Papua New Guinea has vast natural resources, but exploitation of them is difficult due to rugged terrain and the high cost of developing an infrastructure. Agriculture provides a subsistence livelihood for most of the population, while mineral deposits, such as oil, copper, and gold, account for a large part of export earnings.
Australia is one of the world’s most unique natural habitats. Because it is isolated from most of the world, it has a wide variety of animals unique to its continent, and landscape that seems as impossible to live in as it is stunningly beautiful. It’s hard to justify trying to see all of Australia in just one trip. You will see some of the best beaches, experience some of the most inspiring wildlife, and meet among the finest people the world has to offer.
Millenia of immigration of Melanesians, Polynesians, Asians, Micronesians, and Westerners has made the Solomon Islands one of the most culturally rich island nations in the world. With thousands of small villages still espousing age-old beliefs and practicing ancient customs, locals are generally more than happy to allow you access to their land and entrance into their unique world, as well as help you find your way around the many small islands and vast lagoons that make the Solomons famous.
Europeans first arrived at New Zealand in 1642 when Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sailed up the island nation’s western coastline. But Maori history in the island group began long before. The Maoris are a Polynesian people who were master navigators, using the night sky, flight patterns of sea birds, and more to traverse long distances throughout the many islands of the South Pacific. The first Maori set foot on New Zealand roughly around 950 A.D. More settlers followed in the mid-1300s, arriving in a series of large canoes, able to withstand big seas and heavy winds, to which many modern-day Maoris currently trace their heritage.