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Queen's Baton Relay - Highlights of Oceania

Queen's Baton Relay Day 24 Australia
Feature

After travelling through Asia, the second leg of the Queen's Baton Relay was in Oceania.

The baton's first destination in Australia was Perth, host of the 1962 Games. Carrying it to the top of the Bell Tower was Kim Mickle, a World Championships silver javelin medallist excited about the chance of competing in Glasgow this summer.

The Gold Coast will be the host of Australia's next Commonwealth Games, in 2018. The baton was relayed along the famous Gold Coast beach by athletes young and old and scaled to the top of the highest building in the city.

In Townsville temperatures soared to more than 30 degrees, but that didn't deter a host of runners relaying the baton to the peak of Castle Hill.

The baton visited the Great Barrier Reef and took a trip on the Skyrail gondola, a magical finale to the baton's five day tour of Australia.

Papa New Guinea marked the beginning of the baton's journey through the Pacific Islands, and some of the most remote places in the world. In Kavieng, it was welcomed into ancient villages by the elders.

A guest of honour at the Solomon Islands' celebrations was a local boy who was famously pictured at the relay for the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. Augustine Hane was pictured with the baton once again, four years older, and much taller!

In Nauru, the government declared a national holiday in honour of the baton. The streets were full of Nauruans celebrating.

The baton's arrival at Tuvalu's airport was welcomed by traditional song and dance. As the island receives only two flights a week, most of the time locals use the runway as a meeting place and playground!

In Samoa the baton visited one of the areas that had been worst hit by the 2009 tsunami, and visited the schools and communities that are once again thriving.

Olympian rower Rob Waddell escorted the baton through New Zealand's cities over four days, with Dunedin being its host for St Andrew's Day. True to Scottish form, the relay in New Zealand ended with an 'Address to the Haggis' at the City Hall.

In Kiribati the baton was accompanied by Taoriba Biniati, the country's first ever female boxer, as well as the country's first ever Olympian, 100 metre athlete Kakianako Nariki.

When travelling from Kiribati to the Cook Islands, the baton crossed the International Date Line, going back in time! It was a sporting relay in the Cook Islands with athletes and sports clubs featuring.

Host of the Pacific Mini Games in 2019, Tonga offered the baton a warm welcome. Batonbearers of all generations came out to cheer, sing and chant.

The baton was invited to attend a special Sunday morning mass service in Niue, with members of two different churches attending. This was a reminder of the Commonwealth, people sharing different beliefs but coming together for a common purpose.

At the Norfolk Island Lawn Bowling Club, the baton was carried by 90 year old Joyce Lodge, who competed at the Games in Victoria, Kuala Lumpur and Manchester – the last of which she was 78 years old!

Excited local children gathered to compete in the Queen's Baton Mini-Games in Vanuatu, the baton's final destination in Oceania and its Christmas celebration.

As the gallery below shows, Oceania's relay was framed by thousands of smiles, singing and dancing. Check out the latest from the Queen's Baton Relay as it embarks on its next leg – Africa!

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