Christmas Island is a remote, dog-shaped tropical island located 1550 kilometers northwest of the Australian mainland and south of Java. It is an Australian external territory, also called “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”.  2/3 of the island is covered by a National Park so it is a gorgeous destination to visit for a remote feel where you are surrounded by breathtaking nature, friendly locals and unique sights. The easiest way to get here is from Jakarta, Indonesia (it only takes a 45 minute plane ride).

Now you may be wondering where Christmas Island got its name…when new territories were being discovered, it was not uncommon for territories to be named after the day they were first sighted. Christmas Island is one of those territories, named on Christmas Day, 1643 by an English sea captain.

Flying Fish code Christmas Island

Flying Fish Code, capital settlement of Christmas Island, credits: Paul McFarlane

How to get to Christmas Island

  • Travel

Christmas Island is part of Australia and is far removed from the standard travel and tourist track. There are flights only from Australia and Indonesia to arrive here and only three airlines service the Island, including Virgin Australia, Garuda and Malindo Air.

  • Visa

Since Christmas Island is an external territory of Australia, the same immigration rules apply to as they do for Australia. Therefore you will need to get a visa before your departure. You can request a visa for Australia online on websites like auvisa.org.

What to do on Christmas Island

  • See the red crabs

To see the annual crab migration on Christmas Island is an incredible experience. It is said to a be a ‘natural wonder’ as 60 million red land crabs make their way to the coast.. and it is something you can only see on Christmas Island. It is one of the main yearly attractions on Christmas Island and generally happens in October or November.

  • Diving and snorkeling

Diving and snorkeling are popular activities on the island, as it has over 60 dive sites and clear warm waters all year long. You can see over 575 species of tropical fish and experience the underwater world unique to the Christmas Island area.

  • Boulder Track

To get to the center of Christmas Island National Park, take the Boulder Track for a walk and incredible viewpoints.

  • Accommodation options

There are various types of accommodation you can find on Christmas Island. Flying Fish Cove is the largest settlement in the region with approximately 1600 inhabitants (about a third of the population on the island). It is here that you

Swell Lodge is a secluded eco-chalet with stunning views as it has the forest on one side and the ocean on the other.

Swell Lodge eco-chalet Christmas Island

Swell Lodge Eco-chalet on Christmas Island

  • Bird Watching

On Christmas Island you can see a number of beautiful and rare birds, including golden bosuns, frigatebirds, red and brown-footed boobies and more. If you are already a bird lover, each September there is the Bird’n’Nature Week hosted on the island that is a major draw for people from all around the world. Margaret Knoll is another great spot for bird watching.

Other helpful information for Christmas Island

  • How to get around the island

The best (and really) only way to get around Christmas Island is by car since so much of the island is covered by the Christmas Island National Park. You can rent a car from the airport where you will land. There is also no public transportation, but this just adds to the charm of visiting a remote place.

christmas-island-map

  • Currency

The Aussie Dollar is the local currency on Christmas Island and cash is very much so appreciated here.

  • Where to Eat

There are a few lovely bistros and cafes spread around the island, however keep in mind that this is a remote place and fresh fruit and vegetables come with a price. Our advice is to pack some things along with you, especially if you are a foodie and can not live without your favorite snacks for a few days.