As one of the best continents to visit, Australia has become a very popular travel destination for its beaches (swimming, surfing, or snorkeling), natural wonders, and the ‘Outback’. There are activities to do for all ages and the larger cities of littered with museums, markets, and parks.
Best known for the Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef, Great Ocean Road, and Sydney Opera House, Australia is home to famous icons, both natural and man-made. The booming urban landscapes and breathtaking views draw in tourists every year. Comprised not just of the mainland, Australia actually encompasses the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands …
Oceania Countries to Visit
Australia is a vast continent, part of the greater Oceania region, with a range of countries, capitals, languages, landscapes, and cultures. Here’s a list and map of the Australian/Oceania countries and capitals.
Map of Oceania Countries
Oceania Countries and Capitals
|Papa New Guinea||Port Moresby|
Guide to Visiting Oceania Countries
Not one to break the “Rule of Three”, the Australian continent knows that good things come as a trio. Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea are the three nations on this continent that are habitable. The rest of the Australian continent rests under water.
Yet, three is all you need. Travelers to this continent will be met with a dazzling array of landscapes. With mountains, forests, deserts and jungles, these countries are sure to be a feast for your eyes.
Adventurous souls will find themselves right at home on this continent. The myriad of adventures that await like bungee jumping skydiving, great walks and diving are some of the best in the world. Australia awaits, all you have to do is hop on a plane.
A Change in the Name
As a continent, Australia’s geography frequently is a cause for confusion. While Australia is a continent, country and island, it’s also a part of the greater Oceania region. With 14 countries on the list, including our magic three, the Oceania region puts small Pacific islands on the map. Fiji, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands are just a few of Oceania’s 14 nations.
Traditionally, that Oceania region is forgotten when listing Earth’s seven continents. However, recent updates to Earth’s geography frequently list Australia and Oceania together. As you can guess by the name, most of the Oceania region is underwater. However, when you do hit land, you’ll witness the breathtaking beauty of the South Pacific.
The Land Down Under
Australia, the country, is most often known for having unforgettable scenery, dangerous animals, cuddly marsupials, and Sydney. While all of those associations ring true, many travelers are unaware of the nation’s ancient history.
The term “Aboriginal” is unique to Australia. Most travelers don’t realize that indigenous Australians are Earth’s oldest civilization. Confirmed by a DNA study published in 2016, Aboriginal origins were traced back to over 50,000 years ago.
Early humans who arrived on the island lived in isolation until Australia was discovered by outsiders 4,000 years ago. The indigenous culture is based on community and the people are deeply connected to the land. Uluru, the Northern Territory’s famous red rock monolith is the most visited Aboriginal site.
For thousands of years, humans have roamed the island and developed the country’s culture. A love of the land courses throughout the nation and Australians are proud of their island. Today, Australia is sectioned into six states and two territories. While most travelers are attracted to the eastern parts of the island, each state and territory has its own star attraction.
The Australian Capital Territory is one of the country’s two territories. Canberra, the nation’s capital, sits in this territory and it houses the governmental institutions. Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Australian War Memorial are all tourist attractions. The ACT is located just 180 miles south of Sydney.
Australia’s second territory is the Northern Territory. Darwin and Alice Springs are the most visited towns. Interestingly, Alice Springs sits almost at the very center of Australia. Located on the northern coast, Darwin is known for being beautiful and fun. Cruises, markets, and restaurants entertain the guests from day to night.
Away from the coast, Alice Springs is the gateway to the Outback. Culture and art are at the town’s forefront with Aboriginal culture as the main star. From Alice Springs, tourists can visit Uluru in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The most populous and popular state in Australia is New South Wales. Originally, a penal colony, this state is home to Australia’s most iconic city, Sydney.
A few of the city’s highlights include the Sydney Harbor, back dropped by an impressive skyline, including the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. Yet, no matter where you are in Sydney, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing meal, fun times, and a memorable experience.
For nature lovers and adventure seekers, Queensland is the state for you. Brisbane is the state’s capital and its nearly endless sunshine will give you a warm welcome. Highlights in Queensland include the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, and Australia Zoo. With year-round perfect weather, Queensland is great for indulging in a wide array of outdoor activities.
Australia’s four other states are spread out to the southern and western parts of the island. Adelaide in South Australia is known for its wineries and arts. The city is also the best place to depart for Kangaroo Island. Melbourne sits in Victoria and its café scene with graffiti streets have become a go-to spot for urban dwellers.
Perth is the capital of Western Australia and renowned for its quieter beaches, open parks, and abundant seafood. Finally, the last state is Tasmania, which is located just off of the mainland. Crisscrossed with epic wilderness areas, Tasmania is acclaimed for its national parks and wildlife viewing.
Immortalized for being Earth’s embodiment of the fictional Middle Earth, New Zealand has become synonymous with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. While Hollywood is known for camera tricks and CGI, no touchups are required to enhance these landscapes. New Zealand is a true masterpiece and the country’s two islands are mesmerizing.
Divided into two islands, the North and the South, New Zealand is famous for its mountains, fjords, and beaches. The Bay of Islands is north of Auckland. They makeup the North Island’s beloved beach region. There are hundreds of small islands, which can be visited by boat.
In Auckland, two major harbors draw in the crowds with seaside hotels, dining, and entertainment. Auckland’s city center boasts the Sky Tower and excellent shopping districts.
Also on the North Island is the country’s capital, Wellington. Sitting at the very bottom of the North Island, Wellington is a fun city that includes the iconic Cuba Street, Lambton Quay, and Waterfront. Atop the city and nestled in the hills is the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Serene ponds and quiet walking paths will help you find peace in the city.
A short ferry ride from Wellington will take you across the Cook Strait and onto the South Island. Arguably the most famous of the two islands, tourists flock to the South Island see the sights and visit the mountain towns.
Te Anau is a small town and the place to go if you want to visit the fjords. Perhaps the South Island’s most outstanding natural feature, Milford Sound is a must-see New Zealand location.
For an adrenaline rush and heart pounding action, Queenstown has often been called the “Adventure Capital of the World”. Bungee jumping and skydiving are the two most popular attractions, but that’s not all.
Jet boating, skiing, canyon swinging, and off-road trails are also offered on the menu. As a smaller mountain town, Queenstown is often jam packed with tourists looking to indulge in shopping and fine dining.
Additional attractions on the South Island include Abel Tasman National Park, Mount Cook, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch, and Dunedin. With so much to see, travelers will frequently book a multi-week tour of this gorgeous country.
Less frequently visited, Papua New Guinea is still considered to be well off of the beaten path and a remote location. Dense forests, towering volcanoes, and endless oceans can all become obstacles in your path. Though these are exactly what makes Papua New Guinea unique.
The Kokoda Track is a major attraction, which will take you deep into the heart of the nation. Coastal views, wildlife sightings, and cultural encounters are all a part of life here.
Relatively untouched beaches make this island a treasure trove for surfers, divers, and fisherman. Secluded beaches have perfect waves and off of the northern shores, you can test out your luck and try to catch tuna, sailfish, or the ultimate prize — Papuan black bass.
In these remote areas, you can learn a new way of life and support the locals by visiting a village. While only brave travelers dare venture here, those who do will reap the rewards.
Oceania boasts a variety of incredible places and it can be difficult to map out a travel plan. Some of the region’s most visited islands are Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Samoa.
Each a beautiful destination, the islands have crystal clear turquoise water and lush green forests. South Pacific culture is also significant here and the locals are eager to teach and share their traditions.
Fiji is a great place to dive under the waves and explore the aquatic wildlife. The Coral Coast is a popular diving spot, which is home to thriving coral reefs. In Samoa, the Sale’aula Lava Fields are an important part of the country’s history.
Once the location of a thriving village, the lava fields and structural ruins are now open for tours. Finally, pure bliss can be found in the Solomon Islands. World class resorts, diving spots, and beaches are the main attractions as guests make the most of their island time.
The Forgotten Island
Crowned as the “World’s Least Visited Country, Tuvalu is a rare gem. Less than 2,000 visitors per year ensure that the island keeps its title, but that could change. Out on its own, Tuvalu is the ultimate getaway destination.
No crowded beaches and packed streets will get in your way, so you are free to sit back and relax. Beaches and diving are a must here, much like other Oceania islands. Yet, somehow with only locals around, Tuvalu will feel like your own slice of paradise.
Marvelous Australia and Breathtaking Oceania
The words “tropical” and “paradise” fuel the Oceania region. These are some of the world’s best locations to lounge on the beach or dive under the waves. With Australia nearby, the picture-perfect landscapes never end.
Although, beyond what meets the eye, Australia and Oceania are truly a wonder if you look underneath the surface. As you hop from island to island, Australia and Oceania won’t disappoint.