Melanesia, an Island Paradise

Explore the group of islands to the north and northeast of Australia, where the history and culture are as exotic as the landscape.
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Photo By: Thinkstock

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Getty Images

Photo By: Thinkstock

Photo By: Thinkstock

Republic of Vanuatu

A short ferry ride from the capital of Port Vila is the picturesque private-island resort of Iririki.

Fiji

By far the most tourist-friendly destination, Castaway Island attracts honeymooners, scuba divers and families looking to escape to Fiji.

New Caledonia

The lighthouse on Amedee Island was made in France and reflects its ties to the country, some 12,000 miles away.

Torres Strait Islands

A family walks along Bach Beach on Thursday Island, which -- like many of the Torres Strait Islands -- is part of Queensland, Australia.

West Papua

The view from the top of Pulau Wayag Island in West Papua, the least populous province in Indonesia.

Solomon Islands

A fierce battleground during the second World War, the Solomon Islands are now a diving destination like much of Melanesia.

Papua New Guinea

One of the most culturally diverse places in the world, it’s believed that over 1,000 different groups speaking over 800 different languages coexist in Papua New Guinea.

Maluku

The volcanic Banda Islands are part of Maluku, historically known as the "Spice Islands."