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There are almost 200 sovereign states in the world today; in 1950 there were only 82. Over the last half-century national self-determination has been a driving force for many states with a history of colonialism and oppression. As more borders have been added to the world map, the number of international border disputes has increased. In many cases, where the impetus toward independence has been religious or ethnic, disputes with minority groups have also caused violent internal conflict. While many newly-formed states have moved peacefully toward independence, successfully establishing government by multiparty democracy, dictatorship by military regime or individual despot is often the result of the internal power-struggles which characterize the early stages in the lives of new nations.

World Route Planner provides a searchable Oceania gazetteer based on Google Maps, Driving Directions and Google Street view in the cities of Oceania. World Route Planner and Google Maps together are the most comprehensive Online Satellite Imagery ever available on the Internet. Thousands of cities in Oceania divided into countries, counties, administrative regions and cities. World Route Planner also provides detailed Time Zones and Daylight map for Oceania. Google Maps is here for you, do not wait, explore Oceania now!

The Google Street View service, i.e. to activate Street View on any city of Oceania, drag above the Zoom feature the yellow little man in the map.

Facts of Australasia & Oceania

Australasia and Oceania, covering a land area of 3,285,048 sq miles (8,508,238 sq km), takes in 14 countries including the continent of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and many island groups scattered across the Pacific Ocean.

  • Greatest extent, North–South: 2000 miles / 3200 km
  • Greatest extent, East–West: 2500 miles /4000 km
  • Highest point: Mount Wilhelm, Papua New Guinea 14,794 ft (4509 m)
  • Lowest point: Lake Eyre, Australia -53 ft (-16 m) below sea level
  • Most northerly point: Eastern Island, Midway Islands 28° 15’ N
  • Most southerly point: Macquarie Island, Australia 54° 30’ S
  • Most westerly point: Cape Inscription, Australia 112° 57’ E
  • Most easterly point: Clipperton Island, 109° 12’ W
  • Highest recorded temperature: Bourke, Australia 128°F (53°C)
  • Lowest recorded temperature: Canberra, Australia -8°F (-22°C)
  • Largest lake: Lake Eyre, Australia 3430 sq miles (8884 sq km)

Physical Australasia & Oceania

Vast expanses of ocean separate this geographically fragmented realm, characterized more by each country’s isolation than by any political unity. Australia’s and New Zealand’s traditional ties with the United Kingdom, as members of the Commonwealth, are now being called into question as Australasian and Oceanian nations are increasingly looking to forge new relationships with neighboring Asian countries like Japan. External influences have featured strongly in the politics of the Pacific Islands; the various territories of Micronesia were largely under US control until the late 1980s, and France, New Zealand, the US, and the UK still have territories under colonial rule in Polynesia. Nuclear weapons-testing by Western superpowers was widespread during the Cold War period, but has now been discontinued.


Surrounded by water, the climate of most areas is profoundly affected by the moderating effects of the oceans. Australia, however, is the exception. Its dry continental interior remains isolated from the ocean; temperatures soar during the day, and droughts are common. The coastal regions, where most people live, are cooler and wetter. The numerous islands scattered across the Pacific are generally hot and humid, subject to the different air circulation patterns and ocean currents that affect the area, including the El Niño ocean current anomaly, which produces extreme aridity.


Density of settlement in the region is generally low. Australia is one of the least densely populated countries on Earth with over 80% of its population living within 25 miles (40 km) of the coast – mostly in the southeast of the country. New Zealand, and the island groups of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, are much more densely populated, although many of the smaller islands remain uninhabited.


English is spoken throughout Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, English has been superimposed on a mosaic of Aboriginal languages. In New Zealand, the indigenous language, Maori, is the official language besides English. In Papua New Guinea, Melanesian Pidgin has become a lingua franca alongside several hundred indigenous languages. Across the region, the indigenous languages can be grouped into the Aboriginal languages of Australia, the Papuan languages spoken mostly inland in Papua New Guinea, and the widely dispersed Austronesian, which includes coastal languages of Papua New Guinea, New Zealand Maori, and languages of Oceania.


While sea travel remains of paramount importance throughout the continent, welldeveloped regional and international air travel has reduced the region’s global isolation. Internal air travel is particularly important in Australia, where distances are great and road systems are poorly developed or in some areas nonexistent. Australia’s railroad system still operating on three different gauges, a legacy of its piecemeal development, is being upgraded, particularly the north-south links.

Australasian & Oceanian resources

Natural resources are of major economic importance throughout Australasia and Oceania. Australia in particular is a major world exporter of raw materials such as coal, iron ore, and bauxite, while New Zealand’s agricultural economy is dominated by sheep-raising. Trade with western Europe has declined significantly in the last 20 years, and the Pacific Rim countries of Southeast Asia are now the main trading partners, as well as a source of new settlers to the region. Australasia and Oceania’s greatest resources are its climate and environment; tourism increasingly provides a vital source of income for the whole continent.


Much of the region’s industry is resource-based: sheep farming for wool and meat in Australia and New Zealand; mining in Australia and Papua New Guinea and fishing throughout the Pacific islands. Manufacturing is mainly limited to the large coastal cities in Australia and New Zealand, like Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Auckland, although small-scale enterprises operate in the Pacific islands, concentrating on processing of fish and foods. Tourism continues to provide revenue to the area – in Fiji it accounts for 15% of GNP.

Standard of living

In marked contrast to its neighbor, Australia, with one of the world’s highest life expectancies and standards of living, Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s least developed countries. In addition, high population growth and urbanization rates throughout the Pacific islands contribute to overcrowding. In Australia and New Zealand, the Aboriginal and Maori people have been isolated, although recently their traditional land ownership rights have begun to be legally recognized in an effort to ease their social and economic isolation, and to improve living standards.

Environmental issues

The prospect of rising sea levels poses a threat to many low-lying islands in the Pacific. The testing of nuclear weapons, once common throughout the region, was finally discontinued in 1996. Australia’s ecological balance has been irreversibly altered by the introduction of alien species. Although it has the world’s largest underground water reserve, the Great Artesian Basin, the availability of fresh water in Australia remains critical. Periodic droughts combined with overgrazing lead to desertification and increase the risk of devastating bush fires, and occasional flash floods.

Countries in Oceania with Google maps and Gazetteers

Browse the most comprehensive and up-to-date online directory of countries and administrative regions in Oceania. Regions and Google maps with places in Oceania are sorted in alphabetical order from level 1 to level 2 and eventually up to level 3 regions. Google Maps and Driving Directions to Oceania are here for you, do not wait, explore Oceania and the beautiful countries of this continent now.

American Samoa (125 google map locations)
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Australia (9 google map locations)
Clipperton Island
Cook Islands (42 google map locations)
Coral Sea Islands
Fiji (5 google map locations)
French Polynesia (286 google map locations)
Guam (125 google map locations)
Jarvis Island (1 google map locations)
Johnston Atoll
Kingman Reef
Kiribati (113 google map locations)
Marshall Islands (3 google map locations)
Micronesia, Federated States of (4 google map locations)
Nauru (8 google map locations)
New Caledonia (581 google map locations)
New Zealand (17 google map locations)
Niue (15 google map locations)
Norfolk Island (3 google map locations)
Northern Mariana Islands (27 google map locations)
Palau (102 google map locations)
Papua New Guinea (20 google map locations)
Pitcairn Islands (1 google map locations)
Samoa (270 google map locations)
Solomon Islands (9 google map locations)
Tokelau (1 google map locations)
Tonga (3 google map locations)
Tuvalu (11 google map locations)
Vanuatu (8 google map locations)
Wallis and Futuna (31 google map locations)

The nature of politics

Democracy is a broad term: it can range from the ideal of multiparty elections and fair representation to, in countries such as Singapore, a thin disguise for singleparty rule. In despotic regimes, on the other hand, a single, often personal authority has total power; institutions such as parliament and the military are mere instruments of the dictator.

The changing world map

Decolonization In 1950, large areas of the world remained under the control of a handful of European countries. The process of decolonization had begun in Asia, where, following the Second World War, much of southern and southeastern Asia sought and achieved self-determination. In the 1960s, a host of African states achieved independence, so that by 1965, most of the larger tracts of the European overseas empires had been substantially eroded. The final major stage in decolonization came with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc after 1990. The process continues today as the last toeholds of European colonialism, often tiny island nations, press increasingly for independence.

The determination of international boundaries can use a variety of criteria. Many of the borders between older states follow physical boundaries; some mirror religious and ethnic differences; others are the legacy of complex histories of conflict and colonialism, while others have been imposed by international agreements or arbitration.

Post-colonial borders

When the European colonial empires in Africa were dismantled during the second half of the 20th century, the outlines of the new African states mirrored colonial boundaries. These boundaries had been drawn up by colonial administrators, often based on inadequate geographical knowledge. Such arbitrary boundaries were imposed on people of different languages, racial groups, religions, and customs. This confused legacy often led to civil and international war.

Physical borders

Many of the world’s countries are divided by physical borders: lakes, rivers, mountains. The demarcation of such boundaries can, however, lead to disputes. Control of waterways, water supplies, and fisheries are frequent causes of international friction.

International disputes

There are more than 60 disputed borders or territories in the world today. Although many of these disputes can be settled by peaceful negotiation, some areas have become a focus for international conflict. Ethnic tensions have been a major source of territorial disagreement throughout history, as has the ownership of, and access to, valuable natural resources. The turmoil of the postcolonial era in many parts of Africa is partly a result of the 19th century “carve-up” of the continent, which created potential for conflict by drawing often arbitrary lines through linguistic and cultural areas.

This Oceania map is for informational use only. No representation is made or warranty given as to its content. User assumes all risk of using Google maps and Google Driving Directions. World Route Planner assumes no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use of free Oceania map.

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