Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands (see the section Derivation and definitions ). It is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiogeographically, and ecologically where the term covers several slightly different but related regions.
Charles de Brosses coined the term (as French Australasie) in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes(1756). He derived it from the Latin for "south of Asia" and differentiated the area from Polynesia (to the east) and the southeast Pacific (Magellanica).
In Australia, "Australasia" is considered to be Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the neighbouring islands of the Pacific[ citation needed ].
In New Zealand, it means Australia, New Zealandand former New Zealand dependencies.
Two Merriam-Webster dictionaries online (Collegiate and Unabridged) define Australasia as "Australia, New Zealand, and Melanesia". The American Heritage Dictionary online recognizes two senses in use: one more precise, being similar to the aforementioned senses, and the other broader, loosely covering all of Oceania.
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 47 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania, when compared to continental regions, is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.
The Australasian realm is a biogeographic realm that is coincident, but not synonymous, with the geographical region of Australasia. The realm includes Australia, the island of New Guinea, and the eastern part of the Indonesian archipelago, including the island of Sulawesi, the Moluccan islands and islands of Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, and Timor, often known as the Lesser Sundas.
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Zaragoza in 1529. Villalobos gave the Philippines their name, after calling them Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip of Austria, the Prince of Asturias at the time, who later became Philip II of Spain. In 1542 he also discovered a Pacific group of islands, most likely Hawaii, but the Spaniard kept the discovery secret.
Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet was a French navigator. He circumnavigated the earth, and in 1811 published the first map to show a full outline of the coastline of Australia.
Nicolas Thomas Baudin was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer.
François Auguste Péron was a French naturalist and explorer.
Charles de Brosses, comte de Tournay, baron de Montfalcon, seigneur de Vezins et de Prevessin, was a French writer of the 18th century.
MelchisédechThévenot was a French author, scientist, traveler, cartographer, orientalist, inventor, and diplomat. He was the inventor of the spirit level and is also famous for his popular 1696 book The Art of Swimming, one of the first books on the subject and widely read during the 18th century. The book popularized the breaststroke ; he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1990. He also influenced the founding of the Académie Royale des Sciences.
The Baudin expedition of 1800 to 1803 was a French expedition to map the coast of New Holland. Nicolas Baudin was selected as leader in October 1800. The expedition started with two ships, Géographe, captained by Baudin, and Naturaliste captained by Jacques Hamelin, and was accompanied by nine zoologists and botanists, including Jean-Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour, François Péron and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur as well as the geographer Pierre Faure.
Traditional Polynesian navigation was used for thousands of years to make long voyages across thousands of miles of the open Pacific Ocean. Navigators travelled to small inhabited islands using wayfinding techniques and knowledge passed by oral tradition from master to apprentice, often in the form of song. Generally, each island maintained a guild of navigators who had very high status; in times of famine or difficulty, they could trade for aid or evacuate people to neighbouring islands. As of 2014, these traditional navigation methods are still taught in the Polynesian outlier of Taumako in the Solomons.
Charles Pierre Claret, comte de Fleurieu was a French explorer, hydrographer and a politician. He was Minister of the Navy under Louis XVI, and a member of the Institut de France, as well as the brother of the botanist Marc Antoine Louis Claret de La Tourrette.
The Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l'Océanie, also known as CREDO is a cross-disciplinary research laboratory in social and cultural anthropology, history and archaeology including researchers and lecturers from three institutions: the CNRS, the EHESS and the University of Provence. Its main focus of research and teaching are the past and contemporary societies of the Pacific, Australia included.
The French Southern and Antarctic Territories is a French overseas territory consisting of Adélie Land in coastal Antarctica and several islands in the southern Indian Ocean: the Crozet Islands, the Kerguelen Islands, Amsterdam Island and Île Saint-Paul. The territory was created on 6 August 1955, before which all were dependencies of Madagascar.
Conus dorreensis, common name the pontifical cone, is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Conidae, the cone snails and their allies.
Henri Lancelot Voisin de La Popelinière (1541–1608), historian and historiographer from eastern Poitou, France. He studied the classics in Paris and then [law?] at the University of Toulouse. He was a Protestant, and took part in the early Wars of Religion as a commander on the Huguenot side. He would be excommunicated by the National Synod of Reformed Churches for his publication of the Histoire de France.
Henri Ternaux-Compans was a French historian.
The Freycinet Map of 1811 is the first map of Australia to be published which shows the full outline of Australia. It was drawn by Louis de Freycinet and was an outcome of the Baudin expedition to Australia. It preceded the publication of Matthew Flinders' map of Australia, Terra Australis or Australia, by three years.
Léon Guérin (1807-1885) was a French author, poet, and naval historian.
John Callander (1722–1789) of Craigforth in Stirlingshire was a Scottish antiquary and plagiarist.
Jean-Baptiste de Gennes, comte d'Oyac was a French naval officer who is known as an early French explorer of the Straits of Magellan. He was the last governor of the French colony of Saint-Christophe on the West Indian island now called Saint Kitts. After he surrendered the island to the English during the War of the Spanish Succession he was tried and found guilty of cowardice. He died before his appeal to this verdict could be heard. He was also an inventor, and among other devices invented a power loom driven by a mill wheel.