Australia New Zealand and the Pacific Islands further out form the Continent will will call Australia and Oceania. You could spend a lifetime in this part of the world but we suggest you not as the culture is divided pretty much by the antipodean or aussie way which I think to me at least is quite similar to that of New Zealand and then there are the Islands like Fiji where the culture is dramatically different.
Australia is so large that some cities like Darwin in the north are closer to Bali in Indonesia than to Sydney in Australia.
Many backpackers from the UK visit Australia as its heavily advertised and popular a bit less so New Zealand after all its a bloody long way !
Australia is massive ! They mostly live on the coast but don't expect to always be able to dip your toe in the sea for the box jellyfish. With intoxicating nightlife in the cities like Sydney or Melbourne its a spot the young head for. Its simply one of the best places to go backpacking in the world with the best infrastructure designed for this kind of travel. Discover your hostels in Australia with us and plan your trip. Need a blog just ask and we will set it up for you throw another shrimp on the barbie mate !
Best time to visit - there isn't really a best time so go when its cold where you normally live.
Things to see and do
Scuba Diving the great Barrier Reef
The Sydney Opera House
Beaches of all kind
Perth - go pubbing on a Sunday in the famous cot at Cottesloe Beach Hotel.
Surfing in Bondi or Manly Beach
Parks and Museums of Melbourne
The Federated States of Micronesia are both large and small at the same time. Actual area is said to be some three million square kilometers in the Pacific Ocean, but the land mass of its 2,000 islands is a mere 721 square miles. That means there are more than 2.9 million square kilometers of diving sites, coral gardens, and wildlife under the sea.
Micronesia is divided into four areas, the most famous being Palau. This 400 mile long island is all about the water. Here you can see some 1500 species of fish, including reef sharks, Manta Rays, and Green Turtles. Palau's coral gardens are famous the world over, making this one of the best diving spots in the world.
The Marshall Islands, is most known for its Plumeria and Hibiscus flowers. The capital city of Majuro is charming, and only a short distance to peaceful papaya plantations.
This succulent fruit isn't the only thing good to eat around here. Try some locally grown sweet potatoes, and its seafood is the freshest anywehere.
It's all about the quiet on the Northern Mariana Islands, a Commonwealth of the United States. Not only can you go wreck diving, but go exploring around its many caves or trek its mountains.
This is the place to be if you want peace and quiet--the remote beaches and atolls see to that.
Much of Micronesia is remote, so getting around can be a bit difficult over unpaved roads. However, taxis are cheap in most towns--and while infrequent, ferries are available. Besides, most of the islands are small so walking is the easiest.
Language isn't an issue in Micronesia, as English and Japanese are spoken all over the islands. Hot is hot no matter what you speak, so remember that when you're here between November and April, which is both the Wet Season and its most humid.
It's so much cooler from May to October, but not cold enough to stoip anyone from fishing or any other watersport under the sun. A nice drink is just what anyone needs after a day of beach-going--so try some fresh lime with water. A beer would work, you just can't do it on the island of Chuuk--alcohol is banned. Save it for all the other islands that offer cocktail lounges and nightclubs.
But, with all the diving, who has time to hit up a nightclub?
It's harder to say what's more famous about New Zealand, the famous Maori Haka "war dance" of the All Blacks, or as the dramatic setting to the legendary films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However you choose to think of the "Land of the Long White Cloud", to say you'll love it is an understatement.
New Zealand is made of two main islands, known as the Northern and Southern Islands. The Northern Island is home to its capital city of Wellington, and Mt. Cook--the highest point in the country at 12,316 feet. This island is where you'll find the city of Auckland; that has an awesome Sky Tower, harbour, and Winter Garden.
The Southern Island is less populated, but more dramatic. The Milford Track, a 33-mile hiking route through the Fiordland National Park. And tramping (as hiking's called here) isn't the only sporty thing to do. Oh no, you've got kayaking, cycling, golfing, and fishing.
Milford Sound is here, a glacier fjord that's one of the most beauiful places not just in New Zealand, but all over the world.
Charming as that is, New Zealand is full of Maori culture. So buy yourselves some Maori crafts--or better yet an All Blacks jersey. It'll help put you in the mood while practicing your Haka.
New Zealand might be a relatively safe country, but it is "seismically active". That's just a nice way to say its subject to both earthquakes and volcanoes.
Volcanos await you at the Tongariro National Park, three of them to be exact. This park has some 300 caves to explore, grottos to relax in, and blackwater rafting if you want an adrenaline rush.
This is one rugged country, and sports are no exeption. If you want something even more heart pumping than bungee jumping, try bridge swigging. Oh, this is where you swing over a gorge. Heli-skiing is big around here too, as is whitewater rafting, caving, jet boating, and sky diving.
Anyone wanting something more, ah, sedate, should try the wine tastings (they make great wines here on top of everything else), or just chilling out at one of the country's local pubs or restaurants.
Anytime is the right time to come to New Zealand, but it can get quite cold during the winter months. Which, by the way, is the opposite of the northern hemisphere. Use this time to try glacier skiing or glacier walking.
Rather have it warm? Head to North Island, that's got a subtropical climate. But, it has been said that you could experience all four of New Zealand's seasons all in one day.
What you won't do, is see all of New Zealand all in one day. You might not even get to do it all over the course of one lifetime. So wonderful is New Zealand, that if you had to really "endure" a Haka--it would be so worth it.
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