Oceania: The Ultimate Travel Guide

With such dramatic landscapes, diverse scenery, and ultimate beach getaways, Oceania is a continental region that encompasses thousands of islands. These make up fourteen different countries, including Australia, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

This vast geographic region is in the southern hemisphere and it is home to some amazing sights of natural wonder, including the Australian Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and paradise islands. In comparison with other continents, it is the smallest in land area, with the vast Pacific Ocean taking up so much space. The largest country in the region is Australia, and the smallest is Nauru at just 21 square kilometres.

This guide will summarize the wonders that Oceania offers, including the top tourist attractions, the hidden gems, and the most instagrammable places in the region.

Table of Contents

Country Travel Guides

Top Tourist Attractions in Oceania

Easter Island is one of the top tourist attractions of Oceania
Easter Island is one of the top attractions on the Pacific Ocean in Oceania.

Some top tourist attractions and holiday destinations in Oceania include:

#1 Sydney Opera House

One of the most iconic sights in the southern hemisphere, the Sydney Opera House is an operating centre of performing arts. Built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, this attraction is visited by almost 11 million people each year.

#2 Great Barrier Reef

A true natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. It consists of 2, 900 individual reefs and 900 islands; making it so large it can even be seen from space. Around 2 million people visit this unique area of biodiversity each year, with the tropical waters being a popular choice amongst divers.

#3 Whitsunday Island

With world-class diving, phenomenal landscapes and pristine beaches, the 74 idyllic islands that make up Whitsunday are a popular tourist attraction. Whitehaven beach is particularly popular with excellent sailing and the chance to spot whales from July to September.

#4 Easter Island

Also known as the Isla de Pascua and known to its inhabitants as Rapa Niu, Easter Island was once home to an ancient civilisation. This utterly remote volcanic island is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and it is homes to 887 moai. Although these statues may look just like the heads, these are actually full human statues; some of which are almost a millennia-old.

#5 Wellington, New Zealand

This compact and cosmopolitan city is a popular choice among tourists. People have been riding the Wellington Cable Cars and enjoying phenomenal views of the city since 1912, and this is an experience not to be missed. You may also want to check out the Museum of New Zealand, with thousands of artefacts and 11 galleries of artwork.

#6 Franz Josef Glacier

Accessible by small aircraft, the Franz Josef glacier and Fox glacier are natural frozen wonders. Located in the heart of Glacier County, ice tours and helicopter rides are popular here. Head to sentinel rocks for a phenomenal view of the glacier, hot springs, and waterfalls.

#7 Fraser Island

The world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island is local ally names K’gari which means paradise. With dense rainforest, freshwater lakes, tranquil beaches, and an abundance of wildlife, this east coast location offers a phenomenal stop on your Australian adventure.

#8 Uluru

The spiritual heart of Australia, Uluru or Ayers Rock, is a 328-metre high monolith in the centre of the country. It is the world’s largest rock monolith, and it is believed to be sacred amongst the Indigenous population. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is also home to rock art that dates back up to 30, 000 years.

#9 Bora Bora

A popular vacation destination for the rich and famous, Bora Bora is an idyllic island in the South Pacific. Due to its clear turquoises waters, balmy beaches, and colourful coral reef, Bora Bora is known as the jewel of French Polynesia. A 727-metre dormant volcano, Mount Otemanu, stands at the centre.

#10 Milford Sound

Rudyard Kipling once said that Milford Sound, or Piopiotahi, was the 8th wonder of the world. Offering an ethereal experience amongst spectacular natural beauty, the landscape here is dominated by cliffs, rainforest and thundering falls.

5 Underrated Places in Oceania

A boat in the Kingdom of Tonga on reflective waters is an underrated spot in Oceania
The Kingdom of Tonga’s capital, Tonga.

There are so many remote desert islands and paradise getaways in the Oceania region, but some of our favourite hidden gems include:

#1 Adelaide, Australia

Adelaide is most famous for its cultural attractions like the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum, both of which display Aboriginal Australian work.

#2 Nukuʻalofa, Kingdom of Tonga

Right at Australia’s southernmost island group, is Tonga’s capital city, Nukuʻalofa. Visit the markets, eat local food and travel around and about. The Ha’amonga ‘a Maui (Maui’s Burden) in particular is worth a look – it’s an ancient wonder, similar to Stone Henge in England.

#3 Leleuvia Island, Fiji

Turquiose waters and tropical island vibes. This island resort is not a bad place to come to tan, relax and enjoy a cocktail or two.

#4 Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand

Tiritiri Matangi Island is home to a very significant conservation project along with its wildlife sanctuary. As such, activities for nature-lovers like bird-watching, hiking and wandering through the amazing native forest. Remember to think sustainably and pick up all your rubbish when leaving.

#5 Taha’a, French Polynesia

Another island surrounded by rich emerald waters, this tropical paradise is unsurprisingly popular among honeymooners. Come prepared to relax.

Most Instagrammable Spots in Oceania

The beautiful Pink Lakes of Victoria, Australia is an Instagrammable spot in Oceania
Pink lakes in Victoria, Australia – a truly Instagrammable place!

With so many tropical islands, an Instagram-worthy picture is around every corner across the Oceania region. However, some of our favourite instagrammable spots include:

Fun Facts about Oceania

Did you know?

  • The highest mountain in Oceania is Puncak Jaya on the island of New Guinea
  • Rugby is the most popular sport in the region.
  • Oceania is the smallest continent by land area. Although the region includes over 10,000 islands, it is mainly made up of the Pacific Ocean.
  • So many languages are spoken across the continent. However, a third of the world’s languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea alone.
  • Australia is wider in diameter than the moon.
  • Kiribati is the only country in the world that exists in all four hemispheres.