OceaniaFor other uses, see Oceania (disambiguation). "South West Pacific" redirects here. For the World War II theatre, see South West Pacific theatre of World War II.
Oceania6th) Countries 14Australia
Papua New Guinea
VanuatuDependencies 15American Samoa
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
Wallis and FutunaLanguages 25 Official Official languages:
Cook Islands Maori
also many unofficial ones Time Zones UTC+10(Micronesia) to UTC-9(French Polynesia) (West to East)
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Oceania (sometimes Oceanica) is a geographical, often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term is often used in many languages to define one of the continents and is one of eight terrestrial ecozones.
The exact scope of Oceania is variably defined: it generally includes New Zealand, is often taken to include parts of Australasia such as Australia and New Guinea, and sometimes all or part of the Malay Archipelago.
- 1 Extent
- 2 Regions
- 3 Ecogeography
- 4 History
- 5 Sport
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 External links
Originally coined by the French explorer Dumont d'Urville in 1831, Oceania has been traditionally divided into Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. As with any region, however, interpretations vary; increasingly, geographers and scientists divide Oceania into Near Oceania and Remote Oceania.
Most of Oceania consists of island nations composed of thousands of coral atolls and volcanic islands, with small human populations.
Australia is the only continental country but Indonesia has
land borders with Papua New Guinea, East
Timor, and Malaysia. If the Australia-New Guinea continent is
included then the highest point is Puncak
Jaya in Papua at 4,884 m (16,024 ft) and the lowest point is Lake
Eyre, Australia at 16 m (52 ft) below sea level.
RegionsRegions of Oceania.
The regions and constituents of Oceania may vary according to source. In the table below, the subregions and countries of Oceania are broadly categorised according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations, and data included are per sources in cross-referenced articles. Where they differ, provisos are clearly indicated. Apropos, according to different definitions, the following territories and regions may be subject to various other categorisations.
Name of region, followed by countries
and their flagsArea
(1 July2002estimate) Population density
(per km²) CapitalAustralasia Australia7,686,850 21,050,000 2.5 Canberra Christmas Island(Australia)135 1,493 3.5 Flying Fish Cove Cocos (Keeling) Islands(Australia)14 632 45.1 West Island New Zealand268,680 4,108,037 14.5 Wellington Norfolk Island(Australia) 35 1,866 53.3 KingstonMelanesia Fiji18,270 856,346 46.9 Suva Indonesia(Oceanian part only)499,852 4,211,532 8.4 Jakarta New Caledonia(France) 19,060 207,858 10.9 Nouméa Papua New Guinea462,840 5,172,033 11.2 Port Moresby Solomon Islands28,450 494,786 17.4 Honiara Vanuatu12,200 196,178 16.1 Port VilaMicronesia Federated States of Micronesia702 135,869 193.5 Palikir Guam(USA) 549 160,796 292.9 Hagåtña Kiribati811 96,335 118.8 South Tarawa Marshall Islands181 73,630 406.8 Majuro Nauru21 12,329 587.1 Yaren Northern Mariana Islands(USA) 477 77,311 162.1 Saipan Palau458 19,409 42.4 MelekeokPolynesia American Samoa(USA) 199 68,688 345.2 Pago Pago, Fagatogo Cook Islands(NZ) 240 20,811 86.7 Avarua French Polynesia(France) 4,167 257,847 61.9 Papeete Niue(NZ) 260 2,134 8.2 Alofi Pitcairn Islands(UK) 5 47 10 Adamstown Samoa2,944 178,631 60.7 Apia Tokelau(NZ) 10 1,431 143.1 — Tonga748 106,137 141.9 Nukuʻalofa Tuvalu26 11,146 428.7 Funafuti Wallis and Futuna(France) 274 15,585 56.9 Mata-UtuTotal 9,008,458 35,834,670 4.0 Total minus mainland Australia 1,321,608 14,784,670 11.2
See Also: List of Oceanian countries by populationPolitical map of Oceania
Interpretative details and controversies
- New Zealand is the western corner of the Polynesian triangle. Its indigenous Māori constitute one of the major cultures of Polynesia. It is also, however, considered part of Australasia.
- Hawaii is the northern corner of the Polynesian triangle and is generally included in Oceania, though politically it is part of the United States. The Hawaiian language is a Polynesian member of the Oceanic language family, and Hawaiian culture is one of the major cultures of Polynesia.
- The U.S. territories in the North Pacific are generally considered part of Oceania.
- Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is the eastern corner of the Polynesian triangle. A Polynesian island in the eastern Pacific Ocean and part of the territory of Chile, it is generally included in Oceania, in which case the most easterly place in Polynesia and Oceania is its dependency Sala y Gómez 415 km to the East.
- The line in Indonesia dividing Oceania from Asia varies in location and is sometimes considered to be the Wallace Line. See the transcontinental country article.
- East Timor is often reckoned as a part of Oceania due to its location to the east of the Wallace Line and its cultural ties to Pacific peoples. See transcontinental country;  Biogeographically, East Timor lies within Wallacea, an ecological transition zone between Asia and Australasia. This transition is less known and less favoured these days as a continental boundary.
- Australia is sometimes not included in Oceania. Terms such as Pacific Islands or South Sea Islands might be used to describe Oceania without Australia (and New Zealand). The term "Australasia" invariably includes Australia, and usually includes New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and some other parts of Oceania, but this term is sometimes controversial outside of Australia, as it may be seen as indicating a link with Asia — a separate continent — or as too greatly emphasising Australia. "Austral" means "of, relating to, or coming from the south", and is the common root of both Australia and Australasia.
- Although Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands belong to the Commonwealth of Australia, they are west of Sumatra and are commonly associated with Asia, and not with Oceania.
- In its widest sense, the term may embrace the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, thereby including other Pacific island groups such as the Ryukyu, Kuril and Aleutian islands, and the Japanese Archipelago.
Oceania is one of eight terrestrial ecozones, which constitute the major ecological regions of the planet. The Oceania ecozone includes all of Micronesia, Fiji, and all of Polynesia except New Zealand. New Zealand, along with New Guinea and nearby islands, Australia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia, constitute the separate Australasia ecozone.
- Further information: History of Oceania
Further information might be found on the talk pageor at requests for expansion. (March 2008)
The Pacific Games (formerly known as the South Pacific Games) is a multi-sport event, much like the Olympics, (albeit on a much smaller scale), with participation exclusively from countries around the Pacific. It is held every four years and began in 1963.
Rugby League and Rugby Union are two of the region's most popular sports. Rugby union is the national sport of New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga and is the sixth most popular sport in Australia. Rugby League is the national sport in Papua New Guinea (the second most populous country in Oceania after Australia), is fifth most popular in Australia, and has a significant following in New Zealand.
Australia has won the Rugby Union World Cup twice, New Zealand have won the inaugural World Cup in 1987. Australia and New Zealand jointly hosted the World Cup in 1987; Australia hosted it in 2003 and New Zealand is to host it in 2011.
Australian rules football
Cricket is the most popular and national sport of Australia, and also has a significant following in New Zealand.
The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is one of six football (soccer) confederations under the auspices of FIFA, the international governing body of the sport. The OFC is the only confederation without an automatic qualification to the World Cup Finals. Currently the winner of the OFC qualification tournament must play-off against an Asian confederation side to qualify for the World Cup.
Oceania has only been represented at three World Cup Finals — Australia in 1974 plus 2006 and New Zealand in 1982. However, Australia is now no longer a member of the Oceania Football Confederation, having joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.
- Art of Oceania
- Economy of Oceania
- Europeans in Oceania
- Flags of Oceania
- Geography of Oceania
- History of Oceania
- Military history of Oceania
- United Nations geoscheme for Oceania
- Australia (continent)
- New Zealand
- Pacific Islands
- Pacific Islands Forum
- Pacific Games
- Oceania (journal)
- ^ "Oceanica" in WordWeb Online dictionary and thesaurus. http://www.wordwebonline.com/en/OCEANICA
- ^ The Atlas of Canada - The World - Continents
- ^ List of IOC members (122) by continent. International Olympic Committee: 112th session, Moscow 2001
- ^ Encarta Mexico "Oceanía"
- ^ "Oceania". 2005. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press.
- ^ Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary (based on Collegiate vol., 11th ed.) 2006. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
- ^ See, e.g., The Atlas of Canada - The World - Continents
- ^ United Nations Statistics Division - Countries of Oceania
- ^ Ben Finney, The Other One-Third of the Globe, Journal of World History, Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall, 1994
- ^ United Nations Statistics Division - Countries of Oceania
Regions and constituents as per UN
categorisations/map except notes 2-3,
6. Depending on definitions, various territories cited below (notes 3, 5-7, 9)
may be in one or both of Oceania
and Asia or
- ^ The use and scope of this term varies. The UN designation for this subregion is "Australia and New Zealand."
- ^ a
b Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are Australian external territories
in the Indian Ocean southwest of Indonesia.
New Zealand is often considered part of Polynesia
rather than Australasia.
- ^ Excludes parts of Indonesia, island territories in Southeastern Asia (UN region) frequently reckoned
in this region.
Indonesia is generally considered a territory of Southeastern Asia (UN region); wholly or partially, it is
also frequently included in Australasia or Melanesia.
Figures include Indonesian portion of New
Guinea (Irian Jaya) and Maluku Islands.
Papua New Guinea is often considered part of Australasia as well as Melanesia.
- ^ On
October 2006, government officials moved their offices in the former capital
of Koror to
Melekeok, located 20 km northeast of Koror on Babelthuap
- ^ Excludes the US
state of Hawaii, which is distant from the North American landmass in the Pacific Ocean, and Easter Island, a territory of Chile in South America.
Fagatogo is the seat of government of American Samoa.
Tokelau, a domain of New Zealand, has no capital: each atoll has its own
- ^ a b c d e http://www.sweeneyresearch.com.au/newsPDF/news_pdf_16.pdf[dead link]
External linksOceania Portal
Link former page on this page
Related word on this page