Australasia comprises Australia, New Zealand, and some neighbouring islands (see the section Derivations). It is used in a number of different contexts including geopolitically, physiogeographically, and ecologically where the term covers several slightly different but related regions.
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).
In Australia "Australasia" is considered to be Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the neighbouring islands of the Pacific, while in New Zealand it means Australia, New Zealand and former New Zealand dependencies.