Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises the countries of Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea; besides these independent countries, Melanesia also includes New Caledonia, a special collectivity of France, and the region of West Papua which is the location of two provinces of Indonesia, Papua and West Papua.
The name Melanesia (from Greek: μέλας black; Greek: νῆσος islands) was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.
Fiji i/ˈfiːdʒiː/ (Fijian: Viti; Fiji Hindi: फ़िजी), officially the Republic of Fiji (Fijian: Matanitu ko Viti; Fiji Hindi: फ़िजी गणराज्य Fijī Gaṇarājya), is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, France's New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas, France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast and Tuvalu to the north.