Oceania is a beautiful continent in the Southern Hemisphere home to some of the safest countries in the world. Oceania has a population of over 41 million people and comprises many countries, including Papua New Guinea, Australia, Fiji, Micronesia, and New Zealand—one of the safest countries in the world.
In most regions of the world, the easiest way to determine which countries are safest is to compare each country's Global Peace Index (GPI) score. Calculated annually by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the GPI merges 23 different data points into a single numerical measure of peace and safety in a country. However, while New Zealand and Australia rank well in the GPI, most other countries and territories in Oceania do not appear in the GDI rankings. In light of this fact, the list below combines the GPI rankings with multiple supplemental sources, including rankings from Travelsafe Abroad and travel advisories from the U.S. State Department.
Although it does not appear in the GPI (which focuses upon full countries and excludes dependent territories), French Polynesia is a famously safe place to live or visit. With tourist havens such as Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Rangiroa, French Polynesia is known for its relaxed island life, stunning beaches, exotic marine life, and remarkable degree of safety.
Both violent and petty crime are remarkably infrequent in French Polynesia. The tap water is usually safe to drink, and health and sanitation are high, particularly in resort areas (though Dengue Fever is still a concern, so measures to avoid mosquito bites are recommended). Quality medical treatment is available on the main islands, though arriving there from the more distant islands (or being medically evacuated to another country) can get expensive. Finally, cyclones and tropical storms can still occur, especially from November-April, though these tend to be more inconvenient than harmful.
New Zealand is listed as second on the Global Peace Index for 2022 (French Polynesia is not rated) and is home to some of the lowest crime rates in the world. New Zealand is also considered one of the least corrupt countries in the world. In New Zealand, primary safety concerns are natural.
While safe, New Zealanders will still recommend that you function as normally to keep yourself safe. You will still need to lock your doors and vehicles and stay in well-lit areas. This is a country where tourists love to flock, and opportunists are everywhere.
Known for its wide-open lands and unique wildlife, the sixth-largest country on Earth is also one of the safest in both Oceania and the world. Australia is a popular tourist destination, with more than 7.5 million visitors annually. Overall, safety risks are low here, with admirably low crime rates and very few gun deaths. Minor transportation risks do exist, thanks in part to the country's rugged terrain and vast, minimally developed wilderness areas. Australia is also home to a remarkable number of dangerous animals, from poisonous snakes to toxic jellyfish. With just a few common-sense precautions, however, travelers can feel more than secure in this country.
Fiji is made up of more than 300 islands, which makes this Pacific country a beautiful place to visit. The most significant safety risks in Fiji stem from the natural climate, such as frequent cyclones and flooding during the November-April wet season, which can complicate boating, electricity, and transportation, so travelers and visitors should check the seasons before making plans.
Like most other countries in Oceania, Fiji has a slightly higher risk of earthquakes and the resulting tsunamis compared to the rest of the world. The country has experienced nine notable earthquakes since 1900. Also, the roads in Fiji can be unreliable, and the infrastructure as a whole tends to be less developed than that of the Western world. Crime rates, however, are quite low.
US Travel Advisory 09/22
|French Polynesia||92||1: Exercise Normal Precautions|
|New Zealand||90||1: Exercise Normal Precautions||1.31||1.27|
|Australia||86||1: Exercise Normal Precautions||1.52||1.56|
|Palau||80||1: Exercise Normal Precautions|
|Nauru||80||1: Exercise Normal Precautions|
|Fiji||70||1: Exercise Normal Precautions|
|Vanuatu||70||1: Exercise Normal Precautions|
|Samoa||70||3: Reconsider Travel|
|Papua New Guinea||47||3: Reconsider Travel||2.10||2.05|
|Solomon Islands||2: Exercise Increased Caution|
|New Caledonia||1: Exercise Normal Precautions|
|Kiribati||3: Reconsider Travel|
|Micronesia||3: Reconsider Travel|
|Marshall Islands||3: Reconsider Travel|
|Tuvalu||3: Reconsider Travel|
It's believed that French Polynesia may be the safest Oceanic country, but New Zealand and Australia are also listed as some of the safest in Oceania.