Australasia (Māori : Atareiria) is a region that comprises Australia, New Zealand and some neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term is used in a number of different contexts, including geopolitically, physiogeographically, philologically, 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 the late 19th century, the term Australasia was used in reference to the "Australasian colonies". In this sense it related specifically to the British colonies south of Asia: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria (i.e., the Australian colonies) and New Zealand.Australasia found continued geopolitical attention in the early 20th century. Historian Hansong Li finds that against the backdrop of British colonialism, German geopoliticians considered "Australasia" as a counterweight to the former German South Sea Edge (Südseerand), both of which form the "Indo-Pacific" region.
The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary gives two meanings of "Australasia". One, especially in Australian use, is "Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the neighbouring islands of the Pacific". The other, especially in New Zealand use, is just Australia and New Zealand.
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 geographical region that is described as a continent in some parts of the world. It includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western hemispheres, at the center of the water hemisphere, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of around 44.4 million as of 2022. Oceania is described as a geographical region in most of the English-speaking world, but outside of the English-speaking world, Oceania is described as one of the continents. In this model of the world, Australia is either seen as an island or a continental landmass contained inside of the larger continent of Oceania. When compared to the other continents, Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second-least populated after Antarctica.
The Australasian realm is a biogeographic realm that is coincident with, but not the same as, 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 Moluccas, and the islands of Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, and Timor, often known as the Lesser Sundas.
Pacific Islanders, Pasifika, Pasefika, Pacificans or rarely Pacificers are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. As an ethnic/racial term, it is used to describe the original peoples—inhabitants and diasporas—of any of the three major subregions of Oceania.
Louis Claude de Saulces de Freycinet was a French Navy officer. He circumnavigated the earth, and in 1811 published the first map to show a full outline of the coastline of Australia.
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne was a French privateer, East India captain and explorer. The expedition he led to find the hypothetical Terra Australis in 1771 made important geographic discoveries in the south Indian Ocean and anthropological discoveries in Tasmania and New Zealand. In New Zealand they spent longer living on shore than any previous European expedition. Half way through the expedition's stay Marion died during a military assault by the Ngare Raumati iwi.
The Polynesian Triangle is a region of the Pacific Ocean with three island groups at its corners: Hawai‘i, Easter Island and New Zealand. It is often used as a simple way to define Polynesia.
Charles de Brosses, comte de Tournay, baron de Montfalcon, seigneur de Vezins et de Prevessin, was a French writer of the 18th century.
The indigenous peoples of Oceania are Aboriginal Australians, Papuans, and Austronesians. These indigenous peoples have a historical continuity with pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories. With the notable exceptions of Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands, indigenous peoples make up the majority of the populations of Oceania.
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.
Polynesian navigation or Polynesian wayfinding was used for thousands of years to enable long voyages across thousands of kilometers of the open Pacific Ocean. Polynesians made contact with nearly every island within the vast Polynesian Triangle, using outrigger canoes or double-hulled canoes. The double-hulled canoes were two large hulls, equal in length, and lashed side by side. The space between the paralleled canoes allowed for storage of food, hunting materials, and nets when embarking on long voyages. Polynesian navigators used wayfinding techniques such as the navigation by the stars, and observations of birds, ocean swells, and wind patterns, and relied on a large body of knowledge from oral tradition.
Pacific studies is the study of the Pacific region (Oceania) across academic disciplines such as anthropology, archeology, art, economics, geography, history, linguistics, literature, music, politics, or sociology.
The name Australia is derived from the Latin australis, meaning "southern", and specifically from the hypothetical Terra Australis postulated in pre-modern geography. The name was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders from 1804, and it has been in official use since 1817, replacing "New Holland," an English translation of the Dutch name, first given by Abel Tasman in 1643 as the name for the continent.
The following outline is provided as an overview and topical guide to Oceania.
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania vary, with it being defined in various ways, often geopolitically or geographically. In the geopolitical conception used by the United Nations, International Olympic Committee, and many atlases, the Oceanic region includes Australia and the nations of the Pacific from Papua New Guinea east, but not the Malay Archipelago or Indonesian New Guinea. The term is sometimes used more specifically to denote Australasia as a geographic continent, or biogeographically as a synonym for either the Australasian realm or the Oceanian realm.
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.
John Callander (1722–1789) of Craigforth in Stirlingshire was a Scottish antiquary and plagiarist.