Saturday, November 21, 2009

Continental drift: Australia, Australasia and Oceania

I was brought up with the nationalism that said that Australia is the largest island and the smallest continent.

An entry on Oceania refers to this notion also; even though it goes on to speak of greater continents.

Then there's Australasia, which sometimes includes New Guinea, the Indonesian islands, Lomboc and Sulawesi. At other times it is exclusively a description of Australia and New Zealand combined.

Although Oceania sounds like nothing so much as a region straight out of George Orwell's 1984, it's become a description for the area that encompasses Papua New Guinea, the disputed territory of Irian Jaya, Fiji, Tonga, New Caledonia...
and even with the thousands of coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific Ocean, it's still the smallest continent.


# Amplett Islands
# Papua New Guinea Bismarck Archipelago
# Papua New Guinea d'Entrecasteaux Islands
# Fiji
# Papua New Guinea Louisiade Archipelago
# Indonesia Maluku Islands[8]
# New Caledonia
# New Guinea, politically divided between independent Papua New Guinea and the Indonesia Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua
# Norfolk Island
# Indonesia Raja Ampat Islands
# Indonesia Schouten Islands
# Solomon Islands Santa Cruz Islands
# Solomon Islands, politically divided between Papua New Guinea and independent Solomon Islands
# Torres Strait Islands, politically divided between Australia and Papua New Guinea
# Papua New Guinea Trobriand Islands
# Vanuatu
# Papua New Guinea Woodlark Island


* Banaba, an outlier of Kiribati
* Gilbert Islands, which forms part of Kiribati
* Mariana Islands, politically divided between Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands
* Marshall Islands
* Caroline Islands, politically divided between Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia
* Nauru
* Wake Island


* American Samoa (overseas United States territory)
* Cook Islands (self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)
* French Polynesia ("overseas territory", a territory of France)
* Hawaii (a state of the United States)
* New Zealand (independent nation)
* Niue (self-governing state in free association with New Zealand)
* Fiji Rotuma (in Fiji)
* Samoa (independent nation)
* Tokelau (overseas dependency of New Zealand)
* Tonga (independent nation)
* Tuvalu (independent nation)
* Wallis and Futuna (overseas territory of France)


At 4:12 pm , Blogger Mikhail Silverwood said...

Russia, China and the USA are bigger countries than Australia.

And I believe Antartica is a small continent.

At 12:23 pm , Blogger Berko Wills said...

Biggest island, not country and Antarctica is larger than both Australia and Europe.

But why quibble, just pleased to have a comment; especially from someone critical of Andrew Dolt.

thanks Mikhail.


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