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    Pacific Ocean and Pacific Island

    The Pacific Ocean is the largest geographical feature on earth, more so than all the land areas of the world combined. Yet its depths and its islands remains a mystery to most of us on this planet.

    If you have ever dreamt of being on a deserted island, or desired to have the turquoise horizon to yourself with soft sand beneath your toes, then the Pacific Islands are for you.

    Australian Capital Territory Australia  , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.You can visit Captain Cook’s landing place at Botany Bay, where the first European boats landed.

    Tasmania Australian Capital Territory Victoria New South Wales South Australia Queensland Western Australia Western Australia Australian Capital Territory Samoa American Asia Fr. Polynesia Cook Island Kiribati Tuvalu Vanuatu Fiji TONGA Samoa West TOKELAU Wallis and Futuna Island Nauru Marshall Islands New Caledonia Solomon Islands Papua New Guinea Palau Guam Malaysia Malaysia Brunei Indonesia East Timor Philippines Taiwan Hawaii China New_Zealand World

    New Zealand Pacific Island New Zealand (NZ)is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island) and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some 1,500 kilometres (900 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. 
    Northern Territory Australia Papua New Guinea  the western half of the island comprises two Indonesian provinces: Papua and West Papua. The eastern half forms the mainland of the country of Papua New Guinea. New Guinea has a population of about 7.5 million. The southern counterpart, Australia, by its much higher rainfall and its active volcanic geology, with its highest point, Puncak Jaya, reaching an elevation of 4,884 m (16,023 ft)
    Tasmania Australia Pacific Island Tasmania
    The ‘Island State’ of Tasmania is located south of Victoria and separated from the mainland by the Bass Strait. Tasmania is easily accessible from the mainland with daily flights and ferry services. Capital city: Hobart
    South Australia Kiribati
    Kiribati, formerly the Gilbert Islands, is made up of thirty three atolls and coral islands, and one volcanic island. The official language of Kiribati is English, although many of the islanders speak the native I-Kiribati, formerly known as Gilbertese
    Cook Islands Pacific Ocean Cook Islands The Southern Group of the Cook Islands are mostly mountainous and volcanic in origin.
    These are: Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro, Manuae, and Takutea.
    Vanuatu women South West Pacific Ocean Vanuatu
    Vanuatu consists of 83 islands in the South West Pacific; the four main islands being: Espíritu Santo, Malekula, Éfaté, and Tanna.  If you have ever dreamt of being on a deserted island, or desired to have the turquoise horizon to yourself with soft sand beneath your toes, then the Pacific Islands Vanuatu are for you.
    Nauru Nauru Nauru is the smallest republic in the world; a raised atoll in the Pacific, roughly halfway between Sydney and Honolulu.  Nauru is only 21 square kilometres and is surrounded by coral reefs. With it's position just south of the Equator, Nauru's climate is hot and sticky, cooled slightly by occasional sea breezes.  You wouldn't think that many people live on such a small island; almost half of the ten-thousand population are outsiders and their nearest neighbour is Banaba Island, in the Republic of Kiribati, 300 km due east.
    Fiji Fiji Fiji is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, France's New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas, France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north.
    Hawaii Hawaiian Cultur Polynesian Hawaii The aboriginal culture of Hawaii is Polynesian. Hawaii represents the northernmost extension of the vast Polynesian triangle of the south and central Pacific Ocean.  Whale watching season begins in late December and ends in early May. Peak whale watching months are between January and early April. November through Feburary is big wave surf season on Hawaii’s north shores.
    Wallis and Futuna Island is a Polynesian French island Wallis and Futuna Island is a Polynesian French island territory in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Rotuma of Fiji to the west, the main part of Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast, Samoa to the east, the New Zealand-associated state of Tokelau to the northeast and to a more distant north the Phoenix Islands (Kiribati).
    Solomon Islands Pacific Oceania Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Pacific Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of 28,400 square kilometres (10,965 square miles). The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal. The nation of the Solomon Islands is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
    The Solomon Islands are believed to have been inhabited by Melanesian people for many thousands of years.
    Tokelau South Pacific Ocean Tokelau is a territory of New Zealand that consists of three tropical coral atolls with a combined land area of 10 km2 and a population of approximately 1,400 in the South Pacific Ocean. The atolls lie north of the Samoan Islands, east of Tuvalu, south of the Phoenix Islands, southwest of the more distant Line Islands (both islands groups belonging to Kiribati) and northwest of the Cook Islands.
    Western Australia Palau officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu er a Belau), is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo. Having emerged from United Nations trusteeship in 1994, it is one of the world's youngest and smallest sovereign states. In English, the name is sometimes spelled Belau in accordance with the native pronunciation. It was formerly also spelled Pelew.
    French Polynesia Pacific Ocean French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity or constituent country of the French Republic (pays d'outre-mer). It is made up of several groups of Polynesian islands, the most famous island being Tahiti in the Society Islands group, which is also the most populous island and the seat of the capital of the territory (Papeete).

     

    Polynesia

    The Polynesian triangle stretches across the Pacific from New Zealand to Easter Island and north to Hawaii.

    The Polynesian countries and territories included on our South Pacific map are French Polynesia, Pitcairn, Easter Island, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, and Tuvalu.

    South Pacific travel focuses on vacation islands like Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Rapa Nui, Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Tongatapu, Vavau, Tutuila, Upolu, and Savaii.

    The name Polynesia comes from the Greek words poly (many) and nesos (islands). The term was originally coined by Charles de Brosses in 1756 and applied to all the Pacific Ocean islands. The present restricted use was proposed by Dumont d'Urville in 1831.

    The tall, golden-skinned peoples of this vast region speak closely related languages developed from a single mother tongue. Robert Louis Stevenson called them "God's best, at least God's sweetest work."

    Melanesia

    Melanesia curves down from New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji.

    While in Polynesia small coral islands and atolls are mixed with soaring volcanoes, in Melanesia the main islands are much larger, many of them remnants of a sunken continent.

    Dumont d'Urville coined the name from melas (black) and nesos (islands) on account of the predominant skin color of the regions diverse peoples.

    Melanesia is a region of striking contrasts, from thoroughly French Noumea, capital of the overseas French territory of New Caledonia, to Vanuatu's capital Port Vila where France, Britain, and Melanesia mix, and Honiara on Guadalcanal, a famous World War Two battleground.

    Fiji is almost considered part of Melanesia, though the Polynesian element there is strong. South Pacific cruise ships frequently call at vibrant cities and dazzling beaches on these colorful islands.

    Micronesia

    Micronesia lies between Hawaii and the Philippines in the North Pacific. Dumont d'Urville named it for its mikros (small) nesos (islands), literally thousands of which make up the Marshall, Caroline, Mariana, and Gilbert groups.

    Micronesia is broken down into seven distinct entities, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Territory of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of Kiribati, and Nauru.

    The most popular air travel route through the region features stops on Majuro, Kwajalein, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Guam, Saipan, Yap, and Koror.

    These islands have been heavily impacted by outsiders, first German and Japanese colonialists prior to the world wars, then as trusts or associates of the United States. Kiribati is a former British colony.

    It's an intriguing region to visit, though difficult to combine with South Pacific travel.

    Palau Flag The Republic of Palau became an independent nation on October 1, 1994 in part with the implementation of the Compact of Free Association between Palau and the United States of America.

    Palau stretches from  about 500 miles equidistant from the Philippines to the west and from Papua New Guinea to the south, and consists of more than 340 islands, of which only 9 are inhabited.

    These are, from Northeast to Southwest: Kayangel, Babeldaob, Koror, Peliliu, Angaur, Sonsorol, Pulo Anna, Hatohobei, and Helen Reef.

    Most of the islands are of volcanic origin, and others are of raised limestone.

    Babeldaob is the largest island, making up 80 percent of the total land area. Babeldaob Island consists of ten states, namely, Airai, Aimeliik, Ngeremlengui, Ngerchelong, Ngchesar, Melekeok, Ngiwal, Ngaraard, Ngardmau and Ngatpang States. Including the states in Babeldaob, there are altogether 16 States in Palau.

    Palau covers 189 square miles of land area including rock islands.

    The surrounding sea area is very large, including an exclusive economic zone extending over 237,850 square miles. The capital of Palau is located in Koror with a land area of 7.1 square miles where two thirds of the population resides. Koror lies just south of Micronesia’s second largest island, Bebeldaob, which contains 153 square miles of undulating forests, grasslands, rivers, waterfalls, wetlands, mangroves and some of the most beautiful stretches of beaches.

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