|Australasia and Oceania covers a vast area of land and sea, stretching across fourteen countries and includes the Australian continent, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the many islands of the great Pacific Ocean. The total landmass measures 8,508,238 sq km. From east to west, Australasia and Oceania measure 4000 km and from north to south 3200 km. The most westerly point is Cape Inscription in Australia. |
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The northern most point is Eastern Island within the Midway Islands. The highest point of elevation is Mount Wilhelm on Papua New Guinea, which stands at a height of 4509m. Natural features include the great deserts of Australia, the Great Dividing Range and the Great Barrier Reef. The Equator slices the top of Australasia and Oceania and the Tropic of Capricorn cuts Australia in two. The International Date Line lies due east of New Zealand and it is possible to 'lose a day' by flying even a short distance to one of the islands of Oceania. The largest lake is Lake Eyre in Australia with a total area of 8884 sq km. The wealth of minerals found within Australasia and Oceania include bauxite, copper, iron, lead, nickel and gold.
Australasia and Oceania are not very densely populated and Australia in particular has a particularly low population density. The ethnic groups of Australasia and Oceania include Aborigines, Maoris, Polynesians and Pacific Islanders. The main language spoken throughout Australia and Oceania is English, although many indigenous languages are also spoken. The climate is incredibly varied from desert climate within central Australia to tropical within the island groups of Oceania and Papua New Guinea. Many of the islands and coral atolls of Oceania occasionally receive cyclones and typhoons. The highest recorded temperature was 53�C in Bourke, Australia. The lowest was -22�C in Canberra, Australia.
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