Australasia is a region of Oceania: New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in "Histoire des navigations aux terres australes" (1756). He derived it from the Latin for "south of Asia" and differentiated the area from Polynesia (to the east) and the southeast Pacific ("Magellanica"). It is also distinct from Micronesia (to the northeast).

Human geography

Geopolitically, Australasia is sometimes used as a term for New Zealand and Australia together, in the absence of another word limited to those two countries. Sometimes Papua New Guinea is encompassed by the term. There are many organizations whose names are prefixed with "(Royal) Australasian Society" that are limited to just New Zealand and Australia.

In the past, Australasia has been used as a name for combined Australia/New Zealand sporting teams. Examples include tennis between 1905 and 1915, when New Zealand and Australia combined its best players to compete in the Davis Cup international tournament (and won it in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911 and 1914), and at the Olympic Games of 1908 and 1912. Australasia also competed in the 1911 Festival of Empire in London, the precursor of the Commonwealth Games.

Ecological geography

From an ecological perspective the Australasia ecozone is a distinct region with a common evolutionary history and a great many unique flora and fauna. In this context, Australasia is limited to Australia, New Guinea, and neighbouring islands, including the Indonesian islands from Lombok and Sulawesi eastward. The biological dividing line from Asia is the Wallace lineBorneo and Bali lie on the western, Asian side. New Zealand comprises another ecological zone altogether, as it had been isolated from the rest of the world, including the rest of Australasia, for even longer.

See also

* Near Oceania
* Sundaland
* Oceania
* Australia-New Guinea
* New Zealand
* ANZAC - Australia and New Zealand


*cite web | last = Richards | first = Kel | authorlink = | coauthors = | year = 2006 | url = | title = Australasia | work = Wordwatch | publisher = ABC News Radio | accessdate = 2006-09-30
* [ Australasia] Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Australasia — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Australasia Australasia es una zona de Oceanía que incluye Australia, Nueva Zelanda, Nueva Guinea y muchas islas pequeñas cercanas que forman la parte oriental de Indonesia. El …   Wikipedia Español

  • Australasia — es la zona que incluye Australia, Nueva Zelanda, Nueva Guinea y muchas islas pequeñas cercanas que forman la parte oriental de Indonesia. El término fue introducido por Charles de Brosses en Histoire des navigations aux terres australes (1756).… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Australasia — [ôs΄trə lā′zhə] 1. generally, the islands of the SW Pacific 2. Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, the Malay Archipelago, and all islands south of the equator and between E longitudes 100 and 180 3. Oceania Australasian adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Australasia — geographical name Australia, New Zealand, & Melanesia • Australasian adjective or noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Australasia — Australasien Australasische Ökozone Australasien (südlich von Asien) bezeichnet im weitesten Sinne die Region um Australien, Neuseeland, Neuguine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Australasia — Australasian, adj., n. /aw streuh lay zheuh, sheuh/, n. Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands in the S Pacific Ocean. [AUSTRAL(IA) + ASIA] * * * …   Universalium

  • Australasia — noun a) Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and neighbouring islands b) all of Oceania …   Wiktionary

  • AUSTRALASIA —    (i. e. Southern Asia), a name given to Australia, New Zealand, and the islands adjoining …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Australasia — Oz +N(ew) Z(ealand) …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • australasia — Australian Slang Oz +N(ew) Z(ealand) …   English dialects glossary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.