Oceania - Overview

A geographical region consisting of numerous lands, mostly islands
in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity.

Australia

A country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the continental mainland (the world's smallest), the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Australia is the only continental country in the South Pacific; mostly the South Pacific consists of island nations comprising thousands of coral atolls and volcanic islands, with small human populations.

New Zealand

An island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand consists of two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island), and numerous smaller islands, Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Chatham Islands. The indigenous Māori named New Zealand Aotearoa, commonly translated as The Land of the Long White Cloud.

The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand, between French Polynesia and Fiji. There are fifteen major islands in the two distinctive Southern Cook and Northern Cook Islands groups, spread over 2.2 million square kilometres of ocean. Volcanic activity formed both the groups; the northern group being older and consisting of six atolls (sunken volcanoes topped by coral growth). The climate is moderate to tropical.

Tahiti

The largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, Tahiti is located in the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. The population of 178,133 inhabitants makes it the most populous island of French Polynesia.

The capital is Papeete, on the northwest coast. November through April is the wet season; August is driest with 1.9 inches (48 mm). The average low is 70 °F (21 °C) and the high 88 °F (31 °C) with little seasonal variation.

One of the most widely recognised images of the islands is the world famous Tahitian dance. The ʻōteʻa or, as it is sometimes known, otea, is a traditional dance from Tahiti, where the dancers, standing in several rows, execute different figures. This dance, easily recognised by its fast hip shaking, and grass skirts, is a slower more graceful dance focusing more on the hands and story telling than the hips.

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