Travel Destinations in Oceania

Travel Destinations in Oceania

Something has always confused me about the seven continent approach to categorizing the world’s land masses. What about New Zealand? I mean, if Australia is going to be a country and a continent, then what continent are New Zealand and all of those islands in the South Pacific on?

Enter Oceania.

Although it’s the smallest continental grouping in terms of land, travel destinations in Oceania span the eastern and western hemispheres and includes the larger, more developed nations of Australia and New Zealand, as well as the thousands of islands that make up Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

Although English is commonly spoken throughout Oceania, in part due to a history of colonization, French, Japanese, and Spanish are also common. As you travel outside English speaking nations, consider these tips on overcoming language barriers. Even when you can communicate in English, knowing these few, key phrases in the local language will enhance your experience when you travel abroad.

Travel Destinations in Oceania - Australia

Koalas are native to Australia
Koalas, kangaroos, and other native species draw travelers to Australia.

Because it’s the largest land mass “down under,” the continent of Oceania is also referred to as Australia. This island nation also includes the island of Tasmania and several smaller islands. Unfortunately, Australia recently battled devastating forest fires. This Everyday Postcard from the Gospers Mountain region provides a native’s insight into the experience.

Travel Destinations in Oceania - Kiribati

The flag of Kiribati features a sun
The flag of the small island nation of Kiribati features a sun rising over wavy royal blue and white stripes.

With a partial sun peering over a ripple of navy and white wave-inspired stripes, Kiribati’s flag features sun (instead of stars).

Travel Destinations in Oceania - New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular destination Down Under.
The view from the Skyline Gondola on Bob's Peak in Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo by Katie Dundas.

New Zealand is an increasingly popular travel destination in Oceania. The picturesque Church of the Good Shepherd on Lake Tekapo is one of the most photographed sights in all of New Zealand. And Mitre Peak, on New Zealand’s South Island, is one of the most photographed mountains in the southern hemisphere.

Travelers also enjoy Queenstown with mountains, coastline, and a working sheep station. Just a short drive from Queenstown is the quaint postcard-perfect destination of Arrowtown