Christmas Island

Copyright: Christmas Island Tourism Association

Christmas Island

Rising majestically from the tropical depths of the vast Indian Ocean, and surrounded by the azure waters of Asia's southern fringe lies a stunning natural wonder - Christmas Island ... Its name alone is intriguing and stirs interest. This tiny island in the Indian Ocean is a truly fascinating paradise, inviting you to uncover its remarkable surprises of nature in a one-of-a-kind environment. Venture to this awe-inspring island for an unforgettable getaway.

A Multicultural Heritage

Christmas Island The capital of Christmas Island is known as "The Settlement". For many island residents, life centres around Flying Fish Cove, its port, jetty and the towering presence of the loading dock and buildings owned by Christmas Island Phosphates. Christmas Island is very much an Australasian nation. It may be governed by Australia, but it's roots lie in the short but eventful years of colonial rule. To really see each of the town and their inherent cultural differences and similarities, take time to explore. If you can, walking tours will give the best opportunities to see all the sites of historical importance. Christmas Island is made up of a cluster of small communities, influenced equally by the past and the potential future. Despite a background typical of European discovery and colonisation, this tiny island is possibly one of the worlds' most multicultural. People have come from Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and India. Indigenous Cocos Malays cover over in the early days of colonisation and in recent years, people have come from England, Wales, Italy and Switzerland. There's even a few Australians thrown in for good measure. This is a very thorough melting pot. For visitors, its both a surprise and an absolute pleasure to see so many ethnic groups co-existing peacefully. There is a level of tolerance and co-operation between these groups that you see rarely, if at all, in the world. The mixture also makes for an interesting holiday. Although the ethnic groups tend to cluster into one town or another, this is more of a habitual stance than a political one. You can see this on festival days when all the island's residents are happy to share an enjoy each others cultures. Whenever a holiday comes around - and there is virtually one every month - almost everyone takes part. Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Christmas Day are events that give equal cause for celebration.

Top 10

Christmas Island Christmas Island is a nature-lover's dream and you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the huge range of nature based-based activities available. Perhaps you'll need more than one trip !! So whether you are visiting to witness the magic of the red crab migration, discover the rainforests' huge robber crabs, dive with whalesharks, relax on deserted beaches, or photograph a Golden Bosun in its regal flight, knowing what to expect ensures you get the best out of your escape. Here are our Top 10 Christmas Island Experiences:

Scuba Diving

Christmas Island’s narrow fringing reef supports bountiful marine life, including 88 coral species and more than 600 species of fish. It’s an underwater wonderland for divers, with clear warm waters, coral reefs and spectacular wall dives. Soft corals, feather stars and gorgonian corals grow along vast walls which plunge into a seemingly bottomless abyss. The fish community is distinctive because the island is a meeting place for Indian and Pacific Ocean fish species – it’s one of the few locations in the world where you’ll see Indian and Pacific Ocean fish swimming side by side. Some of these species interbreed to produce hybrids. Christmas Island has more hybrid fish than anywhere else in the world, making it a marine hybridisation zone of international significance. In addition to the hundreds of species of tropical fish, dolphins inhabit the island’s waters and whale sharks regularly visit during the wet season. Whale sharks generally first appear when the red crabs are spawning at the start of the wet season — they converge to supplement their plankton diet with crab larvae. Locations such as Flying Fish Cove, Ethel Beach, Dolly Beach, West White Beach, and Winifred Beach offer scuba divers and snorkellers a rewarding marine experience. At Flying Fish Cove and Ethel Beach shore diving is possible depending on the time of the year. There is excellent fishing, with sailfish, tuna and wahoo among some of the fish to be caught. You’ll find boat ramps at Flying Fish Cove and Ethel Beach.

Accommodation

Christmas Island offers a range of accommodation including boutique hotel, self contained, and lodge style. The Christmas Island National Park is also home to a state of the art luxury eco lodge. On Christmas Island you can enjoy the personalised service that only comes with smaller operations and enjoy ocean views from many of these properties. Properties are located in Settlement and Kampong close to the ocean and also on the higher terraces. Each location and property offers something different. Christmas Island Tourism can provide you with further information and can assist with accommodation booking. To find out more, check availability and book your accommodation please visit https://www.christmas.net.au/plan-your-trip/all-accommodation.html

Dining

Tastes of the Tropics - Christmas Island's Restaurants showcase its rich cultural mix. From spicy Asian fare to modern western cuisine often crafted to highlight fresh, local produce, you will find something delicious to suit your taste buds. Restaurants, cafes and pubs offer a variety of styles, from traditional grills to colonial settings to laid back, casual pub options. Many offer the chance to relax over your meal while appreciating stunning outlooks. Take advantage of the island's many picnic and barbecue venues, and pack your own hamper from fresh, tasty supplies available at local shops.

Cafes

Christmas Island Tastes of the Tropics - Christmas Island's Restaurants showcase its rich cultural mix. From spicy Asian fare to modern western cuisine often crafted to highlight fresh, local produce, you will find something delicious to suit your taste buds. Restaurants, cafes and pubs offer a variety of styles, from traditional grills to colonial settings to laid back, casual pub options. Many offer the chance to relax over your meal while appreciating stunning outlooks. Take advantage of the island's many picnic and barbecue venues, and pack your own hamper from fresh, tasty supplies available at local shops.

Bars & Nightlife

Christmas Island not not known as a Nightlife Destination, however a few nice bars, mostly with views from the terraces are available to enjoy pleasantly sipping a cold brew at Sunset.

Shopping

Shopping on Christmas Island showcases the cultural mix that is the Island. You can pick up souvenirs, clothing, fishing gear, snorkelling equipment and general merchandise, usually at near duty free prices. Stores are located at the Kampong, Poon Saan, Drumsite, and at Temple Court and the Barracks on Gaze Road in Settlement.

Tourist Information

Christmas Island is an Australian Territory, and has been since 1958. It lies in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, 2,600 kms northwest of Perth, and 500kms south of Jakarta It was named by Captain William Mynors when sighted on Christmas Day in 1643. It was annexed by Britain in 1988 after phosphate deposits were found. An imported workforce, including Chinese, Malays and Sikhs laid the foundations for today's thriving and culturally rich community. Japanese troops invaded Christmas Island during World War 2. Post World War 2, the island was administered as part of the Straits Settlement of Singapore, before the UK transferred sovereignty to Australia.