Tucked away in its own private corner of the world lies Oceania: the beautiful and diverse continent of sun-soaked islands and cosmopolitan cities. Within this exotic expanse you’ll find palm-fringed beaches, snow-tipped glaciers and world-famous opera houses. It’s this variety of incredible things to see and do that continues to attract curious travellers to Oceania each and every year.
If you’re looking to get in on the action, read on to discover some of our favourite countries within Oceania. Warning: Wanderlust will ensue!
Highlights in Oceania
If you want diversity, you’ve come to the right place. As the world’s largest island, Australia has had no trouble ensuring the perfect mix of adventure, culture and landscapes within its boundaries. In fact, there’s plenty of breathing space – just take central Australia, for example.
This vast area is better known as the Outback, and it’s here visitors can soak up old Indigenous cultures and plenty of sunshine. With its world-recognised red sands and abundance of native creatures, Alice Springs is one of the most iconic destinations in this expanse. It’s also the gateway to some of Australia’s most picture perfect sights, such as Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. By day, visitors can embark on camel-rides and helicopter tours, and night indulge in dinners under the stars while Uluru casts shadows over the landscape.
No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to the East Coast. Down this stunning stretch lies the continent’s most famous cosmopolitan cities:
- Sydney: Snap photos in front of iconic architecture, soak up the sun at sprawling beaches and get up close to native creatures when visiting the vibrant city of Sydney.
- Melbourne: Sip on world-class coffee, discover hidden gems tucked down painted laneways, pick up a treasure at bustling markets and much more when visiting the eclectic Melbourne.
- Brisbane: Discover the next big thing at an underground gig, catch a six at the cricket, wander through the botanical gardens and more when visiting the new-world city of Brisbane.
New Zealand is much more than rugby, Kiwi birds and hairy-foot hobbits. The two islands that make up this wondrous country boast some of the world’s most spectacular scenery and sights.
From the snow-tipped mountains down in Fox Glacier to the rainbow-coloured sulphur pools in Rotorua, New Zealand rewards intrepid travellers with a camera roll full of photo-album contenders. A stand out for all is the picture-perfect landscapes of Abel Tasman. This slice of heaven sits just at the top of the South Island, and its national park is renowned for its unspoilt golden beaches, sparkling waters and world-famous coastal track. The park itself is only accessible by water taxi, kayak or helicopter – making this endeavour even more special. There are many walking tracks to choose from that vary in length and ability, with the option to camp in one of the park’s various Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites.
Another hike that is especially synonymous with New Zealand is the Tongariro Crossing. Here, avid hikers make the 19.4 kilometre journey through volcanoes, steaming craters and neon lakes.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in everything ‘Kiwiana’ at a more leisurely pace, make a stop off in the peaceful town of Matamata. It’s here that legendary director Peter Jackson chose to house his Hobbits for the Lord of the Rings film series after seeing Matamata’s striking resemblance to the Shire. Fans of the franchise can wander around the tiny Hobbit Holes, enjoy an ale at The Green Dragon and spend time learning about what went into building this fantastic set at the hand of a guided tour.
New Zealand is also home to a number of incredible cities that all boast their own undeniable charm. From Wellington to Auckland and everywhere in between, enjoy the diversity and amazing array of things to see and do when visiting this incredible Oceania country!
With more than 300 islands in its archipelago, deciding which one to visit can be a tricky choice when planning a holiday to Fiji. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Of its many palm-fringed lands, only a third are populated, including Fiji’s two major islands: Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.
Whilst Fiji is collectively referred to as the soft coral capital of the world, Vanua Levu is especially famed for its snorkelling opportunities. Around Fiji’s second largest island, guests can dip their toes into world-class diving and snorkelling. The Namena Marine Reserve is one of the best places to strap on a snorkel and discover the underwater paradise that lies below the surface. An estimated 1,100 species of fish, 1,000 species of invertebrates and 400 known corals call the reserve home. This vast line-up includes four of the world’s seven sea turtle species, including the green and hawksbill turtles that regularly nest on Namena’s surrounding beaches.
If your excitement wasn’t enough, the reserve is also a well-known migratory pathway for cetaceans. So, if you’re extremely lucky, you may even spot bottlenose dolphins and minke whales on your underwater adventure!
Above the surface, be sure to make the most of the golden and pristine beaches so synonymous with Fiji. From the likes of Natadola Beach on Viti Levu to Vomo Island Beach, there are plenty of places to lay down a towel and soak up the Fijian sun.
No visit to Fiji is complete without experiencing the culture of the islands. Select resort and tour companies offer the exclusive chance to visit traditional Fijian villages, which allows guests to interact with villagers and the chief himself. Watch cultural dances, partake in a kava ceremony and enjoy the sights and sounds on offer.
Whether you’re looking to relax or immerse yourself in adventure, Fiji and its incredible islands has everyone covered!
If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch with the team at Active Travel today to see how we can help plan your Oceania adventure.
Places to visit in Oceania
Our Partners for Oceania