Oceania is sometimes described as a continent; however, it is a vast region where the waters of the Pacific Ocean — rather than land borders — separate nations. As its name indicates, this region is defined by large expanses of ocean dotted with many small and large island nations. The climates range from tropical to desert to near arctic.
The countless small islands are known for their white sand with swaying palm trees, astounding coral reefs, and rugged volcanoes. Oceania also contains the deserts of Australia and the highland rainforests of Papua New Guinea, the fjords and glaciers of New Zealand as well as indigenous communities and modern world cities side by side.
Colonialism by European powers has had a pervasive influence on the social landscape and culture of most of the region. British colonialism has made cricket part of the Australian and New Zealand summer, and has also resulted in either one or both forms of rugby - becoming an integral part of the cultures of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. The bringing of British indentured labour from India to harvest sugar cane in Fiji has led to long-term political unrest, but also means that Nadi has some of the best kofta balls to be had outside of Mumbai. Francophone New Caledonia sees the modern capital and tourist hub Noumea surrounded by Melanesian villages rarely visited.