Backpacking in Oceania
Backpacking in Oceania means the confrontation with water. The region consists of more than 7500 islands. Indonesia and the Philippines have more islands, but these are by far not distributed over such a large area as in Oceania. Also the biggest islands of the two island states are not even nearly as big as Australia. Down Under is not called for nothing also the 5th continent. It alone would be a complete backpacker destination where you could stay for months without having seen the same thing twice. But Oceania is much more than just Australia.
On the more than 1.3 million square kilometres of land area, which is distributed over a sea area of about 70 million square kilometres, you can meet almost 17 million people. They live on about 2100 islands. Most of them are uninhabited, which of course gives you the opportunity to play Robinson Crusoe extensively. Oceania is also known as the South Pacific. Today, the South Seas are mainly known from the colourful travel magazines Hochgalanz, in which the dream beaches of Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia are colourfully offered.
By the way, there are no borders except in Papua New Guinea. On the partly gigantic islands, you can explore the deepest, most untouched primeval forests, where new species of animals and plants are discovered every year even today. The beaches are a dream on almost every island. White powder beaches with coconut palms swaying in the wind. The absolute South Sea cliché can be found not only in Tuvalu, but also on the islands of Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. You can visit nature reserves on your backpacker trip through Oceania that are second to none in the world. Underwater, dive and snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef or around the Lord-Howe group of islands. Over water you’ll be able to swim through the bushes in New Zealand, for example in Abel Tasman National Park.
On your backpacker journey, discover bustling metropolises that are a melting pot of cultures from all over the world. Auckland and Brisbane are such cities. True English style with short shorn lawns, picturesque buildings in the old English country house style and left-hand traffic awaits you in Christchurch. A lot of indigenous flair and endless wide sandy beaches, at which still few tourists can be seen, are not far from Nouméa in New Caledonia. Suva in Fiji and Papeete in Tahiti, both in the South Seas, also have their charms.
Travelling as a backpacker in Oceania is anything but cheap. Even getting there can cost a lot of money. Those who then still want to go from one island state to the next have to do this in many cases by plane, just to save time. There are also a number of regular ferry connections. But these rarely work over very long distances. You often have to go back to the capital cities in order to make a new jump from there with a ferry in another direction. You should also know that many islands are exclusive tourist destinations for the well-to-do clientele from the rich countries. However, there are enough inexpensive accommodations. You just have to get away from the tourist magnets.
Culture in Oceania
If you travel through Oceania, you will encounter different cultures, but today they mix more and more. European influences are Australia and New Zealand. But there are also the Maori and the Aborigines. While here the indigenous people represent the minorities, in other areas it is the other way round. In New Guinea you almost only meet indigenous population groups during backbacking. This also applies to the islands in the South Seas.
It is noteworthy that you will find many works of art on all the islands. This is due to the fact that the script was unknown in the area. Stories and legends were not only transmitted orally from generation to generation, but carved or painted in wood. Languages exist because of the huge distances and the many indigenous tribes. However, you can get through with English, partly also with French.
Backpacker Information about the continent
If you’ve seen Sydney, Ayers Rock, World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park or the vast desert areas of Australia, you should visit Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand. Beaches, which do justice to every postcard cliché of a perfect island world, await you somewhere on almost all islands during your backpacker trip through Oceania.
But not all are as dreamlike as on Aitutaki or in French Polynesia around the island world Bora Bora. If Bora Bora is too expensive for you, you will find the same scenery at very low prices on Moorea. Nature lovers looking for a perfect submarine underwater world can let off steam at the several thousand kilometre long Great Barrier Reef. Sailor romance awaits you in the island world of Vava’u in Tonga. And on Hawaii you can surf super beside fire-breathing volcanoes.
Not all regions are safe in Oceania. Port Morsby on Papua New Guinea is not exactly a place where you should stay longer than necessary. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as you do backpacking around the globe. You can save a lot of money by staying away from the famous first-class tourist regions. You can find picture-book beaches everywhere.