• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    Tonga
    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Vanuatu
    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Palau
    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Samoa
    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Australasia

Welcome to Australasia

Australasia brings to mind a number of different images, and perhaps even some confusion. Is the continent Australia or Australasia and where does it begin and end? While those questions may forever be up for debate, the people and diversity of this part of the world is not. The continent boasts the countries of Australia and New Zealand, which have cultures at least partially rooted in Europe, but for most of these countries, the culture remains with their histories and the seas.

Despite the differences in culture from country to country, all the people of Australasia share similarities with Europe. The Europeans settled many of these lands, encouraged the settlement of others, and influenced the culture in still others. In Australia and New Zealand, the population is primarily ethnic European today, in a country life Fiji many Indians call the islands home due to European-encouraged settlement, and in still others the greatest remnant of European influence came in a change of religion as most of the people today are Christian.

While European-influenced culture dominates much of Australia and New Zealand, as well as certain parts of other Australasian cultures (like religion), for most of the region, the culture is rooted in the past and the seas. Many of the Australian indigenous people maintain aspects of their culture, the Maori of New Zealand do the same. On the many other islands, the Polynesians, Melanesians, and Micronesians cling to aspects of their past as well.

Due to the seas, life continues to revolve around the oceans for most cultures and for many people the center of life remains with family and community. Foods and transportation are based on the waters and life is often based on what is readily available. Despite this seemingly isolated state, the people of Australasia share many commonalities. The Polynesians share foods, customs, and traditions from the Maori in New Zealand to the Hawai'ians in Hawai'i just as the Micronesians share similarities as do the Melanesians.

Some islands and some nations have adopted more European customs than others and the diversity across Australasia remains fairly high. From the modern movements in Australian cities and beach resorts in Fiji to isolated communities of times past in Tonga and indigenous religions of Papua New Guinea, Australasia remains diverse in many ways.

Australasian Countries: