A World Heritage Site is a location that is listed by UNESCO as having outstanding cultural or natural value to the common heritage of humanity. The World Heritage Committee has designated 32 World Heritage Sites in Oceania. These are in 11 countries, with the majority of sites being located in Australia. The first three inscriptions from the region, the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu National Park and the Willandra Lakes, were in 1981—three years after the list's creation. The region contains the world's three largest sites: Phoenix Islands Protected Area, Papahānaumokuākea and the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, the Tasmanian Wilderness is one of only two sites in the world that meet seven out of the ten criteria for World Heritage listing (Mount Tai in China being the other).
Each year, the World Heritage Committee may inscribe new sites on the list, or delist sites that that no longer meet the criteria. Selection is based on ten criteria: six for cultural heritage (i–vi) and four for natural heritage (vii–x). Some sites, designated "mixed sites", represent both cultural and natural heritage. In Oceania there are 7 cultural, 19 natural and 5 mixed sites. UNESCO may also specify that a site is in danger, stating "conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List." None of the sites in Oceania are officially classified as endangered by the Committee.
Kakadu National Park is located within the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. It covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), extending nearly 200 kilometres from north to south and over 100 kilometres from east to west. It is the size of Slovenia, about one-third the size of Tasmania, or nearly half the size of Switzerland. The Ranger Uranium Mine, one of the most productive uranium mines in the world, is surrounded by separation from the park.