This five-letter country that used to market itself as the last place to see the sun set adjusted its clocks and jumped forward by one day in 2011 (omitting Dec 30) and has now become the first country to greet the new day. Known as the home of writer R. L. Stevenson from 1889 onward and as the place that is in the title of the best known book of anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Chile's possession and home of the Rapa Nui National Park. Hosts 887 of the most famous cultural artifacts known to mankind.
Rarotonga is the capital as well as the largest city in this island group named for a well-known explorer. Has strong ties with New Zealand.
The southernmost territory of the U.S. which is home to the only American national park south of the Equator.
Marquesas Islands and Society Islands are four of the six groups that collectively form this territory.
Largest of the Mariana Islands and a territory of the United States which has several military facilities there. As a Pacific tourist destination, it is second only to Hawaii.
Double-named island of the French Polynesia that is known for its luxury resorts.
A water bottling company and a golfing great of the 2000s are both based out of this island nation that has seen more than its fair share of coups. Its two islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu account for the lions share of its population.
Fiji (Vijay Singh)
Island group belonging to Papua New Guinea that is best known as the place where anthropologist Malinowski conducted his research.
This island of Vanuatu is famous for being the birthplace of bungee jumping.
After Nauru, this country once known as the Ellis Islands is the smallest South Pacific country. Derives a lot of its revenue from the .tv internet domain allocated to it.
Island country named for a derivation of British explorer Thomas Gilbert. It was previously split by the international date line but an act moved the line to its east in 1995. Encompasses the majority of Line Islands that were used for the testing of hydrogen bombs by both the UK and the US. Expected to be the first country to lose all its land territory to global climate change.
The name of this island group that is part of the French Polynesia literally means "Land of Men." Known as the setting of Herman Melville's Typee. Though Gauguin is better-known for his association with Tahiti, this is where he died.
Best known as the original home of Bounty mutineers.
Group of islands of the French Polynesia that were thought to be named for the organization that sponsored the trip of James Cook. Cook, however, wrote in his diary that he named them for their proximity to each other. Tahiti, the largest city and center of French Polynesia, lies among them.
The annual red crab migration is a big attraction for naturalists on this Australian island whose name is a clear indication of the day on which it was discovered.
Its flag consists of a yellow disc on blue background, with the disc representeding the moon.
Nicknamed the Friendly Islands by James Cook, this country is known today for being a constitutional monarchy (hence ruled by a king). Has been under the rule of the Tupou dynasty since the 19th century.
The island of Yap in this country which achieved its independence from the US in the 1980s is noted for its use of stone currency. One of its islands Chuuk was an important Japanese naval base during WWII.
Federated States of Micronesia
This country named for a biblical king will forever be in American consciousness due to the bitter Battle of Guadalcanal fought there in the Pacific theater of WWII.
This French overseas territory that was named by James Cook for its resemblance to the coast of Scotland has seen tensions between the Kanaks, a Melanesian ethnic group, and ethnic Europeans. It even adopted a second official flag called the Kanak flag in 2010.
The John Frum cult, the best-known and longest lasting cargo cult, formed on this island nation that was once called New Hebrides.
The second smallest country in the world, behind Vatican City. Till its phosphate resources were exhausted, its residents enjoyed a high standard of living.
Group of islands that are administratively divided into two parts - Guam and Northern ... Islands. Geography buffs would know that a certain trench named for them contains the Challenger Deep, the deepest point on the earth's surface.
Bikini & Enewetak, both known as the site of nuclear tests, are located in this island nation.
Name derives from their location on an old shipping route between California and Japan. Site of a major WWII battle that turned the tide of the war between the US and Japan.
Island that is the figurative heart of French Polynesia. Among others, known as the place where artist Paul Gauguin painted several of his masterpieces.
The distinctive flag of this Australian island features its green pine. Half of the Bounty mutineers from Pitcairn island eventually moved to this island that was also home to novelist Colleen McCullough.