Asian Geographic PASSPORT No. 23
Issue 6/2012, Oceania
In a world centred around Asia, Europe and the Americas, the thousands of tiny islands scattered across the Southern Pacific Ocean can seem so insignificant and far flung as to be virtually “off the map”. Yet between them, the regions of Oceania – Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia and Australasia – boast some of the prettiest spots on earth. For most of us, they’re not easy to get to – Hawaii takes about 16 hours from Singapore via Tokyo – and the expense of getting there can be almost prohibitive, but the rewards of making the long journey are manifold. In short, Oceania is the perfect theme for this final Collector’s Edition of 2012. Take the plunge with us!
Table of Contents
2013 Events in Oceania
Head Down Under for Western Australia’s epic summer camping and music festival, get a crash course in traditional Micronesian culture on Yap Day, and rub shoulders with your fellow wine and food lovers at a top Hawaiian holiday resort – Oceania is your oyster!
8 Reasons to Visit the North Island
Getting to New Zealand, remote as it is, is a daunting prospect for many, but those that brave the inevitably long flight have plenty to look forward to. From Auckland, the urban centre of the North Island, there are a large variety of fun and adventurous activities to try within just a few hours’ drive.
The Alluring Carolines
Divers know the Caroline Islands as having some of the world’s most spectacular dive sites, but that’s not the only thing that attracts intrepid travellers to this central stretch of Micronesia. Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei – and the 500 or so other tiny islands that comprise this scattered archipelago – are also home to traditional people with a proud history to celebrate.
A world away from the bikini-infested beaches of Hawaii-Five-O fame is the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands, an altogether more enriching place where the eye candy comes in the form of mighty volcanoes, mind-blowing lava flows, spectacular valleys and expansive vistas. The Big Island is the Hawaii with the big heart that you never knew existed.
For adventure seekers, Australia boasts some of the planet’s most varied and extreme environments. Queensland, home of the famous Great Barrier Reef, is where adrenalin junkies in the know begin their search for the ultimate high. Head to the tropical northeast for superb diving, bush bashing and hang-gliding – and some tasty seafood along the way!
THE BIG PICTURE
Your Guide to Oceania
The best sights, the recommended hotels and the most memorable local dishes are among the handy sections in this information-packed overview of the principal 11 countries in Oceania, from Australia in the region’s west, as far as north as Hawaii, and as far east as French Polynesia.
Getting a tourist visa varies from country to country and can be a real hassle. This indispensable guide lets you know exactly what you need to do to get a visa for your trip to Oceania – with useful listings of embassies and consulates near you.
ONE FOR THE ROAD
Postcard from Oceania
Show us your best capture of the region and stand a chance of winning a cool Columbia Meridian travel watch.