The Most "Bucket List" Travel Experiences In Oceania
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Oceania is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of over 41 million. When compared with the continents, the region of Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.
Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesian New Guinea, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga.The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney.
After Antarctica, the least populous continent in the world is Oceania, which comprises Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and many smaller islands, such as Fiji, Guam and French Polynesia.
Unsurprisingly, all but one of its most-searched travel activities involve the outdoors.
Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef
One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.
Because of its natural beauty, the Great Barrier Reef has become one of the worlds most sought after tourist destinations.A visitor to the Great Barrier Reef can enjoy many experiences including snorkelling, scuba diving, aircraft or helicopter tours, bare boats (self-sail), glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles and educational trips, cruise ship tours, whale watching and swimming with dolphins.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and pulling away from it, and viewing it from a greater distance, you can understand why.
It is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing on earth visible from space.
Watching a show at the Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House, opera house located on Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour), New South Wales, Australia. Its unique use of a series of gleaming white sail-shaped shells as its roof structure makes it one of the most-photographed buildings in the world.
The building and its surrounds occupy the whole of Bennelong Point on Sydney Harbour, between Sydney Cove and Farm Cove, adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, and close by the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The building comprises multiple performance venues, which together host well over 1,500 performances annually, attended by more than 1.2 million people. Performances are presented by numerous performing artists, including three resident companies: Opera Australia, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, the site is visited by more than eight million people annually, and approximately 350,000 visitors take a guided tour of the building each year. The building is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, an agency of the New South Wales State Government.
Seeing New Zealand’s Hobbiton
Set on a working sheep farm near the North Island’s town of Matamata, Hobbiton Movie Set invites Middle Earth fans to discover the fantasy world depicted in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.
Home to The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, and dozens of picturesque hobbit holes, the outdoor film set, which has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit, provides a captivating behind-the-scenes look at the details that have brought the hobbits’ world to life.
A 2-hour guided tour allows visitors at New Zealand’s Hobbiton to explore the Party Tree, Bilbo’s Bag End home, and many other iconic structures before relaxing with a complimentary ginger beer at The Green Dragon Inn. Known as the hobbits’ favorite drinking hole, the mythical inn offers an exclusive selection of brews as well as delicious traditional fare.
Further attractions at the Hobbiton Movie Set include The Shires Rest Café, The Shire Store, and the farm itself, where guests can feed baby lambs and admire the lush green pastures and bucolic scenery that have made this remote farmland the perfect setting for Peter Jackson’s The Shire.
Visiting the monolith of Uluru, or Ayers Rock
Visit one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Uluru. Not only is it a spectacular natural formation, Uluru is a deeply spiritual place. You can feel a powerful presence the moment you set eyes on it.
|Photo: Getty Images|
At 348 metres high, Uluru is one of the world’s largest monoliths, towering over the surrounding landscape and some 550 million years old.
Made of sandstone, Uluru is often referred to as the heart of the ‘Red Centre’ and is one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks. Breathe in, see the colours change before your eyes, hear the stories of time and be amazed as Uluru captures your heart.
For the local Aboriginal people, the Anangu, World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park holds a special cultural significance where earth and memories exist as one.
Feel the connection to the land as this iconic rock formation hides ancient wisdom and diverse plant and animal life. Discover an awe-inspiring landscape where creation stories are whispered on the winds.
Choose to walk with a Traditional Owner, join a camel tour, self-drive or dine under a canopy of stars. There are more than 101 culturally appropriate activities to experience in the region.
Staying in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora
|Photo: Sand In My Suitcase|
Famously known around world and offering a unique experience, the overwater bungalows made of wood and pandanus with high-end standards provide the best Bora Bora experience you can dream of. Imagine yourself waking up over the crystal clear blue lagoon, jumping from your deck itoto the water or admiring the fish through the glass floor. Each island and resort has their own specific bungalows - from intimate ones to luxury villas with plunge pool.
Touring New Zealand’s Waitomo Glowworm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves attraction is a cave at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand. It is known for its population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand. This cave is part of the waitomo streamway system that includes the Ruakuri Cave, Lucky Strike, and Tumutumu Cave.
The attraction has a modern visitor centre at the entrance, largely designed in wood. There are organized tours that include a boat ride under the glowworms.
The name "Waitomo" comes from the Māori words wai, water and tomo, hole or shaft. The local Māori people had known about the caves for about a century before a local Māori, originally from Kawhia, Tane Tinorau, and English surveyors, Laurence Cussen and Fred Mace, were shown the entrance in 1884 and Tane and Fred did extensive explorations in 1887 and 1888. Their exploration was conducted with candlelight on a raft going into the cave where the stream goes underground (now the cave's tourist exit.) As they began their journey, they came across the Glowworm Grotto and were amazed by the twinkling glow coming from the ceiling. As they travelled further into the cave by poling themselves towards an embankment, they were also astounded by the limestone formations. These formations surrounded them in all shapes and sizes.
Geological and volcanic activity has created around 300 known limestone caves in the Waitomo region over the last 30 million years.
The limestone formation in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occurred when the region was still under the ocean about 30 million years ago. The limestone is composed of fossilized corals, seashells, fish skeletons, and many small marine organisms on the sea beds. Over millions of years, these fossilized rocks have been layered upon each other and compressed to create limestone and within the Waitomo region the limestone can be over 200 m thick.
The caves began to form when earth movement caused the hard limestone to bend and buckle under the ocean and rise above the sea floor. As the rock was exposed to air, it separated and created cracks and weaknesses that allowed for water to flow through them dissolving the limestone and over millions of years large caves were formed.
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