New Guinea (also, Tok Pisin: Niugini, Dutch: Nieuw-Guinea, and Indonesian: Papua; historically: Irian/ Irian Jaya) is the world's second-largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. The island has a population of about 7.5 million, with a very low population density of only 8/km2.
The island is part of Greater Australia. It is isolated by the Arafura Sea to the west and the Torres Strait and Coral Sea to the east. Sometimes considered to be the easternmost island of the Malay archipelago, it lies north of Australia's Top End, Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York peninsula, and west of the Bismarck Archipelago and the Solomon Islands Archipelago.
A spine of east–west mountains, the New Guinea Highlands, dominates the geography of New Guinea, stretching over 1,600 kilometres from the 'head' to the 'tail' of the island. The western half of the island of New Guinea contains the highest mountains in Oceania, rising up to 4,884 metres high, and ensuring a steady supply of rain from the equatorial atmosphere. Various other smaller mountain ranges occur both north and west of the central ranges. Except in high elevations, most areas possess a warm humid climate throughout the year, with some seasonal variation associated with the northeast monsoon season.
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