The geopolitical region of Oceania features 14 countries, of which Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand are by far the largest. Respectively colonized in 1788 and 1840 by the British, Australia and New Zealand their cultures strongly resemble the cultures of Western Europe. Additionally, many popular British foods and brands are equally popular in Australia and New Zealand, and the nations’ cities boast a distinctive European vibe. The true beauty of both the former British colonies as well as Papua New Guinea, however, lies in their distinct and mesmerizing wildlife: from kangaroos and koalas to tree kangaroos and kiwis, the fauna of these nations alone makes them worth a visit.

Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea are joined by 11 island nations, the smallest of which is Nauru, a 21 km² micronation with no official capital. Spread across Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, each of the island nations has developed its own traditions and culture. Though seafaring explores have visited, colonized, and influenced most of the nations’ cultures throughout history, the remote nature of the islands allowed them to preserve those aspects of their cultures that make them so unique.

Looking forward to your trip to Oceania? Read everything about traveling in Oceania in our first-hand experience Travel Guides.

If you’re still thinking about where you want to go, you can also check out our pages for Europe, Africa, West and Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

Recent articles about Oceania