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Luengoni, Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Luengoni, Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia. Author Marco Ramerini

Oceania: islands scattered in the Pacific ocean

Oceania is the continent that extends into the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on Earth. This continent includes Australia (7,620,000 sq km, a real continent), New Guinea (785,000 sq km, after Greenland the second largest island in the world), Tasmania (67,800 sq km), the two islands of New Zealand ( the North Island, 115,700 sq km and the South Island, 151,200 sq km) and the archipelagoes of Polynesia (Tonga, Samoa, Cook, Tuamotu, Marquesas, Society Islands, Hawaii, etc.), of Melanesia (Bismarck, Solomon , Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, etc.) and Micronesia (Marianne, Caroline, Marshall, Kiribati, Tuvalu, etc.).

The emerged lands of Oceania extend for 8,942,000 sq km. But the islands that compose it are scattered over vast spaces whose territorial surface is instead extremely small. In fact, 86% of the emerged area of Oceania consists of Australia alone. Oceania, with a population of just over 35,000,000 inhabitants and a density of 3 inhabitants per square kilometer, is the most sparsely populated part of Earth except Antarctica. Puncak Jaya or Mount Carstensz (4,884 meters) in the Indonesian part of New Guinea is the highest mountain in Oceania, while the lowest point in Oceania is Lake Eyre (15 meters below sea level) in Australia.

THE CLIMATE OF OCEANIA

Australia’s climate varies greatly from region to region. The northern regions have tropical climate. While in the regions of the Australian interior there is a continental climate with strong annual temperature variations and low rainfall. New Zealand and the coasts of southeastern Australia have a temperate climate.

Most of the Pacific islands, with the exception of New Zealand and Easter Island, are located in the area between the tropics and the equator. This means the presence of a uniform climate, with scarce seasonal differences in temperature, mitigated by the trade winds, with temperatures that average around 26 ° C-28 ° C throughout the year and abundant rainfall.

In the central and western areas of the Pacific, the monsoon climate prevails. This type of climate has distinct wet and dry seasons. Tropical cyclones also arrive in these regions during the rainy season. Cyclones usually occur between November and March in areas south of the equator and between July and November in areas north of the equator.

THE TOURISM IN OCEANIA

As for tourism, in accordance with the statistics of the World Tourism Organization (WTO). Oceania with 10.5 million tourist arrivals in 2006 represented 1.2% of world tourism. The most visited countries in Oceania are Australia, New Zealand and Guam.

Oceania has countless attractions for tourists. These include the remarkable natural beauty of Australia and New Zealand. But also the scenic beauty and cultural attractions of the population of the islands and atolls of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.

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