The Austronesian languages (, , , ) are a language family A language is a ...

Banaba
(formerly Ocean Island) and
Makatea Makatea, or Mangaia-te-vai-tamae, is a raised coral atoll A raised coral atoll or uplifted coral atoll is an atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem ...

Makatea
in the Tuamotu group of
French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = "La Marseillaise "La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a coun ...
.


Regions

Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
, which lies north of the equator and west of the
International Date Line The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of demarcation on the surface of Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one ...

International Date Line
, includes the
Mariana Islands The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas; in ChamorroChamorro may refer to: * Chamorro language, an Austronesian language indigenous to The Marianas * Chamorro people, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific * Chamorr ...
in the northwest, the
Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolat ...
in the center, the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
to the west and the islands of
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
in the southeast.
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
, to the southwest, includes
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
, the world's second largest island after
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
and by far the largest of the Pacific islands. The other main Melanesian groups from north to south are the , the
Bismarck Archipelago The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-largest island, and with an area of , t ...
, the Solomon Islands archipelago,
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz (or Santacruz) is a Spanish language, Spanish or Portuguese language, Portuguese term meaning "holy cross" and referring to the Christian cross, cross on which Crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus was crucified. Santa Cruz may also refer to: Pl ...
,
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
,
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
and
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
.
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
, stretching from Hawaii in the north to New Zealand in the south, also encompasses
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
,
Tokelau Tokelau (; "north-northeast"; known previously as the Union Islands, and, until 1976, known officially as the Tokelau Islands) is a dependent territory of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean. It consists of three tropical coral atolls: A ...

Tokelau
,
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
,
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
and the
Kermadec Islands The Kermadec Islands ( mi, Rangitāhua) are a subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographic and climate zones located to the north and south of the tropical zone. Geographically part of the north and south temperate ...
to the west, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and i ...
,
Society Islands The Society Islands (french: Îles de la Société, officially ''Archipel de la Société;'' ty, Tōtaiete mā) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...
and
Austral Islands The Austral Islands (french: Îles Australes, officially ''Archipel des Australes;'' ty, Tuha'a Pae) are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = "La Mars ...
in the center, and the
Marquesas Islands The Marquesas Islands (; french: Îles Marquises or ' or '; Marquesan language, Marquesan: ' (North Marquesan language, North Marquesan) and ' (South Marquesan language, South Marquesan), both meaning "the land of men") are a group of volcano, ...
,
Tuamotu The Tuamotu Archipelago or the Tuamotu Islands (french: Îles Tuamotu, officially ), are a French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = "La Marseillaise "La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of ...
,
Mangareva Islands The Gambier Islands ( or ) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Indones ...
, and
Easter Island Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent ...

Easter Island
to the east.
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
comprises Australia, New Zealand, the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. Along with India most of Australasia lies on the
Indo-Australian Plate The Indo-Australian Plate is a major tectonic plate that includes the continent of Australia and surrounding ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of ...
with the latter occupying the Southern area. It is flanked by the Indian Ocean to the west and the
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. As such, it is regarded as the second-smallest of t ...

Southern Ocean
to the south.


Geology

The
Pacific Plate The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant th ...
, which makes up most of Oceania, is an oceanic
tectonic plate This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface Earth is the third planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibriu ...
that lies beneath the Pacific Ocean. At , it is the largest tectonic plate. The plate contains an interior hot spot forming the
Hawaiian Islands The Hawaiian Islands ( haw, Mokupuni o Hawai‘i) are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and seamounts in the Pacific Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, extending some from the Hawaii (island), island o ...
. It is almost entirely
oceanic crust The oceanic crust is the uppermost layer of the oceanic portion of the tectonic plates This is a list of tectonic plates on Earth's surface. Tectonic plates are pieces of Earth's crust 350px, Plates in the crust of Earth Earth's crust i ...
. The oldest member disappearing by way of the
plate tectonics upright=1.35, Diagram of the internal layering of Earth showing the lithosphere above the asthenosphere (not to scale) Plate tectonics (from the la, label=Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written L ...
cycle is early-
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a that lasted from about 145 to 66 (Mya). It is the third and final period of the , as well as the longest. At around 79 million years, it is the longest geological period of the entire . The name is derived from the Latin ...

Cretaceous
(145 to 137 million years ago). Australia, being part of the
Indo-Australian plate The Indo-Australian Plate is a major tectonic plate that includes the continent of Australia and surrounding ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of ...
, is the lowest, flattest, and oldest landmass on Earth and it has had a relatively stable geological history. Geological forces such as
tectonic uplift Tectonic uplift is the geologic uplift An orogeny is an event that leads to both structural Deformation (physics), deformation and compositional differentiation of the Earth's lithosphere (Crust (geology), crust and uppermost Mantle (geology) ...
of mountain ranges or clashes between tectonic plates occurred mainly in Australia's early history, when it was still a part of
Gondwana Gondwana () or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (ge ...

Gondwana
. Australia is situated in the middle of the tectonic plate, and therefore currently has no active volcanism. The
geology Geology (from the γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is a branch of concerned with both the liquid and , the of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Geology can ...

geology
of New Zealand is noted for its
volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object A planet is an astronomical body orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet ar ...

volcanic
activity,
earthquake An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known t ...

earthquake
s and geothermal areas because of its position on the boundary of the
Australian Plate The Australian Plate is a major tectonic plate in the eastern hemisphere, eastern and, largely, southern hemisphere, southern hemispheres. Originally a part of the ancient continent of Gondwana, Australia remained connected to Indian plate, India ...
and Pacific Plates. Much of the basement rock of New Zealand was once part of the super-continent of Gondwana, along with South America, Africa,
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mala ...

Madagascar
, India, Antarctica and Australia. The rocks that now form the continent of
Zealandia Zealandia (prounounced ), also known as ( Māori) or Tasmantis, is an almost entirely submerged mass of continental crust 350px, The thickness of Crust (geology)#Earth's crust, Earth's crust (km) Continental crust is the layer of Igneous ...
were nestled between Eastern Australia and
Western Antarctica West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica, one of the two major regions of Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere ...
. The Australia-New Zealand continental fragment of Gondwana split from the rest of Gondwana in the
late Cretaceous The Late Cretaceous (100.5–66 Year#SI prefix multipliers, Ma) is the younger of two epoch (geology), epochs into which the Cretaceous geological period, Period is divided in the geologic time scale. Stratum, Rock strata from this epoch form the ...
time (95–90 Ma). By 75 Ma, Zealandia was essentially separate from Australia and Antarctica, although only shallow seas might have separated Zealandia and Australia in the north. The
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea ( Māori: ''Te Tai-o-Rēhua'', ) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also ...

Tasman Sea
, and part of Zealandia then locked together with Australia to form the
Australian Plate The Australian Plate is a major tectonic plate in the eastern hemisphere, eastern and, largely, southern hemisphere, southern hemispheres. Originally a part of the ancient continent of Gondwana, Australia remained connected to Indian plate, India ...
(40 Ma), and a new plate boundary was created between the Australian Plate and Pacific Plate. Most islands in the Pacific are
high islands High may refer to: People with the name * High (surname)High is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Jason High (born 1981), American mixed martial artist *Kathy High (born 1954), American interdisciplinary artist, curator, and sc ...
(
volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object A planet is an astronomical body orbit In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an physical body, object, such as the trajectory of a planet ar ...

volcanic
islands), such as,
Easter Island Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent ...

Easter Island
,
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
and
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
, among others, having peaks up to 1300 m rising abruptly from the shore. The
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaiian island chain located northwest (in some cases, far to the northwest) of the islands of Kauai and Niihau. Politically, they are ...
were formed approximately 7 to 30 million years ago, as
shield volcano A shield volcano is a type of volcano A volcano is a rupture in the of a , such as , that allows hot , , and to escape from a below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where are or , and most are found underwater. Fo ...

shield volcano
es over the same volcanic hotspot that formed the
Emperor Seamounts An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Thro ...
to the north and the Main Hawaiian Islands to the south. Hawaii's tallest mountain
Mauna Kea Mauna Kea (; ; abbreviation for ''Mauna a Wākea''); is a dormant volcano A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber bel ...

Mauna Kea
is above mean sea level.


Flora

The most diverse country of Oceania when it comes to the environment is Australia, with tropical
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
s in the north-east, mountain ranges in the south-east, south-west and east, and dry desert in the centre.
Desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...
or semi-arid land commonly known as the
outback The Outback is a remote, vast, sparsely populated area of Australia. The Outback is more remote than Australian bush, the bush, which includes any location outside the main urban areas. While often envisaged as being arid, the Outback regions ...

outback
makes up by far the largest portion of land. The coastal uplands and a belt of Brigalow grasslands lie between the coast and the mountains, while inland of the dividing range are large areas of grassland. The northernmost point of the east coast is the tropical-rainforested
Cape York Peninsula Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding w ...
. Prominent features of the Australian flora are adaptations to
aridity A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in d ...

aridity
and fire which include scleromorphy and
serotiny Fire has caused minimal damage to this '' follicles and the release of seed.">follicle_(fruit).html" ;"title="Banksia serrata'' (saw banksia) fruiting structure, but has triggered the opening of the follicle (fruit)">follicles and the release of se ...
. These adaptations are common in species from the large and well-known families
Proteaceae The Proteaceae form a family (biology), family of flowering plants predominantly distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The family comprises 83 genus, genera with about 1,660 known species. Together with the Platanaceae and Nelumbonaceae, they ...

Proteaceae
(''
Banksia ''Banksia'' is a of around 170 in the . These n s and popular s are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and heads. ''Banksias'' range in size from prostrate woody s to trees up to 30 metres tall. They ...

Banksia
''),
Myrtaceae Myrtaceae or the myrtle family is a family of dicotyledonous plants placed within the order Myrtales. Myrtus, Myrtle, Metrosideros, pōhutukawa, Pimenta racemosa, bay rum tree, clove, guava, Acca (plant), acca (feijoa), allspice, and eucalyptus a ...
(''
Eucalyptus ''Eucalyptus'' () is a of over seven hundred species of s, shrubs or in the , Myrtaceae. Along with several other genera in the , including ', they are commonly known as s. Plants in the genus ''Eucalyptus'' have bark that is either smooth, ...

Eucalyptus
'' – gum trees), and
Fabaceae The Fabaceae or Leguminosae,International Code of Nomenc ...

Fabaceae
(''
Acacia ''Acacia'', commonly known as the wattles or acacias, is a large of shrubs and trees in the subfamily of the pea family . Initially, it comprised a group of plant species native to Africa and Australasia, but it has now been limited to conta ...

Acacia
'' – wattle). The flora of Fiji,
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. It has a land area of , and a population of 652,858. Its capital, Honi ...
,
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
and
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
is
tropical dry forest The tropical and subtropical dry forest is a habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 that works in the field of wildernes ...
, with
tropical vegetation Tropical vegetation is any vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transform ...

tropical vegetation
that includes , premna protrusa,
psydrax odorata ''Psydrax odorata'', known as ''alahee'' in Hawaiian language, Hawaiian, is a species of flowering plant, flowering shrub or small tree in the Coffea, coffee family, Rubiaceae. It is native to the Pacific Islands, New Guinea and Australia. Descri ...
, and
derris trifoliata ''Derris trifoliata'' is a plant species in the genus ''Derris'', Family - Leguminosae It is known as "Karanjvel" in Marathi - local language of Maharashtra, India. It is a large climber found commonly in coastal swamps of Konkan (India). It is ...

derris trifoliata
. New Zealand's landscape ranges from the
fjord In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...

fjord
-like sounds of the southwest to the tropical beaches of the far north. South Island is dominated by the
Southern Alps The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...
. There are 18 peaks of more than 3000 metres (9800 ft) in the South Island. All summits over 2,900 m are within the Southern Alps, a chain that forms the backbone of the South Island; the highest peak of which is Aoraki / Mount Cook, at . Earthquakes are common, though usually not severe, averaging 3,000 per year. There is a wide variety of native trees, adapted to all the various micro-climates in New Zealand. In Hawaii, one endemic plant, ''Brighamia'', now requires hand-pollination because its natural pollinator is presumed to be extinct. The two species of ''Brighamia'' – ''B. rockii'' and ''B. insignis'' – are represented in the wild by around 120 individual plants. To ensure these plants set seed, biologists rappel down cliffs to brush pollen onto their stigmas.


Fauna

The aptly-named Pacific kingfisher is found in the Pacific Islands, as is the Red-vented bulbul, Polynesian starling, Brown goshawk, Pacific Swallow and the Cardinal myzomela, among others. Birds breeding on Pitcairn include the fairy tern, common noddy and red-tailed tropicbird. The Pitcairn reed warbler, endemic to Pitcairn Island, was added to the endangered species list in 2008. Native to Hawaii is the Hawaiian crow, which has been extinct in the wild since 2002. The brown tree snake is native to northern and eastern coasts of Australia, Papua New Guinea, Guam and Solomon Islands. Native to Australia, New Guinea and proximate islands are birds of paradise, honeyeaters, Australasian treecreeper, Australasian robin, kingfishers, butcherbirds and bowerbirds. A unique feature of Australia's fauna is the relative scarcity of native placentalia, placental mammals, and dominance of the marsupials – a group of mammals that raise their young in a pouch (marsupial), pouch, including the Macropodidae, macropods, Phalangeriformes, possums and dasyuromorphia, dasyuromorphs. The passerines of Australia, also known as songbirds or perching birds, include wrens, the Artamidae, magpie group, Acanthiza, thornbills, corvids, pardalotes, lyrebirds. Predominant bird species in the country include the Australian magpie, Australian raven, the pied currawong, crested pigeons and the laughing kookaburra. The koala, emu, platypus and kangaroo are national animals of Australia, and the Tasmanian devil is also one of the well-known animals in the country. The goanna is a predatory lizard native to the Australian mainland. The birds of New Zealand evolved into an avifauna that included a large number of endemism, endemic species. As an island archipelago New Zealand accumulated bird diversity and when Captain James Cook arrived in the 1770s he noted that the bird vocalization, bird song was deafening. The mix includes species with unusual biology such as the kakapo which is the world's only flightless, nocturnal, Lek mating, lek breeding parrot, but also many species that are similar to neighboring land areas. Some of the more well known and distinctive bird species in New Zealand are the Kiwi (bird), kiwi, kea, takahe, kakapo, Yellowhead (bird), mohua, Tui (bird), tui and the New Zealand bellbird, bellbird. The tuatara is a notable reptile endemic to New Zealand.


Climate

The Pacific Islands are ruled by a tropical rainforest and tropical savanna climate. In the tropical and subtropical Pacific, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affects weather conditions. In the tropical western Pacific, the monsoon and the related wet season during the summer months contrast with dry winds in the winter which blow over the ocean from the Asian landmass. November is the only month in which all the tropical cyclone basins are active. To the southwest of the region, in the Australian landmass, the climate is mostly desert or Semi-arid climate, semi-arid, with the southern coastal corners having a Temperateness, temperate climate, such as oceanic climate, oceanic and humid subtropical climate in the east coast and Mediterranean climate in the west. The northern parts of the country have a tropical climate. Snow falls frequently on the highlands near the east coast, in the states of Victoria (Australia), Victoria, New South Wales,
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
and in the Australian Capital Territory. Most regions of New Zealand belong to the temperate zone with a maritime climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfb) characterised by four distinct seasons. Conditions vary from extremely wet on the West Coast, New Zealand, West Coast of the South Island to almost Semi-arid climate, semi-arid in Central Otago and subtropical in North Auckland Peninsula, Northland. Snow falls in New Zealand's South Island and at higher altitudes in the North Island. It is extremely rare at sea level in the North Island. Hawaii, although being in the tropics, experiences many different climates, depending on latitude and its geography. The Hawaii (island), island of Hawaii for example hosts 4 (out of 5 in total) climate groups on a surface as small as according to the Köppen climate types: tropical, arid, temperate and polar. The Hawaiian Islands receive most of their precipitation during the winter months (October to April). A few islands in the northwest, such as Guam, are susceptible to typhoons in the wet season. The highest recorded temperature in Oceania occurred in Oodnadatta, South Australia (2 January 1960), where the temperature reached . The lowest temperature ever recorded in Oceania was , at Ranfurly, New Zealand, Ranfurly in Otago in 1903, with a more recent temperature of recorded in 1995 in nearby Ophir, New Zealand, Ophir.
Pohnpei Pohnpei "upon (''pohn'') a stone altar (''pei'')" (formerly known as Ponape or Ascension, Chuukic–Pohnpeic languages, Proto-Chuukic-Pohnpeic: ''*Fawo ni pei'') is an island of the Senyavin Islands which are part of the larger Caroline Islands g ...

Pohnpei
of the Senyavin Islands in
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
is the wettest settlement in Oceania, and one of the wettest places on earth, with annual recorded rainfall exceeding each year in certain mountainous locations. Big Bog, Maui, The Big Bog on the island of Maui is the wettest place, receiving an average each year.


Demographics

The linked map below shows the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the islands of Oceania and neighbouring areas, as a guide to the following table (there are few land boundaries that can be drawn on a map of the Pacific at this scale).
The demographic table below shows the subregions and countries of geopolitical Oceania. The countries and territories in this table are categorised according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations. The information shown follows sources in cross-referenced articles; where sources differ, provisos have been clearly indicated. These territories and regions are subject to various additional categorisations, depending on the source and purpose of each description. ! style="text-align:right;" , 16.6


Largest city for regions

*
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
(metro, urban or proper largest city:
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
) *
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
(metro, urban or proper largest city: Port Moresby) *
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
(metro, urban or proper largest city: Tarawa) *
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
(metro, urban or proper largest city: Auckland)


Urban areas


Religion

The predominant religion in Oceania is Christianity (73%). A 2011 survey found that 92% in
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
, 93% in
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
and 96% in
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
described themselves as Christians. Traditional religions are often Animism, animist, and prevalent among traditional tribes is the belief in spirits (''masalai'' in Tok Pisin) representing natural forces. In the 2018 census, 37% of New Zealanders affiliated themselves with Christianity and 48% declared no religion. In the 2016 Census, 52% of the Australian population declared some variety of Christianity and 30% stated "no religion". In recent Australian and New Zealand censuses, large proportions of the population say they belong to "Irreligion, no religion" (which includes atheism, agnosticism, deism, secular humanism). In
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
, everyday life is heavily influenced by Polynesian culture, Polynesian traditions and especially by the Christian faith. The Ahmadiyya mosque in Marshall Islands is the only mosque in Micronesia. Another one in
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
belongs to the same sect. The Baháʼí House of Worship in Tiapapata,
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
, is one of seven designations administered in the Baháʼí Faith. Other religions in the region include Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, which are prominent minority religions in Australia and New Zealand. Judaism, Sikhism and Jainism are also present. Sir Isaac Isaacs was the first Australian born Governor General of Australia and was the first Jewish vice-regal representative in the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
. Prince Philip Movement is followed around Yaohnanen village on the southern island of Tanna (island), Tanna in
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
.


Languages

Native languages of Oceania fall into three major geographic groups: * The large Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family, with such languages as Malay language, Malay (Indonesian), and Oceanic languages such as Gilbertese language, Gilbertese, Fijian language, Fijian, Māori language, Māori or Hawaiian language, Hawaiian * The Aboriginal Australian languages, including the large Pama–Nyungan family * The Papuan languages of
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
and neighbouring islands, including the large Trans–New Guinea family Colonial languages include English language, English in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and many other territories; in
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
,
French Polynesia )Territorial motto: ( en, "Great Tahiti of the Golden Haze") , anthem = "La Marseillaise "La Marseillaise" is the national anthem of France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a coun ...
, Wallis and Futuna, and
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
, Japanese in the
Bonin Islands The Bonin Islands, also known as the , or, Yslas del Arzobispo, are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small numb ...
, Spanish language, Spanish on
Galápagos Islands The Galápagos Islands (official name: , other Spanish language, Spanish name: , , ), part of the Republic of Ecuador, are an archipelago of High island, volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding ...
and
Easter Island Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a continent ...

Easter Island
. There are also Creole language, Creoles formed from the interaction of Malay or the colonial languages with indigenous languages, such as Tok Pisin, Bislama, Chavacano, various Malay trade and creole languages, Hawaiian Pidgin, Norfuk, and Pitkern. Contact between Austronesian and Papuan resulted in several instances in mixed languages such as Maisin language, Maisin. Immigrants brought their own languages to the region, such as Standard Chinese, Mandarin, Hindi, Italian, Arabic, Portuguese, Polish, German, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Cantonese and
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, among many others, namely in Australia and New Zealand, or Fiji Hindi in
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
.


Immigration

The most multicultural areas in Oceania, which have a List of sovereign states and dependent territories by immigrant population, high degree of immigration, are Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. Since 1945, more than 7 million people have settled in Australia. From the late 1970s, there was a significant increase in immigration from Asian and other non-European countries, making Australia a Multiculturalism in Australia, multicultural country. Sydney is the most multicultural city in Oceania, having more than 250 different languages spoken with about 40 percent of residents speaking a Languages Other Than English, language other than English at home. Furthermore, 36 percent of the population reported having been foreign born, born overseas, with top countries being Italy, Lebanon, Vietnam and Iraq, among others. Melbourne is also fairly multicultural, having the largest Greek community of Melbourne, Greek-speaking population outside of Europe, and the second largest Asian Australians, Asian population in Australia after Sydney. European migration to New Zealand provided a major influx following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Subsequent immigration has been chiefly from the British Isles, but also from continental Europe, the Pacific, The Americas and Asia. Auckland is home to over half (51.6 percent) of New Zealand's overseas born population, including 72 percent of the country's Pacific Island-born population, 64 percent of its Asian people, Asian-born population, and 56 percent of its Middle Eastern people, Middle Eastern and African born population. Hawaii is a majority-minority state. Chinese people, Chinese workers on Western trading ships settled in Hawaii starting in 1789. In 1820, the first American missionaries arrived to preach Christianity and teach the Hawaiians Western ways. , a large proportion of Hawaii's population have Asian ancestry – especially Filipino people, Filipino, Japanese, Korean immigration to Hawaii, Korean and Chinese. Many are descendants of immigrants brought to work on the sugarcane plantations in the mid-to-late 19th century. Almost 13,000 Portuguese people, Portuguese immigrants had arrived by 1899; they also worked on the sugarcane plantations. Puerto Rican immigration to Hawaii began in 1899 when Puerto Rico's sugar industry was devastated by two hurricanes, causing a worldwide shortage of sugar and a huge demand for sugar from Hawaii. Between 2001 and 2007 Australia's Pacific Solution policy transferred asylum seekers to several Pacific nations, including the Nauru detention centre. Australia, New Zealand and other nations took part in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands between 2003 and 2017 after a request for aid.


Archaeogenetics

Archaeology, linguistics, and existing genetics, genetic studies indicate that Oceania was settled by two major waves of migration. The first migration of Australo-Melanesians took place approximately 40 to 80 thousand years ago, and these migrants, Papuan people, Papuans, colonised much of
Near Oceania Near Oceania is the part of Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 4 ...
. Approximately 3.5 thousand years ago, a second expansion of Austronesian languages, Austronesian speakers arrived in Near Oceania, and the descendants of these people spread to the far corners of the Pacific, colonising
Remote OceaniaRemote Oceania is the part of Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 4 ...
. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies quantify the magnitude of the Austronesian peoples, Austronesian expansion and demonstrate the homogenising effect of this expansion. With regards to Papuan influence, autochthonous haplogroups support the hypothesis of a long history in Near Oceania, with some lineages suggesting a time depth of 60 thousand years.
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz (or Santacruz) is a Spanish language, Spanish or Portuguese language, Portuguese term meaning "holy cross" and referring to the Christian cross, cross on which Crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus was crucified. Santa Cruz may also refer to: Pl ...
, a population located in Remote Oceania, is an anomaly with extreme frequencies of autochthonous haplogroups of Near Oceanian origin. Large areas of
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
are unexplored by scientists and anthropologists due to extensive forestation and mountainous terrain. Known indigenous tribes in
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
have very little contact with local authorities aside from the authorities knowing who they are. Many remain preliterate and, at the national or international level, the names of tribes and information about them is extremely hard to obtain. The Indonesian provinces of Papua (province), Papua and West Papua (province), West Papua on the island of New Guinea are home to an estimated 44 uncontacted peoples, uncontacted tribal groups.


Economy


Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand are the only highly Developed country, developed independent nations in the region, although the economy of Australia is by far the largest and most dominant economy in the region and one of the largest in the world. New Caledonia, Hawaii and French Polynesia are highly developed too but are not sovereignty, sovereign states. Australia's per-capita GDP is List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita, higher than that of the UK, Canada, Germany, and France in terms of purchasing power parity. New Zealand is also one of the most globalised economies and depends greatly on international trade. The Australian Securities Exchange in
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
is the largest List of stock exchanges in Oceania, stock exchange in Australia and in the South Pacific. New Zealand is the List of countries by GDP (nominal), 53rd-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and List of countries by GDP (PPP), 68th-largest in the world measured by purchasing power parity (PPP). In 2012, Australia was the 12th largest national economy by nominal GDP and the 19th-largest measured by Purchasing power parity, PPP-adjusted GDP. Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the world's most livable cities, most livable cities. It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, GaWC. Melbourne also ranked highly in the World's Most Livable Cities, world's most liveable city list, and is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region. Auckland and Wellington, in New Zealand, are frequently ranked among the world's most liveable cities with Auckland being ranked 3rd according to the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. The majority of people living in Australia and to a lesser extent, New Zealand work in Mining in Australia, mining, electrical and Manufacturing in Australia, manufacturing sectors also. Australia boasts the largest amount of manufacturing in the region, Automotive industry in Australia, producing cars, electrical equipment, machinery and clothing industry, clothes.


Pacific Islands

The overwhelming majority of people living in the Pacific islands work in the service industry which includes tourism, education and financial services. Oceania's largest export markets include Japan, China, the United States and South Korea. The smallest Pacific nations rely on trade with Australia, New Zealand and the United States for exporting goods and for accessing other products. Australia and New Zealand's trading arrangements are known as Closer Economic Relations. Australia and New Zealand, along with other countries, are members of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit (EAS), which may become trade blocs in the future particularly EAS. The main produce from the Pacific is copra or coconut, but timber, beef, palm oil, Cocoa bean, cocoa, sugar and ginger are also commonly grown across the tropics of the Pacific. Fishing provides a major Industry (economics), industry for many of the smaller nations in the Pacific, although many fishing areas are exploited by other larger countries, namely Japan. Natural Resources, such as lead, zinc, nickel and gold, are mined in Australia and
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. It has a land area of , and a population of 652,858. Its capital, Honi ...
. Oceania's largest export markets include Japan, China, the United States, India, South Korea and the European Union. Endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources,
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economics, economies, though it remains a developing nation, developing country with a large subsistence agriculture sector. Agriculture accounts for 18% of gross domestic product, although it employed some 70% of the workforce as of 2001. Sugar exports and the growing tourist industry are the major sources of foreign exchange. Sugar cane processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. Coconuts, ginger, and copra are also significant. The history of Hawaii's economy can be traced through a succession of dominant industries; sandalwood, whaling, sugarcane, pineapple, the military, tourism and education. Hawaiian exports include food and clothing. These industries play a small role in the Hawaiian economy, due to the shipping distance to viable markets, such as the West Coast of the contiguous U.S. The state's food exports include coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, sugarcane and honey. , Honolulu was ranked high on world livability rankings, and was also ranked as the 2nd safest city in the U.S.


Tourism

Tourists mostly come from Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Economy of Fiji#Tourism, Fiji currently attracts almost half a million tourists each year, more than a quarter of whom come from Australia. This has contributed $1 billion or more to Fiji's economy since 1995, but the Government of Fiji likely underestimates these figures due to the invisible economy inside the tourism industry. Vanuatu is widely recognised as one of the premier vacation destinations for scuba divers wishing to explore
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

coral reef
s of the South Pacific region. Tourism has been promoted, in part, by Vanuatu being the site of several reality-TV shows. The ninth season of the reality TV series ''Survivor (US TV series), Survivor'' was filmed on Vanuatu, entitled ''Survivor: Vanuatu – Islands of Fire''. Two years later, Australia's ''Celebrity Survivor'' was filmed at the same location used by the US version. Tourism in Australia is an important component of the Australian economy. In the financial year 2014/15,
tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and th ...

tourism
represented 3% of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
's Gross domestic product, GDP contributing A$47.5 billion to the national economy. In 2015, there were 7.4 million visitor arrivals. Popular Australian destinations include the Sydney Harbour (Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, Royal Botanic Garden, etc.), Gold Coast, Queensland, Gold Coast (theme parks such as Warner Bros. Movie World, Dreamworld (Australian theme park), Dreamworld and Sea World (Australia), Sea World), Walls of Jerusalem National Park and Mount Field National Park in
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
, Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, the
Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held tog ...

Great Barrier Reef
in
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
, The Twelve Apostles (Victoria), The Twelve Apostles in Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Australian outback. Tourism in New Zealand contributes New Zealand dollar, NZ$7.3 billion (or 4%) of the country's gross domestic product, GDP in 2013, as well as directly supporting 110,800 full-time equivalent jobs (nearly 6% of New Zealand's workforce). International tourist spending accounted for 16% of New Zealand's export earnings (nearly NZ$10 billion). International and domestic tourism contributes, in total, NZ$24 billion to New Zealand's economy every year. Tourism New Zealand, the country's official tourism agency, is actively promoting the country as a destination worldwide. Milford Sound in South Island is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. In 2003 alone, according to state government data, there were over 6.4 million tourism in Hawaii, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands with expenditures of over $10.6 billion. Due to the mild year-round weather, tourist travel is popular throughout the year. In 2011, Hawaii saw increasing arrivals and share of foreign tourists from Canada, Australia and China increasing 13%, 24% and 21% respectively from 2010.


Politics


Australia

Australia is a federalism, federal parliamentary system, parliamentary constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II at its apex as the Monarchy of Australia, Queen of Australia, a role that is distinct from her position as monarch of the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen is represented in Australia by the Governor-General of Australia, Governor-General at the federal level and by the Governors of the Australian states, Governors at the state level, who by convention act on the advice of her ministers. There are two major political groups that usually form government, federally and in the states: the Australian Labor Party and the Coalition (Australia), Coalition which is a formal grouping of the Liberal Party of Australia, Liberal Party and its minor partner, the National Party of Australia, National Party. Within Australian political culture, the Coalition is considered centre-right and the Labor Party is considered centre-left. The Australian Defence Force is by far the largest military force in Oceania.


New Zealand

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy, although Constitution of New Zealand, its constitution is Uncodified constitution, not codified. Elizabeth II is the Monarchy of New Zealand, Queen of New Zealand and the head of state. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General of New Zealand, Governor-General, whom she appoints on the Advice (constitutional), advice of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Prime Minister. The New Zealand Parliament holds legislative power and consists of the Queen and the New Zealand House of Representatives, House of Representatives. A Elections in New Zealand, parliamentary general election must be called no later than three years after the previous election. New Zealand is identified as one of the world's most stable and well-governed states, with high government transparency and among the lowest perceived levels of corruption.


Pacific Islands

In Politics of Samoa, Samoan politics, the Prime Minister of Samoa is the head of government. The Constitution of Samoa, 1960 constitution, which formally came into force with independence from New Zealand in 1962, builds on the British pattern of parliamentary democracy, modified to take account of Samoan customs. The national government (''malo'') generally controls the Legislative Assembly of Samoa, legislative assembly. Politics of Tonga takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the King of Tonga is the Head of State. Politics of Fiji, Fiji has a multiparty system with the Prime Minister of Fiji as head of government. The Executive (government), executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Parliament of Fiji.
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entit ...

Fiji
's Head of State of Fiji, Head of State is the President of Fiji, President. He is elected by Parliament of Fiji after nomination by the Prime Minister of Fiji, Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition (Fiji), Leader of the Opposition, for a three-year term. In the politics of Papua New Guinea the List of Prime Ministers of the Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister is the head of government, and the head of state is Elizabeth II, Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, represented by a Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, Governor-General. In Politics of Kiribati, Kiribati, a Parliamentary system, Parliamentary regime, the President of Kiribati is the head of state and government, and of a multi-party system. Politics of New Caledonia, New Caledonia remains an integral part of the French Republic. Inhabitants of New Caledonia are French citizens and carry French passports. They take part in the legislative and presidential French elections. New Caledonia sends two representatives to the French National Assembly and two senators to the French Senate. Politics of Hawaii, Hawaii is dominated by the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party. As codified in the Constitution of Hawaii, there are three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The governor is elected statewide. The lieutenant governor acts as the Secretary of State of Hawaii, Secretary of State. The governor and lieutenant governor oversee twenty agencies and departments from offices in the Hawaii State Capitol, State Capitol.


Culture


Australia

Since 1788, the primary influence behind Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic Western culture, with some Indigenous Australians, Indigenous influences. The divergence and evolution that has occurred in the ensuing centuries has resulted in a distinctive Australian culture. Since the mid-20th century, Culture of the United States, American popular culture has strongly influenced Australia, particularly through television and cinema. Other cultural influences come from neighbouring Asian countries, and through large-scale immigration from non-English-speaking nations. ''The Story of the Kelly Gang'' (1906), the world's first feature length film, spurred a boom in cinema of Australia, Australian cinema during the silent film era. The Australian Museum in Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne are the oldest and List of largest art museums, largest museums in Oceania. The city's Sydney New Year's Eve, New Year's Eve celebrations are the largest in Oceania. Australia is also known for its Coffeehouse, cafe and coffee culture in Urban area, urban centres. Australia and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
were responsible for the flat white coffee. Most Indigenous Australian tribal groups subsisted on a simple hunter-gatherer diet of native fauna and flora, otherwise called bush tucker. The first settlers introduced British cuisine, British food to the continent, much of which is now considered typical Australian food, such as the Sunday roast. Multicultural immigration transformed Australian cuisine; post-World War II European migrants, particularly from the Mediterranean, helped to build a thriving Australian coffee culture, and the influence of Culture of Asia, Asian cultures has led to Australian variants of their staple foods, such as the Chinese cuisine, Chinese-inspired dim sim and Chiko Roll.


Hawaii

The music of Hawaii includes traditional and popular styles, ranging from native Hawaiian folk music to modern rock music, rock and hip hop music, hip hop. Hawaii's musical contributions to the music of the United States are out of proportion to the state's small size. Styles such as slack-key guitar are well known worldwide, while Hawaiian-tinged music is a frequent part of Cinema of the United States, Hollywood soundtracks. Hawaii also made a major contribution to country music with the introduction of the steel guitar. The Hawaiian religion is polytheistic and animistic, with a belief in many deities and spirits, including the belief that spirits are found in non-human beings and objects such as animals, the waves, and the sky. The cuisine of Hawaii is a fusion of many foods brought by immigrants to the Hawaiian Islands, including the earliest Polynesians and Native Hawaiian cuisine, and Cuisine of the United States, American, Chinese cuisine, Chinese, Filipino cuisine, Filipino, Japanese cuisine, Japanese, Korean cuisine, Korean, Polynesian cuisine, Polynesian and Portuguese cuisine, Portuguese origins. Native Hawaiian musician and Hawaiian sovereignty activist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, famous for his medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World", was named "The Voice of Hawaii" by NPR in 2010 in its 50 great voices series.


New Zealand

New Zealand as a culture is a Western culture, which is influenced by the cultural input of the indigenous Māori people, Māori and the various waves of multi-ethnic migration which followed the History of New Zealand, British colonisation of New Zealand. The Māori people constitute one of the major cultures of Polynesia. The country has been broadened by globalisation and immigration specifically from Oceania, Europe, and Asia. New Zealand marks two national days of remembrance, Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day, and also celebrates many holidays such as the Queen's Birthday, Labour Day, and Christmas Day, as well as public anniversaries of the founding dates of most regions. The New Zealand recording industry began to develop from 1940 onwards and many New Zealand musicians have obtained success in Britain and the United States. Some artists release Māori language songs and the Māori tradition-based art of ''kapa haka'' (song and dance) has made a resurgence. The country's diverse scenery and compact size, plus government incentives, have encouraged some Film producer, producers to film big budget movies in New Zealand, including ''Avatar (2009 film), Avatar'', ''The Lord of the Rings (film series), The Lord of the Rings'', ''The Hobbit (film series), The Hobbit'', ''The Chronicles of Narnia (film series), The Chronicles of Narnia'', ''King Kong (2005 film), King Kong'' and ''The Last Samurai''. The national cuisine has been described as Pacific Rim, incorporating the native Māori cuisine and diverse culinary traditions introduced by settlers and immigrants from Europe, Polynesia and Asia. New Zealand yields produce from land and sea – most crops and livestock, such as maize, potatoes and pigs, were gradually introduced by the early European settlers. Distinctive ingredients or dishes include Lamb and mutton, lamb; salmon; Paranephrops, koura (crayfish); whitebait; shellfish including dredge oysters, paua, mussels, scallops, Paphies australis, pipi and tuatua; Sweet potato, kumara (sweet potato); kiwifruit; tamarillo and Pavlova (food), pavlova (considered a national dish).


Samoa

The fa'a Samoa, or traditional Samoan way, remains a strong force in Samoan life and politics. Despite centuries of European influence, Samoa maintains its historical customs, social and political systems, and Samoan language, language. Cultural customs such as the Samoa 'ava ceremony are significant and solemn rituals at important occasions including the bestowal of ''fa'amatai, matai'' chiefly titles. Items of great cultural value include the finely woven '''ie toga''. The Samoan word for dance is ''siva Samoa, siva'', which consists of unique gentle movements of the body in time to music and which tell a story. Samoan male dances can be more snappy. The ''sasa (dance), sasa'' is also a traditional dance where rows of dancers perform rapid synchronization, synchronised movements in time to the rhythm of wooden drums ''(pate (musical instrument), pate)'' or rolled mats. Another dance performed by males is called the ''fa'ataupati'' or the slap dance, creating rhythmic sounds by slapping different parts of the body. As with other Polynesian cultures (Hawaiian culture, Hawaiian, Tahitians, Tahitian and Māori culture, Māori) with significant and unique tattoos, Samoans have two gender specific and culturally significant tattoos.


Arts

The artistic creations of native Oceanians varies greatly throughout the cultures and regions. The subject matter typically carries themes of fertility or the supernatural. Petroglyphs, Tattooing, painting, wood carving, stone carving and textile work are other common art forms. Art of Oceania properly encompasses the artistic traditions of the people indigenous to Australia and the Pacific Islands. These early peoples lacked a writing system, and made works on perishable materials, so few records of them exist from this time. Indigenous Australian
rock art In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural surfaces, typically vertical stone surfaces. A high proportion of surviving historic and prehistoric rock art is found in caves or partly enclosed rock shelters; this type also ma ...
is the oldest and richest unbroken tradition of art in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. These rock paintings served several functions. Some were used in magic, others to increase animal populations for hunting, while some were simply for amusement. Sculpture in Oceania first appears on New Guinea as a series of stone figures found throughout the island, but mostly in mountainous highlands. Establishing a chronological timeframe for these pieces in most cases is difficult, but one has been dated to 1500 BC. By 1500 BC the
Lapita The Lapita culture is the name given to a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by ...
culture, descendants of the second wave, would begin to expand and spread into the more remote islands. At around the same time, art began to appear in New Guinea, including the earliest examples of sculpture in Oceania. Starting around 1100 AD, the people of Easter Island would begin construction of nearly 900 moai (large stone statues). At about 1200 AD, the people of Pohnpei, a Micronesian island, would embark on another megalithic construction, building Nan Madol, a city of artificial islands and a system of canals. Hawaiian art includes wood carvings, feather work, petroglyphs, bark cloth (called kapa in Hawaiian and Tapa cloth, tapa elsewhere in the Pacific) and tattoos. Native Hawaiians had neither metal nor woven cloth.


Sport

Rugby union is one of the region's most prominent sports, and is the national sport of New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga. The most popular sport in Australia is cricket, the most popular sport among Australian women is netball, while Australian rules football is the most popular sport in terms of spectatorship and television ratings. Rugby is the most popular sport among New Zealanders. In Papua New Guinea, the most popular sport is Rugby league. Fiji national rugby sevens team, Fiji's sevens team is one of the most successful in the world, as is New Zealand national rugby sevens team, New Zealand's. Australian rules football is the national sport in Nauru and is the most popular football code in Australia in terms of attendance. It has a large following in Papua New Guinea, where it is the second most popular sport after Rugby League. It attracts significant attention across New Zealand and the
Pacific Islands This is a list of islands in the Pacific Ocean, collectively called the Pacific Islands. Three major groups of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as w ...
. Currently
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; Bislama: ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is ea ...

Vanuatu
is the only country in Oceania to call association football its national sport. However, it is also the most popular sport in
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
,
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands in Oceania, to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu. It has a land area of , and a population of 652,858. Its capital, Honi ...
and
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
, and has a significant (and growing) popularity in Soccer in Australia, Australia. In 2006 Socceroo, Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation and qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2010, 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2018 World Cups as an Asian entrant. Australia has hosted two Summer Olympics: 1956 Summer Olympics, Melbourne 1956 and 2000 Summer Olympics, Sydney 2000. Also, Australia has hosted five editions of the Commonwealth Games (1938 British Empire Games, Sydney 1938, 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Perth 1962, 1982 Commonwealth Games, Brisbane 1982, 2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne 2006, 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018). Meanwhile, New Zealand has hosted the Commonwealth Games three times: 1950 British Empire Games, Auckland 1950, 1974 British Commonwealth Games, Christchurch 1974 and 1990 Commonwealth Games, Auckland 1990. The Pacific Games (formerly known as the South Pacific Games) is a multi-sport event, much like the Olympics on a much smaller scale, with participation exclusively from countries around the Pacific. It is held every four years and began in 1963. Australia and New Zealand competed in the games for the first time in 2015.


Notes


See also

* Europeans in Oceania * Festival of Pacific Arts * Flags of Oceania * List of cities in Oceania * Oceanic cuisine * Oceania (journal) * Pacific Union * The Pacific Community * United Nations geoscheme for Oceania


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The use and scope of this term varies. The UN designation for this subregion is "Australia and New Zealand". New Zealand is often considered part of Polynesia rather than
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
.
Excludes parts of Indonesia, island territories in Southeast Asia (UN region) frequently reckoned in this region.
{{Cite web , url=http://www.kinerja.or.id/pdf/8bbcd469-bc2c-4d89-bf63-c2d81804ae27.pdf , title=UNDANG-UNDANG REPUBLIK INDONESIA NOMOR 21 TAHUN 2001 TENTANG OTONOMI KHUSUS BAGI PROVINSI PAPUA , date=12 July 2017 , url-status=dead , archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170712195402/http://www.kinerja.or.id/pdf/8bbcd469-bc2c-4d89-bf63-c2d81804ae27.pdf , archive-date=12 July 2017 , access-date=16 March 2019 {{Cite web , url=http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=29965 , title=Papuan province changes name from West Irian Jaya to West Papua , date=7 February 2007 , publisher=Radio New Zealand International , access-date=27 December 2008
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in Oceania ...

Papua New Guinea
is often considered part of
Australasia Australasia is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. ...

Australasia
and
Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from the island of New Guinea in the west to Tonga in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea. The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, V ...

Melanesia
. It is sometimes included in the
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( ceb, Kapupud-ang Malay, ms, Kepulauan Melayu, tgl, Kapuluang Malay, jv, Nusantara) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of ...

Malay Archipelago
of Southeast Asia.
On 7 October 2006, government officials moved their offices in the former capital of Koror to Ngerulmud in the state of Melekeok, located {{convert, 20, km, 0, abbr=on northeast of Koror on Babeldaob, Babelthuap Island.
Fagatogo is the seat of government of
American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a countr ...

American Samoa
.
Christianity in its Global Context, 1970–2020 Society, Religion, and Mission
Center for the Study of Global Christianity
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Further reading

* {{Cite book , title=The Oxford Companion to Australian History , publisher=Oxford University Press, location=Melbourne , year=1998 , isbn=0-19-553597-9 , author=Davison, Graeme , author2=Hirst, John , author-link2=John Hirst (historian) , author3=Macintyre, Stuart , author-link3=Stuart Macintyre , ref= CITEREFDavison, Hirst and Macintyre * Frank Harary & Per Hage (1991) ''Exchange in Oceania: A Graph Theoretic Analysis'', Oxford Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University Press. * Frank Harary & Per Hage (2007) ''Island Networks: Communication, Kinship, and Classification Structures in Oceania'', Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences, Cambridge University Press. * {{Cite book, first=James, last=Jupp, year=2001, title=The Australian people: an encyclopedia of the nation, its people, and their origins, publisher=Cambridge University Press, isbn=978-0-521-80789-0, ref=CITEREFJupp * {{Cite book , url=https://books.google.com/books?id=C2as0sWxFBAC , title=The Myth of Continents: a Critique of Metageography , last1=Lewis , first1=Martin W. , last2=Wigen , first2=Kären E. , publisher=University of California Press , year=1997 , isbn=978-0-520-20743-1 , location=Berkeley , ref={{sfnref, Lewis & Wigen, The Myth of Continents, 1997 , author-link2=Kären Wigen * {{Cite book, author1=Teo, Hsu-Ming , author2=White, Richard , year=2003, title=Cultural history in Australia, publisher=University of New South Wales Press, isbn=978-0-86840-589-6, ref=CITEREFTeo


External links

{{sisterlinks, voy=Oceania * {{curlie, Regional/Oceania, Oceania
"Australia and Oceania"
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National Geographic
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