With 14 countries making up Oceania, you could easily spend months traveling around the region, which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Places like New Zealand and French Polynesia have an abundance of attractions. But our top three destinations in Oceania were Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.
When is the best time to visit Oceania?
The summer in Oceania lasts from December to February, but with such seething heat and frequent thunderstorms, autumntime is probably the best time of year to visit. Between April and June, you’ll find the temperatures start to cool down, especially in regions like Polynesia and Micronesia. We decided to visit in the cooler autumn months, but spring is also a great time to visit countries in Oceania. It’s best to avoid November to March, though, as it’s cyclone season in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, and other South Pacific Islands.
From stunning coral reefs and rainforests to red-earthed deserts and large sand islands, the natural landscape of Australia is bound to blow you away. If you only visit one natural wonder in the country, make sure it’s the famous Great Barrier Reef. As one of the largest single structures produced by living organisms in the world, the Great Barrier Reef can even be seen from space! You don’t need to hire a rocket to view the reef, though. On mainland Australia, you can easily book tours from Port Douglas, Cairns, and Airlie Beach, which is where our tour launched from. We were lucky enough to see sharks, dolphins, and all sorts of tropical fish up close.
On the mainland, Sydney provides everything any visitor could require, such as amazing bars, restaurants, and museums. There are also 11 fantastic casinos, which offer a variety of traditional table games like poker and baccarat.
If you’re traveling around Oceania, you can also enjoy playing casino games while you endure long bus journeys. For instance, if you’re moving on to New Zealand, you can play hundreds of table games and slots at Casumo New Zealand.
And no visit to Sydney is complete without checking out the world-famous Sydney Opera House. The sails-shaped UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the greatest architectural marvels on the planet. You can enjoy a performance at the opera house, take a tour of the structure, or dine at one of its fabulous restaurants. But to get the best view of Sydney Opera House, follow in our footsteps and go to the nearby Royal Botanic Gardens. The view of the opera house from Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair is the ideal place to get a perfect snapshot.
Papua New Guinea
The exotic island country of Papua New Guinea lies off the north coast of Australia. It has a rich tribal culture and outstanding natural beauty. We began our tour at the Varirata National Park, which is full of spectacular wildlife. The park is especially well known for its abundance of birds of paradise, but you need to arrive early if you want to see them.
Another highlight of our trip was the Rabaul Volcano Observatory. Papua New Guinea has extensive seismic and volcanic activity. After Rabaul Volcano erupted in the 1930s, the observatory was established to monitor the volcano’s activity. Views from the observatory are out of this world. Like us, you might even feel subtle tremors while you’re there.
If you have an adventurous side, you’ll absolutely love visiting the Solomon Islands. There are loads of action-packed activities you can have fun with. We climbed up to an extinct volcano, but you can also snorkel around pristine reefs, cross a lagoon in a kayak, or surf uncrowded-waves. Make sure you visit the Mataniko Falls, in which water spectacularly thunders down a straight cliff into a canyon below. It’s quite a hike, but more than worth it.
If you’re looking to visit a unique place that will be a story to tell for years to come, take a trip to an island whose name sounds like it’s out of an Indiana Jones movie: Skull Island. The tiny islet on Vonavona Lagoon is the final resting place of numerous vanquished warriors and a shrine for the skulls of Rendovan chiefs, dating from the 1920s.