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Australasia, a region of Oceania, comprises Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. Charles de Brosses coined the term (as French Australasie) in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes (1756). He derived it from the Latin for "south of Asia" and differentiated the area from Polynesia (to the east) and the southeast Pacific (Magellanica). The bulk of Australasia sits on the Indo-Australian Plate, together with India.
Physiographically, Australasia includes New Zealand, Australia (including Tasmania), and Melanesia: New Guinea and neighbouring islands north and east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. The designation is sometimes applied to all the lands and islands of the Pacific Ocean lying between the equator and latitude 47° south.
Most of Australasia lies on the southern portion of the Indo-Australian Plate, flanked by the Indian Ocean to the west and the Southern Ocean to the south. Peripheral territories lie on the Eurasian Plate to the northwest, the Philippine Plate to the north, and in the Pacific Ocean – including numerous marginal seas – atop the Pacific Plate to the north and east.
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