Category: Australia and Oceania

Howland Island Geography and Climate

Howland Island Geography and Climate

Howland Island has belonged to the United States since February 5, 1857 and is considered an area within the remote islands of the United States. This island has never become an incorporated part of the United States and it is perhaps not so strange because there is no population here and those who move on the island are mainly scientists who come here to study the environment and nature. People usually talk about Howland Island and Baker Island together as Baker-Howland for Baker Island is only about 100 km away from Howland. Together, the two islands are called the Phoenix Islands in English.

Howland Island was discovered in 1822 by the American captain George B. Worth, but perhaps better known is that the island was never reached by Amelia Earhart when she failed to fly around the world. Howland Island is located in Micronesia, part of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

More about Howland Island

This island was thus discovered in the early 19th century by the United States, but it would not be until 1857 before the United States officially claimed it. Both American and British companies mined guano on the island until 1890 and in 1935 they tried to colonize the island but this did not succeed. To get to Howland Island, you must have a special permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It is mostly researchers and educators who come here, and there is an airfield that was built in 1937 in preparation for Amelia Earhart who was expected to land to refuel, but that did not happen and today you can not use the airfield as it is not serviced. You can instead get to the island by boat. In the middle of the island’s west coast there is a place where boats can dock.

Geography and climate

Howland Island is a coral island with a maximum height of 6 meters. A large part of the island consists of sand and low vegetation. There are no sources of fresh water and today the island is considered a nature reserve. The island is surrounded by a narrow reef and here there are plenty of seabirds. The island has a rich marine life that is of great interest to the researchers who come here to study unique species up close. The climate is equatorial and this means that you do not get much rain and that the sun shines in a very intense way. The temperatures are regulated a bit by the fact that it is constantly blowing from the east.

Howland Island Geography

Attractions in Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia

Attractions in Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia

Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia

Australia undoubtedly has a myriad of sights and attractions to offer. One of the most important and famous landmarks on the fifth continent is Ayers Rock. The world-famous 350 meter high mountain, which extends over a total of three kilometers, is located in the center of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the territory of “Central Australia”. The impressive rock made of reddish sandstone attracts millions of locals and tourists from all over the world every year. Especially among the Aborigines, “Ayers Rock”, which is said to be around 550 million years old, is considered a sacred mountain. The Australian aborigines call the mountain “Uluru”. Depending on the time of day and the different irradiation of the sun, “Ayers Rock” appears

Guided hikes with exciting information about “Ayers Rock”

Around the mountain there is a large network of well-developed hiking trails with different levels of difficulty and lengths. When climbing “Ayers Rock” on your own, however, you should also pay attention to a few things. Above all, it is important to only use the marked paths. These are secured with a handrail, among other things. In addition, photography and filming are not permitted in some areas. The Australian natives also do not want to take sand and stones from the Ayers Rock area with them. The longest route is the 10.6 kilometer “Uluru Base Walk”. The Kuniya Walk is only one kilometer long. Most of the hiking trails start at one of the various parking lots near Ayers Rock. There are large information boards at regular intervals at the edge of the hiking trails. Exciting tours of the legendary mountain are available daily at 10 a.m. Among other things, there is a lot of exciting information about the history of “Ayers Rock” and the changeful tradition of the Aborigines.

Arriving from Ayers Rock Connellan Airport

Numerous hotels, motels and lodges in different price categories have emerged throughout the region in recent decades. Admission for a three-day stay in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is 25 Australian dollars. You can get here by car or by plane. Ayers Rock Connellan Airport, which is about seven kilometers from the Ayers Rock Resort “Yulara”, is one of the most important starting points for an unforgettable excursion to “Ayers Rock”. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is characterized by numerous rare native plants that have adapted to the weather conditions with great heat and rare rainfall. Among other things, desert oaks, buffalo grass and the mulga bush grow here.

Attractions in Ayers Rock (Uluru), Australia

Australia – Individual Adventure Trip

Australia – Individual Adventure Trip

An individual trip to Australia is a unique experience for every adventure and nature lover. Look forward to a variety of excursions, such as a jeep tour on Fraser Island or a sailing tour to the Whitsundays. Go scuba diving in the world famous Great Barrier Reef and admire the imposing Uluru. Big cities like Sydney or Melbourne want to be explored by you!

This is an example of a round trip we have conducted on the east coast with Ayers Rock and Darwin and should serve as a source of inspiration. Of course, the itinerary including the destinations can be adjusted. We would be happy to work out a tour tailored to your interests and budget, that is our specialty! According to Countryaah, Australia is one of countries with name starting with letter A.


Best travel time: Australia is a huge country and can therefore be visited all year round.
May to October: north and center of Australia
October to April: south of Australia

Duration of the trip : This trip lasts 4.5 weeks. In general, we recommend planning at least three weeks for a tour of Australia in order to get to know the country and its people away from the tourist hotspots.

Travel planning: Australia is best explored on your own with a rental car. We recommend booking a guided tour at individual locations. We will put together a harmonious route for you and book you the hotels with the best price / performance ratio.

Tip: Do not underestimate the distances and limit yourself to individual areas for a short journey.

Day 1 – 4: Sydney
Your big tour of Australia starts in the metropolis of Sydney. Explore the city: Visit the famous opera house, Darling Harbor, the historic “The Rocks” district as well as Sydney’s shopping streets, the harbor and the botanical garden. Enjoy a sundowner in a bar high above the city in the evening.

Day 4 – 6: Blue Mountains
Today you travel from Sydney to Leura. The highlight of this trip is the Blue Mountains National Park, which is best known for the “Three Sisters” rock formation. South of Katoomba, the world’s steepest passenger train leads into the Jamison Valley, which is covered by eucalyptus forests. The valley can be crossed with a sensational view with the “Scenic Skyway” gondola lift.

Day 6 – 8: Hunter Valley
Relax in the midst of the vineyards. Surrounded by natural bushland, you can escape from everyday life in complete peace.


Day 8 – 9: Port Macquarie
On your onward journey, discover the headland of Port Macquarie directly opposite the city beach. Here you also have the chance to see koalas up close.

Day 9-10: Coffs Harbor
We continue to Coffs Harbor. On the way you can stop in Mabucca Heads and marvel at the beautiful sandy beaches. Coffs Harbor is a popular resort with a subtropical climate and uncrowded beaches on the Pacific coast. Enjoy the natural beauty of the area and explore the local attractions and beach at Korora Bay. From the Sealy Lookout you have an excellent view and in town it is worth strolling along the promenade and the historic wooden jetty.

Day 10 – 11: Byron Bay
Off to the coast in the middle of the 20 hectare sand dune landscape. You drive north with your rental car through subtropical vegetation zones and along banana plantations. Byron Bay’s audience is a mixed bag of surfers, yogis, artists, backpackers and families. The nearby lighthouse “Cape Byron” is the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. Visit one of the many galleries or enjoy the time on the beach. You can even spot humpback whales between May and November.

Day 11-13: Noosa
Welcome to Noosa, one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Australia. Stroll the beaches and explore the restaurants and boutiques.

Day 13-15: Fraser Island
Today you travel to Fraser Island. The largest sand island in the world welcomes you with crystal clear lakes, snow-white sand, dunes, rainforests and sandstone formations. The sea is not so well suited for swimming here, but you can relax in the warm champagne pools. Humpback and sperm whales can be seen in Hervey Bay between August and October.

Day 15 – 17: Brisbane
Brisbane is a must on a round trip to Australia. Take your time to explore Queen Street Mall, the Brisbane River and the South Bank. We recommend taking a sunset cruise on the Brisbane River.

Day 17-18: Airlie Beach
Continue to Airlie Beach to explore the city and its surroundings. Airlie Beach is the starting point for your sailing trip to the Whitsunday Islands. You can leave your rental car for the next few days and just enjoy it.

Day 18 – 20: Whitsundays sailing
turn Turquoise water and white, powdery sugar sand beach awaits you! Board an exclusive sailing catamaran and let yourself be carried away to one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Whitsunday Islands. Who does not know the legendary images of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef on earth? The experienced captain will respond to your wishes and will happily let experienced sailors take the helm from time to time. You sail to the world’s most beautiful beaches, countless spectacular places for snorkeling and in secluded bays.

Day 20-21: Airlie Beach
Back in Airlie Beach you have free time. Enjoy the time on one of the beautiful beaches of the region or stroll along the promenade including cooling off in the lagoon. The Beach Markets are also always worthwhile on Saturdays.

Day 21: Train journey from Airlie Beach to Cairns
Bus transfer from Airlie Beach to the train station in Proserpine and onward journey by train from Proserpine to Cairns in the “Spirit of Queensland”. Cairns convinces with beautiful markets, great beaches, tropical temperatures and the proximity to the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 21-22: Palm Cove
Make a stop in Palm Cove on your self-drive tour before heading into the rainforest. Here you can once again enjoy the beach and the sea, stroll through the town and let your mind wander.

Day 22: Wooroonooran rainforest (guided tour)
Depart for White Rock for an up-close look at the kangaroos. Then drive to the Atherton Tablelands to the Curtain Fig Tree, a large strangler fig whose drooping roots look like a curtain. At Milla Milla Falls you have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim before continuing on to the Mamu Canopy Walk, a suspension bridge path with a 42m high observation tower in the treetops of the Wooroonooran National Park. This region has one of the most lush and oldest rainforests on earth. Highlights include walks at Josephine Falls with swimming and rock slides in crystal clear rivers. At the end of the day, take a boat tour on the Mulgrave River, into the rainforest to watch birds and crocodiles. Return towards evening.

Day 23: Excursion on your own to Kuranda Dreaming
Drive with your rental car to the Caravonica cable car station. You float with the Skyrail gondola over the treetops of the rainforest and up the Barron River to the mountain village of Kuranda. Visit the train station decorated with tropical plants, followed by a stroll to the market stalls on the edge of the rainforest and through the beautiful town center. Continue to the Rainforest Nature Park with the integrated Pamagirri Aboriginal Center, where performances of didgeridoo music, stories from the dreamtime, and aboriginal dances are offered. Try the boomerang and javelin throwing! On the return journey to Cairns, stop at Freshwater Railway Station. From there you have the option of taking the historic train back.

Day 23-25: Daintree National Park
This national park should not be missed during a tour of Australia. The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. A very special spectacle awaits you at Cape Tribulation, where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef.
You can take a trip on your own in a rental car or take part in a guided tour with a guide who will give you a lot of background information about the Daintree rainforest.

Day 25-26: Cairns
Today you travel back to Cairns. The time is at your disposal here. Stroll the Cairns Esplanade, the social and leisure hub of the city. Take a break for breakfast outdoors in one of the cozy cafés or cool off in the large saltwater lagoon. Cruise the mangrove-lined waterways of Trinity Inlet or explore the area on an Aboriginal walking tour to learn about fish, crabs, and medicinal plants. Snorkel or dive with glowing fish and corals, or sail past pristine islands on the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 26-29: Ayers Rock (guided tour)
You fly to Ayers Rock. Discover the highlights of the Red Center with Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon in a comfortable way.

Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park
Exploration tour at Uluru (Ayers Rock) with a walk to the Mutitjulu waterhole and a visit to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta cultural center. Then enjoy the play of colors of the sunset at Uluru with a glass of wine and nibbles.

Uluru – Watarrka National Park
After an early start, you will experience an atmospheric sunrise at Uluru. Then you explore the Walpa Gorge, an easily accessible gorge in the 36 rock domes of Kata Tjuta (Olgas). In the afternoon drive to Watarrka National Park.

Kings Canyon – Alice Springs
In the morning, the approx. 3-hour circular hike along the upper rim of the impressive Kings Canyon awaits you (good fitness required). After a first steep ascent, you will experience views of fascinating gorges and steep walls. The path leads through the rocky landscape “Lost City” and into the “Garden of Eden”. Alternatively, a leisurely walk on the canyon floor. After lunch at Kings Creek Station, continue to Alice Springs.

Day 29-30: Alice Springs
Alice Springs is located in the middle of the outback. Learn about the geology of the Northern Territory at the Museum of Central Australia. There you will find a large collection of minerals, fossils and Aboriginal finds. You can learn more about the local flora and fauna at the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.

Art lovers have the opportunity to visit galleries with the works of well-known Aboriginal artists in the pedestrianized Todd Mall and buy them.

The excellent Red Ocher Restaurant is known for its Australian dishes.

Very popular – and thanks to the location in the outback, very fascinating, are the early morning trips with the hot air balloon into the outback. Here you can admire the desert city and the red earth from above.

Day 30 – 31: Alice Springs – Darwin
Today you fly from Alice Springs to Darwin. If you travel to Darwin in Australia, you want one thing above all – to experience the fascinating brittleness of the outback and the diverse flora and fauna of the tropics in Australia. Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory in Australia. The city was named after Charles Darwin, a British naturalist who was best known for his theory of evolution. Near Darwin in Australia are some of the most beautiful national parks in Australia, the Litchfield and the Kakadu National Park.

Day 31 – 32: Kakadu National Park & ​​East Alligator River (guided tour)
On this short trip you will learn more about one of the most famous and fascinating national parks in Australia, the Kakadu National Park. This is a UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage site and you can expect, among other things, fascinating wetlands and ancient Aboriginal rock paintings.

Darwin – Kakadu National Park
Early in the morning drive over the Marrakai Plain and the Adelaide River to the World Heritage protected Kakadu National Park. First you go on the famous Yellow Water boat safari on the huge freshwater lagoon. Keep an eye out for crocodiles and exotic birds as the boat glides over the carpeted freshwater lagoon. After lunch you will visit the Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Center, where the informative exhibition gives a good insight into the natural processes of the national park and the culture of the Aborigines. In Nourlangie, a native place of worship, take a stroll to see ancient Aboriginal rock art.

Kakadu National Park – Darwin
In Ubirr you can expect up to 20,000 year old rock paintings of the indigenous people and after a short climb a fantastic view over the wet plains to Arnhem Land. Drive to the East Alligator River where an adventurous boat trip awaits you with the Guluyambi Cruise. Led by an Aboriginal person, you will learn a lot about Aboriginal life and culture along this important river. You are allowed to enter Arnhem Land with the permission of the local tribe. Then visit the Bowali Visitor Center. Return to Darwin in the evening.

Day 32 – 33: Darwin
Use your free time to get to know the city and its surroundings a little better. There are some great restaurants on the promenade and the harbor. The weekly Mindil Beach Markets are a highlight in Darwin. At this market, which is THE highlight in Darwin, you will find great food and stalls with handmade jewelry or art.

33rd day: Flight home or beach extension
Even the most beautiful trip comes to an end. You will be taken to the airport where it is time to say goodbye to Australia. Alternatively, you can also spend a few cozy days on one of the countless beautiful beaches.


Oceania Travel Guide

Oceania Travel Guide

New Caledonia

New Caledonia

Green the vegetation in the east, red the earth in the south, the beach on Ouvéa white – La Nouvelle Calédonie has many faces. An independent animal life has developed on the chain of islands belonging to France. Sylviornis Neocaledoniae, the large bird that does not fly, is one of them, as are the Kagu and Ouvea Parakeets. Eucalyptus, niaouli and tea trees, araucarias and banyan trees protrude from the savannahs. The second largest barrier reef in the world encloses Grande Terre, the main island of New Caledonia. The beaches and lagoons are heavenly and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A region for explorers, with numerous islands to relax in. Move on good roads or on horseback through an exciting, diverse country. Encounter traditions of the Kanak and Melanesian cultures. Submerge


New Caledonia lies between the 19th and 23rd degrees of southern latitude and is therefore in the tropical climate zone. The average temperatures on the islands are between 20 and 30 ° C all year round. The mountain range that runs along the main island divides New Caledonia into a wetter east and a drier west, which is in the rain shadow.

Best travel time:

The drier, sunny months from mid-May to mid-September are particularly recommended for trips to New Caledonia. The surrounding months of April and October also allow tourists to benefit from milder temperatures and the lower humidity caused by the trade winds. During the rainy season from mid-November to April, New Caledonia is in the cyclone area, so travel is not recommended.



According to Countryaah, there are 14 countries in Oceania. Tonga is one of them. The 169 islands and atolls in the infinite blue of the South Seas hold many wonderful discoveries in store. Never seen colors, scents that defy description. Light whose mood only a painter can capture. Tonga is located with its many volcanic islands in the Pacific – east of Fiji, south of Samoa and north of New Zealand – in the area of ​​the Pacific Ring of Fire. The capital and largest city of the country is Nukualofa.


Tonga’s climate is pleasant and slightly cooler than other tropical areas. The mean annual temperature in Nukualofa is 24 ° C and the average humidity is 76%. December to February are the months with the hottest temperatures and the most rainfall.

Best travel time:

Tonga is an ideal year-round destination.



The islands in the infinite blue of the South Seas hold many wonderful discoveries in store. Never seen colors, scents that defy description. Light whose mood only a painter can capture.

Samoa is located in the southwestern Pacific, northeast of Fiji. The largest islands are Savaii and Upolu with the capital Apia and the international airport. About 238,000 inhabitants are spread over 14 islands. The Samoans are traditional Polynesians and daily life is based on three pillars: the Matai (chief), Aiga (the big family) and the church.


In accordance with the prevailing tropical climate in the South Pacific, the temperatures in Samoa are warm all year round, an average of 26.5 degrees Celsius. Likewise, abundant rainfall occurs all year round, which cannot be ruled out in the form of showers in the dry season from May to October. The water temperatures rise to 28 degrees at that time, otherwise they move between 22 and 26 degrees.

Best travel time:

The drier, sunny months between June and August are particularly recommended for trips to Samoa. The surrounding months of May and September also allow tourists to benefit from milder temperatures and the lower humidity due to the trade winds. During the rainy season from November to April, Samoa is in the cyclone area, so travel is not recommended.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a country located in Oceania. The name of Papua New Guinea alone awakens the spirit of discovery in experienced travelers, because a tour to New Guinea is something unique to this day. The imponderables of the travel destination, sometimes rugged landscapes and the different ways of life promise adventure and unforgettable encounters. The heart of every trip to New Guinea is the cultural experience, even deep immersion in the diverse ways of life of the peoples of the island.

It is estimated that over a thousand different languages ​​are spoken on the island to this day, which underlines the diversity of the country. The Papua New Guinea Tourist Office even promises “A million different trips!” A slogan that we want to pass on.

Away from the capital Port Moresby, the island has a lot to offer in an area similar to that of Sweden: highlights are the Sepik plain, which is criss-crossed by meandering rivers and impenetrable rainforests, the highlands known for its colorfully decorated and warlike inhabitants as well as the coastal regions, the invite you to a bathing and diving extension.

Tree kangaroos, birds of paradise and cassowaries are the best-known representatives of the island’s wildlife.


The coastal regions of Papua New Guinea are always humid and tropical and warm with maximum temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius. Especially during the humid season from December to April, the northwest monsoon with its precipitation brings increasing humidity to the coast. In the highlands the temperatures are more pleasant, but you should be prepared for rain showers all year round.

Best travel time:

The best time to travel to Papua New Guinea is from June to October. Especially on the southern coast there are many hours of sunshine and there are pleasant temperatures between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. The months between December and April, when it rains heavily, are less favorable. The water temperatures are all year round at values ​​between 26 and 30 degrees.

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are idyllically situated in the middle of the beautiful South Pacific. They are the ideal place for a South Sea extension of a New Zealand trip or for a honeymoon. The northern of the fifteen Cook Islands are coral atolls with breathtaking white sandy beaches and blue lagoons. The southern islands, on the other hand, have volcanic origins and impress with sometimes steep mountains and dense vegetation.

Around 17,500 Cook Islanders live on an area of ​​land only slightly larger than that of the island of Fehmarn, and they are very closely connected to New Zealand both economically and in terms of families.

The islands themselves are spread over an area of ​​approximately two million square kilometers in the middle of the Polynesian triangle.

An absolute highlight of any trip to the Cooks is a visit to the world-famous Aitutaki lagoon. The main island of Rarotonga offers the opportunity to enjoy island life: mingle with the Cook Island Maori at the market or at church on Sundays. We also recommend going around the island with one of the two bus routes.

If you are in the mood for a Robinsonade, you can fly with the island airline to Atiu, where you can discover the birdlife of the South Pacific on an island tour. And how about a picnic on the beach followed by a snorkel?


The Cook Islands have warm and sunny weather year round. From June to August it is a little cooler. From November to March it is warmest with occasional tropical downpours.

Best travel time:

The best time to travel are the months from July to December with pleasant temperatures and lower humidity.



Located in the midst of the expanses of the Southwest Pacific, the Fiji Islands are the epitome of a South Sea dream. Palm trees swaying in the gentle sea breeze, azure blue water, colorful coral reefs and the Melanesian joie de vivre await the traveler. The biggest city of Fiji is Suva with a population of 93,970.

Around 330 islands form the archipelago, which in terms of area corresponds to Saxony and which around 900,000 Fijians call their home. The main island of Viti Levu with the international airport in Nadi is the starting point of every Fiji trip. Direct connections from Singapore, Seoul and Hong Kong enable a journey with just one stopover from Germany.

Viti Levu offers the opportunity for a rental car tour and discoveries inland. Divers and active travelers are drawn to the garden island of Taveuni. The picturesque coastal hike near Lavena and diving trips to the Rainbow Reef are popular.

The highlight of any trip to Fiji is a visit to the Mamanuca or Yasawa group. The islands captivate with beautiful sandy beaches, excellent accommodation and an incomparable Robinson feeling. Anyone who has always wanted to fly by seaplane has come to the right place on Fiji. Alternatively, there is also the possibility of a cruise through the impressive island world.

And don’t forget: if you are not barefoot, you are probably “overdessed”!


Fiji has warm temperatures and a tropical marine climate all year round. High air and water temperatures determine the southern summer between November and April. During this time it is quite humid on the islands and heavy rain showers must be expected. From May to October the temperatures drop slightly, so that highs of 27 to 29 degrees Celsius are reached. The water temperature remains almost the same and precipitation decreases.

Best travel time:

In the months between April and October, the temperatures are pleasant and the humidity slightly lower, so that travelers find optimal conditions.