Indonesia (4,884 m) – Tallest Mountain in Oceania
Puncak Jaya, which is technically the highest peak of Mount Carstensz, is the tallest mountain in the Pacific region collectively known as Oceania. Although located on the Indonesia portion of the island of New Guinea, Puncak Jaya is higher than any other peak on any Pacific island including the continent of Australia. It is also the highest point between the Himalayas in Asia and the Andes in South America. Its name means ‘victorious’.
Although Puncak Jaya was certainly known to locals as far back as the initial prehistoric exploration of the island, it was first spotted by the European explorer Jan Cartenszoon, for whom the mountain is named, in 1623. Puncak Jaya was not explored until the 20th century, and not scaled until 1962.
Puncak Jaya is fairly accessible to the city of Timika about twenty miles away, although a government permit is required to climb. Thanks to the proximity to a major mining operation, and the nearby Lorentz National Park, there is some infrastructure near the mountain. Puncak Jaya is considered one of the most difficult major mountains to climb, though the peak is ice-free.
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