Oceania

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The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney’s Opera House, New Zealand’s thermal pools, and Bora Bora’s white sandy beaches will be some of the top destinations on your travel list to Oceania. There are plenty more places to discover, but you might get stuck in the luxury and nature Oceania has to offer. 

About The Region: Oceania

Many associate Oceania with Australia, however, Oceania is home to many other islands nations and territories that offer a full spectrum of diversity. Surrounded by huge spans of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Oceania is a long way away from the rest of the world and thanks to its remoteness, the island nations that make up this region have had time to develop their own different, very distinct identities and cultural traditions.

When to Go

There never seems like a horrid time to wander through Cairns’ lush jungle or swim with humpback whales in Tonga, but Oceania’s climate is more complex than the stereotypical, Australian imagery of kangaroos pouncing throughout the desert.

With boundaries stretching from Southeast Asia to Hawaii, Oceania is in the southern hemisphere when it comes to seasonal variations – meaning seasons are opposite to North America and vary greatly from sub-region to sub-region.

Micronesia – Micronesia is a northwest region of Oceania and receives continuous sun, humidity and rainfall. Boasting some of the world’s most untouched islands, Micronesia during December and March are prime, dry months to enjoy swimming with thousands of jellyfish in Palau, diving alongside WWII relics in Chuuk Lagoon or exploring mysterious Micronesian ruins known as “The Venice of the Pacific.” English and the US dollar are widely used.

Melanesia – An absolute paradise between May and October, Melanesia is brimming with exotic wildlife, culture and history. New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands are easily reached flying from Australia and New Zealand. Bring your trekking shoes and embark on a multi-day trek through the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea. Get dirty at Fiji’s mud pool and wash off at one of the many paradisiacal beaches stretched across Melanesia.

Australasia – Australasia is made up of Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. Warmer winters fall between June and August with summer from December through February – Making Australasia a perfect getaway anytime of the year! The adventures are NON-STOP by the way. Nature lovers always have a reason to be outdoors and city lovers will enjoy beautiful architecture and warm smiles. This sub-region is popular for a reason!

Polynesia – The most far-flung region of Oceania, Polynesia boasts some of the most beautiful islands in the world. French Polynesia is famous for activities like snorkeling with sharks in Bora Bora, sightseeing mysterious stone carvings at Easter Island and surfing the world class swells in Hawaii. Weather varies from island to island and season to season, so research the destination in detail before making any plans!

Scroll to the bottom for more unmissable travel opportunities in Oceania.

Travel PrerequisiteS

The DoD Foreign Clearance Guide outlines all the requirements you must complete before traveling. The requirements vary by combatant command and country. And they change continually, based on current threats.

Approved liberty (This process varies greatly from unit to unit, be sure to check local guidelines)

  • Completed itinerary 
  • The DoD Foreign Clearance Guide may suggest completion of additional travel prerequisites that may include the following:
        • Level 1 Anti-Terrorism Awareness Training via JKO
        • SERE 100.2 via JKO
        • Travel Tracker Individual Anti-terrorism Plan (TT/IATP) 
        • Country Clearance via Aircraft and Personnel Automated Clearance System (APACS) 
        • Theater Clearance via APACS
        • Special Area Clearance
        • Isolated Personnel Report training
        • SCI Brief via local command
        • Detailed Itinerary

Military Installations and Historical Sites

The U.S. military installations in the Oceania region include Guam, Hawaii and Australia. Relations with these host nations are peaceful and reliable. Travel resources are available and have been incredibly helpful for troops on vacation.

Travel Considerations

Oceania is a diverse continent with native tribal culture, pristine beaches, top snorkeling & diving spots, and stunning volcanoes. There are several considerations to keep in mind as much of the natural elements can be amazing yet dangerous!

Like many other continents in the world, there are some countries or cities that are legitimately unsafe for travelers. It is always recommended that at the time of planning any trip, that you check the current political climate or general state of affairs in the country you are thinking of visiting.

The trick is simply knowing the do’s and don’ts both geographically and logistically. Here are some valuable safety tips for travel in Oceania.

  • Vaccinations are recommended and required for some parts of this region. A detailed list can be found here from the World Health Organization.
  • Check The Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs travel advisories regarding the safety of every country.
  • Know how to get around and plan! This region is so spread out and Australia is massive. You’ll need to plan ahead and ensure the destinations you want to visit have a viable source of transportation. 
  • Check visa requirements! 
  • Scuba dive cautiously! Rough waters and marine life are the least of your worries as ocean floors in Micronesia are littered with live WWII bombs…
  • Dress appropriately. The heat is no reason to wear little clothing. Respect the community and cultural norms.
  • Plan around the weather. The extreme heat and recurring cyclones can be too much for some travelers. It is always a good rule of thumb to plan around the weather.
  • Budget for this region. Australia is known for stark prices in comparison to the United States. Many other countries of this region will be significantly higher as well due to location for imports/exports. 
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