Top Ten Oceanic Attractions

Top Ten Oceanic Attractions

  1. Bora Bora, French Polynesia

           Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The original name of the island in the Tahitian language might be better rendered as Pora Pora, meaning “First Born”; an early transcription found in 18th and 19th century accounts, is Bolabolla or Bollabolla. The island, located about 230 kilometers (140 mi) northwest of Papeete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the center of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 meters (2,385 ft.). Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The island is served by Bora Bora Airport on Motu Mete in the north, with Air Tahiti providing daily flights to and from Papeete on Tahiti. The major settlement, Vaitape is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. Produce of the island is mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and the plentiful coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra. According to a census performed in 2008, the permanent population of Bora Bora is 8,880.
    Links: Top Ten French Polynesian Attractions, Top Ten Islands, Top 100 Beaches, Resorts, Top Ten Oceanic Resorts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bora_Bora,
  2. Tahiti, French Polynesia

           Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of French Polynesia, located in the archipelago of the Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. It is the economic, cultural and political center of French Polynesia. The island was formed from volcanic activity and is high and mountainous with surrounding coral reefs. The population is 178,133 (2007), making it the most populous island of French Polynesia and accounting for 68.6% of the group’s total population. Tahiti was formerly known as Otaheite. The capital, Papeete, is located on the northwest coast with the only international airport in the region, Faa’a International Airport, situated 5 km (3.1 mi) from the town center. Tahiti was originally settled by Polynesians between 300 and 800 AD. The island was proclaimed a colony of France in 1880 although it was not until 1946 that the indigenous Tahitians were legally authorized to be French citizens. French is the only official language although the Tahitian language (Reo Tahiti) is widely spoken. It was part of the Kingdom of Tahiti until its annexation by France in 1880.
    Links: Top Ten French Polynesian Attractions, Top Ten Islands, Top 100 Beaches, Resorts, Top Ten Oceanic Resorts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tahiti,
  3. Sydney, Australia

           Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population. The site of the first British colony in Australia, Sydney was established in 1788 at Sydney Cove by Arthur Phillip, commodore of the First Fleet as a penal colony. The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbour, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge feature prominently. The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach. Within the city are many notable parks, including Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens. In 2010, Sydney was ranked 7th in Asia and 28th globally for economic innovation in the Innovation Cities Top 100 Index by innovation agency 2thinknow. Sydney also ranks among the top 10 most livable cities in the world according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting, The Economist and Monocle and is considered among the top fashion capitals in the world. Sydney ranks among the top 10 world centers. It has hosted major international sporting events, including the 1938 British Empire Games, the 2000 Summer Olympics, and the final match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The main airport serving Sydney is Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Cities, Top Ten Oceanic Cities, Top Ten Opera Houses, Top Ten Concert Halls, Top Ten Aquariums, Top Ten Cathedrals, Top Ten Bridges, Beaches, Top Ten Oceanic Beaches, Top Ten Australian Beaches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney,
  4. Easter Island Moai

           Moai, or mo‘ai, are monolithic human figures carved from rock on the Polynesian island of Easter Island between the years 1250 and 1500. Nearly half are still at Rano Raraku, the main moai quarry, but hundreds were transported from there and set on stone platforms called ahu around the island’s perimeter. Almost all moai have overly large heads three-fifths the size of their bodies. The moai are chiefly the living faces (aringa ora) of deified ancestors (aringa ora ata tepuna). The statues still gazed inland across their clan lands when Europeans first visited the island, but most would be cast down during later conflicts between clans. The 887 statues’ production and transportation is considered a remarkable creative and physical feat. The tallest moai erected, called Paro, was almost 10 m (33 ft) high and weighed 82 tons; the heaviest erected was a shorter but squatter moai at Ahu Tongariki, weighing 86 tons; and one unfinished sculpture, if completed, would have been approximately 21 m (69 ft.) tall with a weight of about 270 tons.
    Links: Top Ten Easter Island Attractions, Top Ten Chilean Attractions, Sculptures, Top 100 Oceanic Sculptures, Top Ten Underwater Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moai,
  5. Melbourne, Australia

           Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the 2nd most populous city in Australia with approximately 4 million inhabitants (2009). The Melbourne City Center is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division, of which “Melbourne” is the common name. The metropolis is located on the large natural bay known as Port Phillip, with the city center positioned at the estuary of the Yarra River (at the northern-most point of the bay). The metropolitan area then extends south from the city center, along the eastern and western shorelines of Port Phillip, and expands into the hinterland. Melbourne was founded in 1835 (47 years after the European settlement of Australia) by settlers from Van Diemen’s Land. It was named by governor Richard Bourke in 1837, in honor of the British Prime Minister of the day, William Lamb, the 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Melbourne was officially declared a city by Queen Victoria in 1847. In 1851, it became the capital city of the newly created colony of Victoria. During the Victorian gold rush of the 1850’s, it was transformed into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest cities. After the federation of Australia in 1901, it then served as the interim seat of government of the newly created nation of Australia until 1927. Often referred to as the “cultural capital of Australia,” Melbourne is the birthplace of cultural institutions such as Australian film (as well as the world’s first feature film), Australian television, Australian rules football, the Australian impressionist art movement (known as the Heidelberg School) and Australian dance styles such as New Vogue and the Melbourne Shuffle. It is also a major center for contemporary and traditional Australian music. Melbourne was ranked as the world’s most livable city in the World’s Most Livable Cities ratings by the Economist Group’s Intelligence Unit in August, 2011. It was also ranked in the top 10 Global University Cities by RMIT’s Global University Cities Index (since 2006) and the top 20 Global Innovation Cities by the 2thinknow Global Innovation Agency (since 2007). The metropolis is also home to the world’s largest tram network.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top 100 Films, Top Ten Paintings by the Heidelberg School, Sculptures, Top 100 Oceanic Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melbourne,
  6. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

           The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 km (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square km (133,000 square mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland in north-east Australia. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. This reef structure is composed of and built by billions of tiny organisms, known as coral polyps. CNN labeled it one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The Queensland National Trust named it a state icon of Queensland. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism. Other environmental pressures on the reef and its ecosystem include runoff, climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching and cyclic population outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish. The Great Barrier Reef has long been known to and used by the Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and is an important part of local groups’ cultures and spirituality. The reef is a very popular destination for tourists, especially in the Whitsunday Islands and Cairns regions. Tourism is an important economic activity for the region, generating $1 billion per year.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Reefs, Top 100 Fish, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Barrier_Reef,
  7. The Gold Coast, Australia

           Gold Coast is a coastal city located in South East Queensland, Australia. The city is 94 km south of the state capital Brisbane. With a population approximately 540,000 (2010), it is the 2nd most populous city in the state, the 6th most populous city in the country, and also the most populous non-capital city in Australia. The Gold Coast also holds the title of the largest cross-state population of any metropolitan area in Australia, due to its close proximity to Tweed Heads which is located in New South Wales. The total metropolitan area of the region is over 600,000 people, many of whom cross the border daily. In addition, the urban area of the Gold Coast has almost joined with the urban areas of Logan and Brisbane, some 50 km north. While the origin of the city’s name is debatable, it earned a reputation as being the “gold coast” area by real estate investors. The first settlement of the area of Queensland was as a penal colony at Redcliffe. The Gold Coast urban area remained largely uninhabited by Europeans until 1823 when explorer John Oxley landed at Mermaid Beach. The hinterland’s red cedar supply attracted people to the area in the mid-19th century. Later in 1875, Southport was surveyed and established and quickly grew a reputation as a secluded holiday destination for the upper class Brisbane residents. The region of the Gold Coast grew significantly after the establishment of the Surfers Paradise hotel in the late 1920’s. The area boomed in the 1980’s as a leading tourist destination and by 1994, Queensland decided to amalgamate the city with Albert Shire to develop it as one of Australia’s “super cities.” This amalgamation made Gold Coast the 2nd largest municipality in Australia after Brisbane. Its new boundaries extend south to Coolangatta on the border with New South Wales, west to Mount Tamborine in the remote interior, and north to Beenleigh of Brisbane. Gold Coast is today known as a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, canal and waterway systems, its high-rise dominated skyline, nightlife and rainforest hinterland, making tourism one of its most significant industries. Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Surf Spots,
  8. Fiji, Melanasia

    Fiji is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. Its closest neighbors are Vanuatu to the west, France’s New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand’s Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas, France’s Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north. The majority of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic activity started around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the 2nd millennium BC. The country comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of circa 18,300 square km (7,100 square mi). The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 850,000. The former contains Suva, the capital and largest city. Most of Fijians live on Viti Levu’s coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centers. Viti Levu’s interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Dutch and the British explored Fiji. Fiji was a British colony up until 1970; British occupation lasted almost a century. Because of the abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources, Fiji is one of the most developed economies in the Pacific island realm. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The country’s currency is the Fijian dollar. Fiji has a local government system where city and town councils fall under the general supervision of the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development. President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau became Fiji’s president, after a high court ruled that the military leadership was unlawfully appointed after a 2006 coup. During WWII, the UK allowed for many thousands of Fijians to volunteer to aid in Allies’ efforts via their attachment to the New Zealand and Australian army units. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), consist of land and naval units.
    Links: Top Ten Melanasian Attractions,
  9. Fraser Island, Australia


           Fraser Island is an island located along the southern coast of Queensland, Australia, approximately 200 km (120 mi) north of Brisbane. Its length is about 120 km (75 mi) and its width is approximately 24 km (15 mi). The island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km². It is also Queensland’s largest island, Australia’s 6th largest island and the largest island on the East Coast of Australia. The island has rainforests, eucalyptus woodland, mangrove forests, wallum and peat swamps, sand dunes and coastal heaths. It is made up of sand that has been accumulating for approximately 750,000 years on volcanic bedrock that provides a natural catchment for the sediment which is carried on a strong offshore current northwards along the coast. Unlike many sand dunes, plant life is abundant due to the naturally occurring mycorrhizal fungi present in the sand, which release nutrients in a form that can be absorbed by the plants. Fraser Island is home to a small number of mammal species, as well as a diverse range of birds, reptiles and amphibians, including the occasional saltwater crocodile. The island is part of the Fraser Coast Region and protected in the Great Sandy National Park. Fraser Island has been inhabited by humans for as much as 5,000 years. Explorer James Cook sailed by the island in May 1770. Matthew Flinders landed near the most northern point of the island in 1802. For a short period the island was known as Great Sandy Island. The island became known as Fraser due to the stories of a shipwreck survivor named Eliza Fraser. Today the island is a popular tourism destination. Its resident human population was 360 at the census of 2006.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions, Top Ten Islands, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Island,
  10. Auckland, New Zealand

           The Auckland metropolitan area, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with 1,354,900 residents, 31% of the country’s population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. In Māori Auckland’s name is Tāmaki Makaurau, or the transliterated version of Auckland, Ākarana. The 2010 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranked Auckland 4th equal place in the world on its list, while The Economist’s World’s Most Livable Cities index of 2010 ranked Auckland in 10th place. In 2008, Auckland was classified as an Alpha World City in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, and the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west. The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbor on the Tasman Sea and the Waitemata Harbor on the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the few cities in the world to have harbors on two separate major bodies of water.
    Links: Top Ten New Zealand Attractions, Cities, Top Ten Clock Towers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auckland,
  11. Links: Attractions, Top Ten Oceanic Resorts, Top Ten Oceanic Hotels, Top Ten Oceanic Islands, 

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