What is the Largest Island in the Pacific Ocean?

Caitlin Dempsey


Pacific islands are islands located in the Pacific Ocean, the largest and deepest of Earth’s ocean basins. There are about 25,000 islands found in the Pacific Ocean. This number contains both high islands (islands that extend above sea level and generally contain flora and fauna) and low islands (islands of coral origin) (United States, 2009).

Of all the islands in this ocean, not counting Australia which is a continent, the largest island in the Pacific Ocean is New Guinea.

Found wholly in the Southern Hemisphere slightly north of Australia, New Guinea has a  land area of 785,753 km2 (303,381 sq mi).

The western half of New Guinea is part of Indonesia and is known as Western New Guinea or West Papua. The eastern half of New Guinea is the independent state of Papua New Guinea.  New Guinea is part of the Melanesia subregion of Oceania.

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New Guinea is the second largest island in the world, after Greenland.

Map showing the location of New Guinea.  Map: Equal Earth Physical Map, public domain.
Map showing the location of New Guinea. Map: Equal Earth Physical Map, public domain.


United States. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2009). Toward an Ecosystem Approach for the Western Pacific Region: From Species-based Fishery Management Plans to Place-based Fishery Ecosystem Plans: Environmental Impact Statementhttps://books.google.com/books?id=3Tw3AQAAMAAJ


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.