Flying Fish Cove is the beach to head for if you have children or want plenty of facilities. Sitting at the base of a soaring, semicircle of jungle clad walls, this natural harbour is a perfect swimming spot despite being neatly dissected by the island's main jetty. A grassy promenade sits above the narrow stretch of sand and pebbles. There are bench seats and gazebos for shade, freshwater showers and public barbeques. These are completely free, but the etiquette is clear, if you use them, please clean up.
The Dales is one of the Island's iconic sites and one of the few places with permanent flowing water and stunning wet areas, providing significant habitat for endemic blue crabs and impressive stands of Tahitian chestnut trees. The drive through the Dales leads through rainforest to a scenic and tranquil area, which has two walking trails starting from the Dales 4WD car park. The first is mostly a boardwalk, leading to Hugh's Dale Waterfall which is 1km each way from the car park. Signage along the trail offers information on the island's plans and animals. For the adventurous, a second trail leads on from Hugh's Dale for about 800m to Anderson's Dale, a small gorge with a small stream that flows to the sea.
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.
On the world map of fishing locations, Christmas Island may only rate a small dot, however fish being caught here are making a big mark amongst the international fishing fraternity. The secret is out... anglers around the world are starting to find out that Christmas Island is the hottest new spot for big fish in South East Asia. Within a few hundred metres of the boat launching facilities, it is possible to fish in 500 metres of water for Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo and all the other exciting species that you usually find in tropical locations. The difference is that on Christmas Island the fish are BIG, very BIG! When the ocean currents bring the the tuna in, it is possible to see fish in excess of 100kg feeding on the surface. While the Yellowfin Tuna roam and pass the island quite regularly, Dogtooth Tuna live permanently on the steep drop-offs that surround Christmas Island and we’ve seen them up to 80kg landed. Or if you prefer the high flying aerial displays of a sailfish, during the pre-monsoon months some of the biggest Sailfish in the world are to be found at Christmas Island. Even trolling within a few hundred metres of the shoreline you will find the razor gang. Wahoo are the fastest fish in the world and Christmas Island is their favorite race track!
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.
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.
Birds Christmas Island Christmas Island is one of the world's truly spectacular tropical seabird rookeries. It's not just the number and variety of seabirds or their magnificent splendour that make the island so remarkable, but also their sheer visibility. Around 80,000 seabirds nest here annually, with 23 breeding or resident species. Birds can be seen and heard everyone on the island, at just about any time of the day. With a little effort birdwatchers can easily tick off a full list of residents in a busy week or a more relaxed fortnight - although the elusive Christmas Island hawk owl keeps many coming back. More than 100 vagrant and migratory bird species have been recorded here, including eight breeding seabird species and one subspecies. The most numerous is the wide-ranging red-footed booby, which nests in colonies in trees on many parts of the coastal shore terraces. you may see the endangered Christmas Island frigatebird soaring above Settlement - it's the world's rarest frigatebird and nests only on the island. The golden form of the white-tailed tropic bird is an endemic subspecies unique to Christmas Island. Known locally as the golden bosunbird, this stunning bird is graceful in flight and has been adopted as the island's fauna emblem.
If you could draw an almost perfect Robinson Crusoe style beach, Dolly would definitely be a contender. Natural food supplies, shelter, and a source of freshwater would keep most castaways happy, and this beach has been known to do just that. As you arrive, especially if you are the first person of the day, you may be drawn to the turtle tracks in the sand. You can follow them until you find the signs of a nest. Both hawksbill and green turtles have been spotted. At the northern end of the beach the hills are marked by fantastic rock formations with plenty of resident seabirds. More interesting though are the sea level rock pool formations. Wave crash over the golden-toned, stony reef edges, which doesn't discourage the marine life. Red algae and small hard corals paint different colours across the surfaces, while small fish dart about between the pools. Tiny moray eels hunt in ankle-deep water, and if you stay still they will swim up to you. The opposing end of the beach has slightly deeper pools to explore and - depending on the tides - these allow safe, shallow swimming. Going over the rocks to the sea isn't advised, as currents can be strong.
Once a year, generally in the first week of September, Bird'n'Nature week participants will be invited in small groups to help catch Abbott’s Boobies high in the rainforest canopy, assist to colour-band Brown Boobies and monitor their colonies on the remote and secluded rocky coasts. Participants will work with our internationally renowned guides to study the nesting biology and foraging ecology of Christmas Island Frigatebirds and Red-tailed Tropicbirds. Depending on interest and demand, there will also be opportunities to assist in the colour-banding of Christmas Island Goshawks, a Christmas Island Hawk-Owl survey, seabird identification workshops, territory mapping of Island Thrushes and closer looks at the island’s other wildlife. And of course there will be the chance to search for a few of those rarities for which Christmas Island is so famous. Nightly seminars will showcase the results of all the seabird research (revealing the wanderings of the majestic Abbott’s Booby, CI Frigatebirds and more), the status of the endemic landbirds, the rarities of Christmas Island, and the marine and terrestrial ecology of the island.
For nature lovers, Christmas Island National Park provides fantastic opportunities to observe unique plans and animals in their natural habitats. The park covers 85 square kilometres - about two thirds of the island. As an isolated oceanic island, distant from other land masses, Christmas Island is home to a high proportion of endemic species - found nowhere else in the word. Several are endangered. The park protects significant ecosystems including much of the island's uniquely structured rainforests and two wetlands of international importance, the Dales and Hosnie's Springs. In and around the national park you will find a host of native sea and forest birds, unique marine life, and land crabs - including tens of millions of red crabs, famous throughout the world for their spectacular annual breeding migration.
Golf is one of the favourite pastimes of Islanders and the Golf Course is well worth a try for professional golfers or first timers. The 9-hole golf course is situated amongst palm trees and tropical rainforest with a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. Green Fees of $10 per round are payable for non-members. Clubs are available for hire from the Christmas Island Visitor's Centre and visitors are most welcome. Christmas Island Frigates nest inland from the course and land crabs can be a local hazard. Christmas Island Golf Open 2017 If you fancy hitting a club amidst a spectacular backdrop with little red crabs crawling the greens, the Christmas Island Golf Open is the event you should be a part of. Hosted by the Christmas Island Golf Club and sponsored by Acker, experience playing golf on one of the most remote Australian Golf Courses, meet the locals and enjoy a series of competitive events which will ensure you get the most of your visit to the island. Further information on the 2017 Golf Open (19 - 21 May) will be available soon ...
A morbid name for a fantastic dive site, The Morgue is home to some of the largest corals around Christmas Island. The name itself stems from a small building on shore that previously served as the island’s morgue. Today, the underwater environment is filled with a field of bommies that leads down to the most scenic area of the site at 82 feet (25 meters). Searching every nook and crannie may result in some fantastic finds, such as blue ribbon eels, nudibranchs, feather stars and gilded triggers. Dive Type: Reef Recommended Level: Beginner, but Advanced to see the full scale of the site Featured Creatures: Blue Ribbon Eels, Nudibranchs and Feather Stars Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
The unique geography of Christmas Island lends itself to underwater caves and caverns. One of these, namely Thundercliff Cave, is considered by many to be the best dive on the island when conditions are right. Outside the entrance of the underwater cave, stands a beautiful coral garden with flocks of resident batfish. Following the tunnel into the overhead environment, you’ll find a cathedral-like opening within. The subsequent room opens to the air above and connects to the remaining above-the-water passages, so leave your scuba gear and explore the interior of the cave. Dive Type: Cave Recommended Level: Beginner, but a Cave Diver certification would be handy Featured Creatures: Batfish Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
The Eidsvold was previously a Norwegian phosphatase ship but was struck by a Japanese submarine during World War II. It was scuttled in Flying Fish Cove and later transported (dragged) to its ultimate resting place on the other side of Smith Point. Today, half of the Eidsvold sits between 16 and 60 feet (5 and 18 meters) while the other half has fallen over the edge, out of the reach of recreational divers. Because of the ship’s age, she is now home to coral colonies and the squadrons of colorful tropical fish that Christmas Island is known for. The remains of the hull can be explored by wreck divers. Dive Type: Wreck Recommended Level: Beginner, but a Wreck Diver certification would be useful Featured Creatures: Triggerfish, Lionfish and Eels Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
Another of the caves that honeycomb the limestone cliffs of Christmas Island, West White Beach Cave is perfect for beginners. The cavern opens up around 40 feet (12 meters) below the surface with two large entrances. Inside, a large room welcomes divers to explore the various coral formations growing on its walls, and lionfish rest under protected ledges. Look out to the open ocean for great photographs of your fellow divers silhouetted against the sunlit background. After you’re done exploring the cavern, take a look at the healthy reef system just outside between 40 and 60 feet (12 and 18 meters). Dive Type: Cave Recommended Level: Beginner Featured Creatures: Lionfish and other Reef-Dwelling Fish Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
As the name of this dive site implies, here you’ll find a wall that falls dramatically away to 118 feet (36 meters). Before you even descend, there’s a chance you’ll be surrounded by friendly dolphins. After you’ve said hi, descend to find an overhang full of sea fans. As the wall falls away, you’ll notice masses of coral stretching out to catch the passing currents. Schools upon schools of fish travel every which way, leaving you to capture playful fusiliers and columns of butterflyfish on your underwater camera. Don’t forget to look out into the blue! You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of passing sharks and rays. Dive Type: Wall Recommended Level: Beginner, but Advanced to see the full scale of the site Featured Creatures: Dolphins, Rays, Sharks, Butterflyfish and Fan Corals Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
The best shore dive on Christmas Island, if not the best shore dive in Australia, Flying Fish Cove delivers with 90% of the fish species found around the island. The dive starts from the boat ramp and works its way down to 60 feet (18 meters). Corals abound in every shape and size, dotted by the magnificent colors of ornate hawkfish, blackspotted pufferfish, surgeonfish and butterflyfish. If you want an easy dive which displays the diversity of Christmas Island, Flying Fish Cove is for you. Dive Type: Shore Recommended Level: Beginner Featured Creatures: Reef-Dwelling Fish and a Variety of Corals Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
With a huge variety of fish life on a single, concentrated area, Million Dollar Bommie shouldn’t be skipped on any dive holiday at Christmas Island. The bommie is about 20 to 23 feet (6 to 7 meters) high, growing up from a base at 85 feet (26 meters). The huge fans and coral overhangs make for fantastic fish photography. You might spot Meyer’s butterflyfish, pigfish, red fire goby, coral trout, damsel fish, fusiliers, triggerfish and rockcod. Keeping a watch out into the blue or while jumping in with snorkels after the dive, you might get a glimpse of a majestic manta ray. Dive Type: Bommie/Reef Recommended Level: Advanced Featured Creatures: Manta Rays and Reef-Dwelling Fish Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
For pelagic lovers, Rhoda Wall is where the magic happens. From your dive boat, you may be able to look down to 100 feet (30 meters) below and see circling grey reef sharks. This coral-lined wall off the northwest coast of the island gently slopes down before falling into a vertical wall at 65 feet (20 meters). Fractal coral and hydrocorals host a variety of tropical reef fish, but keep your eyes on the blue. You might just get lucky and see a massive whale shark swim by! Dive Type: Wall and Megafauna Recommended Level: Advanced Featured Creatures: Reef Sharks, Whale Sharks and Rays Dive Site information provided by Sarah Morlock - www.diviac.com
Rumah Tinggi Bar and Grill Set in a 80 year old heritage listed building the Rumah Tinggi bar and Grill delivers hand crafted artisan foods and drinks in its tapas, cocktail and al a carte menus. Reflecting local produce the Rumah is a true tropical island haven with endless views of the Indian ocean Coconut Grove, Settlement Lunch : Wed - Mon : 11am - 2pm Dinner : 6pm - 9pm Email: [email protected] Phone : +61 8 9164 7667
Our friendly staff and volunteers can assist with the following: • Information service – maps, brochures etc • Booking service for accommodation, car hire and tours • Business services – i.e. printing, scanning, laminating, facsimile sending and receiving • Internet access with an internet café providing computers with common business applications • Vicinity around the VIC is a 24 hour 7 day per week wireless hotspot – access vouchers can be purchased during business hours • Golf club hire • Gift shop – wide variety of gifts, souvenirs, clothing, jewellery, books, local arts and crafts • Lounge area available for watching a DVD or browsing magazine articles on Christmas Island
The Indian Ocean Territories Health Service offers a wide range of medical, nursing and ancillary health service. Qualified medical, nursing and ancillary health workers provide these services. The health facilities are modern and well equipped, and include accidents and emergency department, consulting rooms, laboratory, dental clinic, operating theatre, 8 inpatient beds, x-ray and ultrasound facilities. Patients requiring specialist care are assisted in their travel to Perth, and emergency cases are evacuated to Perth through the RFDS. It is important that visitors to the Island have appropriate travel insurance to cover emergency evacuation from Christmas Island. Obstetric patients are referred to Perth for delivery in Perth during the last four weeks of pregnancy. These patients and their spouses are assisted their travel to Perth. Health services include: • Outpatient GP Service • Inpatient cares • Emergency 24 hour cares • Visits by medical specialists and ancillary health workers • Women s' health • Child health and immunization • Health promotion activities Routine medical services are provided free to Australian citizens & permanent residents. Private billing applies to workers' compensation, insurance examinations, etc. Dental services are available at the hospital for a scheduled fee. The dentist also operates a school dental health clinic. A voluntary St Johns Ambulance service also operates on the island.
There is full STD access by phone or fax to and from the Australian mainland. A Telstra 2G GSM Mobile Telephone Service (no data services) operates on the Island and a Telstra dealership is available for new, postpaid or prepaid products. Limited Telstra facilities and services are available to island residents.
There is no public transport available on Christmas Island. Getting around: Hiring a vehicle (4WD recommended) is easy and the best way to see the Islands. Scooters can also be hired. Guided tours are available and can be arranged through the Visitor Information Centres on each island.
Christmas Island Airport Code : XCH Scheduled Virgin Australia flights operate from Perth International Airport to Christmas Island several times per week. A charter services operates to Christmas Island from Jakarta every Saturday. Visit www.christmas.net.au for the latest flight information.