[19] The continental shelf connecting the islands, half of which is less than 50 metres (160 ft) deep, covers some 2.5 million square kilometres (970,000 sq mi), including the Sahul Shelf[20][21] and Bass Strait. New Guinea has 578 species of breeding birds, of which 324 species are endemic. Australia and Oceania Continent is the world’s smallest continent, the continent is surrounded by the Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans. There are rainforests in the north, snowfields in the south-east, desert in the centre and fertile croplands in the south and south-west. Recent research points to a planned migration of hundreds of people using bamboo rafts, which eventually landed on Sahul. Phillip described Sydney Cove as being "without exception the finest harbour in the world". New Guinea has a rich diversity of coral life and 1,200 species of fish have been found. 1. Australia 2. [76], Due to the spread of animals, fungi and plants across the single Pleistocene landmass the separate lands have a related biota. [25] Mount Wilhelm in Papua New Guinea is the second highest mountain in the continent,[26] and at 4,884 metres (16,024 ft) above sea level, Puncak Jaya is the highest mountain. So what is Oceania then? Supported by immigration of people from more than 200 countries since the end of World War II, the population increased to more than 23 million by 2014.[74]. [73] Australia fought on the side of Britain in the two world wars and became a long-standing ally of the United States when threatened by Imperial Japan during World War II. Australia is its own country, but it is also a continent at the same time. [67] The Commonwealth of Australia came into being when the Federal Constitution was proclaimed by the Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun, on 1 January 1901. A northern arc consisting of the New Guinea Highlands, the Raja Ampat Islands, and Halmahera was uplifted by the northward migration of Australia and subduction of the Pacific Plate. An Australia countries and capitals list can be used for reference when planning a trip. Huge areas of land are so dry that they are uninhabited. [118][119] Papua New Guinea is classified as a developing economy by the International Monetary Fund. ", Lewis & Wigen, The Myth of Continents (1997), "Pre-LGM Sahul (Pleistocene Australia-New Guinea) and the Archaeology of Early Modern Humans", "Island-hopping study shows the most likely route the first people took to Australia", "Big Bank Shoals of the Timor Sea: An environmental resource atlas", "Seven decades after Independence, many small languages in India face extinction threat", "BBC: First contact with isolated tribes? Oceania Australia Facts All you need to know about the Oceania Australia Continent! The possession was placed under the authority of the newly federated Commonwealth of Australia in 1902 and with passage of the Papua Act of 1905, British New Guinea became the Australian Territory of Papua, with formal Australian administration beginning in 1906. In 1660, the Dutch recognised the Sultan of Tidore's sovereignty over New Guinea. [58], In 1606 Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon made the first documented European sight and landing on the continent of Australia in Cape York Peninsula. [46] Dreamtime remains a prominent feature of Australian Aboriginal art, the oldest continuing tradition of art in the world. Majorly dominated by the nation Australia, the other two landmasses of Oceania are inclusive of the microcontinent Zealandia that comprises the country New Zealand and the western half of the island called New Guinea. [33][34] Australia also has the world's 9th largest immigrant population. It is here that James Cook made first contact with an Aboriginal tribe known as the Gweagal, who he fired upon, injuring one. [142][143] Aboriginal culture includes a number of practices and ceremonies centered on a belief in the Dreamtime. Australia is a lonely continent on the surface of the earth. The first Australians are thought to have come about forty thousand to sixty thousand years ago from New Guinea and Indonesia, establishing a population of at least 350 thousand before the first European contact. [108], Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living,[111] making it one of the most livable cities. The continent can be called Australia or Australasia. [63] His expedition became the first recorded Europeans to have encountered the eastern coastline of Australia. [85], As the continent drifted north from Antarctica, a unique fauna, flora and mycobiota developed. [62] On 29 April, Cook and crew made their first landfall on the mainland of the continent at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula. [113][114] Melbourne also ranked highly in the world's most liveable city list,[115] and is a leading financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region. The name "Sahul" takes its name from the Sahul Shelf, which is part of the continental shelf of the Australian continent. The first continent system is the seven continent system consisting of Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania/Australia, North America, South America and Antarctica.. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}26°S 141°E / 26°S 141°E / -26; 141. Papua New Guinea is a Commonwealth realm. Grassland in Queensland with mountains in background. 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