Australia is so large it’s both a country and a continent. Crossing from Sydney, on the east coast, to Perth, in the west, involves a four-hour flight, or several days on the road. And while it's surprisingly sparsely populated outside the coastal cities, Australia has attractions in spades, from the Great Barrier Reef to Uluru and the Devils Marbles, not to mention an array of wildlife, from the gentle (koalas) to the terrifying (poisonous snakes).

Elsewhere in Oceania, compact New Zealand offers big scenery in the shape of lofty mountains, national parks, craggy fjords and award-winning vineyards. Yet, there's so much more to this part of the world than its two most-visited countries. Among the many islands of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia — such as Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga — you'll find fascinating cultures, volcanic landscapes and, of course, some of the most picturesque beaches in the world.

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