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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.
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:
Photography

Photography

It’s hard to imagine a more visually tantalising place to photograph than Christmas Island. All around you are sights, colours, textures and landscapes you’ll want to capture, so bring nature to life through your lens. From soft, pastel sunrises to glorious sunsets, Christmas Island is bathed in ever-changing tropical light. Vivid colour is everywhere, from the crabs’ rich reds to the rainforest’s deep greens, to turquoise waters. Catch the robber crabs on film, zoom in on gentle orchids and twisting vines, and train your lens skywards to capture the elegance and freedom of rare birds in flight. Underwater photographers have a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes to shoot. On land the imposing, inspiring and detailed architecture of temples and other built form keeps shutters clicking. Video cameras capture the sights and sounds of millions of scurrying red crabs, or the hauntingly musical call of the island’s thrush, and the stirring call to prayer from the mosque. Best spots for best shots Martin Point – for staggeringly beautiful sunsets and seabirds. Blowholes – capture the energy of the water on a rugged coastline. Dolly Beach – impressively large robber crabs plus turtle tracks. Hughes Dale Waterfall – an iconic island place for your unique shot. Blowholes Road – get creative with a special tree along the road. Greta Beach – nesting turtles all year round make wonderful pictures. Island temples – rich colours fused with wisps of incense smoke. Tai Jin House – capture the detail of this building and its gardens. Flying Fish Cove - for underwater photography.

Scuba Diving

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.

Red Crab Migration

Red Crab Migration

Tens of millions of red land crabs live on Christmas Island. They are the Island's keystone species, because they play a vital role recycling nutrients and shaping and maintaining the structure of the rainforest. At the beginning of the wet season (usually October / November), most adult Red Crabs suddenly begin a spectacular migration from the forest to the coast, to breed and release eggs into the sea. Breeding is usually synchronized island wide. The rains provide moist overcast conditions for crabs to make their long and difficult journey to the sea. The timing of the migration breeding sequence is also linked to the phases of the moon, so that eggs may be released by the female Red Crabs into the sea precisely at the turn of the high tide during the last quarter of the moon. It is thought that this occurs at this time because there is the least difference between high and low tides. The sea level at the base of the cliffs and on the beaches, where the females release their eggs, at this time varies the least for a longer period, and it is therefore safer for the females approaching the water's edge to release their eggs. Sometimes there are earlier and later migrations of smaller numbers of crabs but all migrations retain this same lunar rhythm. The main migration commences on the plateau and can last up to 18 days. Masses of crabs gather into broad "streams" as they move toward the coast, climbing down high inland cliff faces, and over or around all obstacles in their way, following routes used year after year for both downward and return migrations. Movement peaks in the early morning and late afternoons when it is cooler and there is more shade. If caught in open areas, in unshaded heat, the crabs soon lose body water and die. Possible Spawning Dates 2016 The possible spawning dates for 2016 are: 24/25/26 November 2016 24/25/26 December 2016 Spawning can happen as early as October and as late as January but November and December are the more usual months. The migration comprises a sequence of events that follow on from one and other in a distinct order – a following sequence cannot be undertaken without the crabs having accomplished the preceding. The crabs will migrate to the coast where the males will dig mating burrows and they will mate. After mating, the males will commence their return migration. The females will brood their eggs for 12-13 days before emerging from the burrows to commence spawning. The females will commence their return migration immediately after spawning. The eggs hatch into free swimming larvae immediately after they are drooped into the sea. The larvae grow through several stages in the ocean for over four weeks before emerging from the sea to become tiny crabs.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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