Facts about Christmas Island
|Flag of Christmas Island
|Territory of Australia
|10° 29′ 0″ S, 105° 38′ 0″ E
|Flying Fish Cove
|135 km2 ( 52 sq mi )
|2,072 (220th) 2011
|Federal constitutional monarchy
About Christmas Island :
The Christmas Island is a small overseas territory of Australia located in the Indian Ocean near the Island of Java. The island has a remote location and minimal human contact. This has resulted in the development of vast endemic flora and fauna here. The island is also known as the Galapagos Islands of the Indian Ocean. It covers an area of 135 sq km and had an approximate population of 2,072 in 2011. Most of the settlers here are Chinese Australians.
The island was discovered by Captain William Mynors of the British East India Company on the Christmas Day of 1643 AD. It is because of this origin that the island got its name. After several explorations, deposits of phosphate of lime were discovered on the island and it was annexed to the British Empire in 1888. The first settlement was established soon after by G. Clunies Ross who owned the nearby Cocos Islands. Finally in 1957, the sovereignty was transferred to Australia on its request and Australia paid £2.9 million in compensation to the government of Singapore.
The Christmas Island is located 2,600 kms from Perth in Australia and 500 kms from Indonesia. It is roughly quadrilateral in shape, the highest length being 19 kms and the highest breadth being 14.5 kms. It is actually the top of a submarine volcano, which rises from a depth of 4,500 m. The height of the summit above sea level is 300 mts. You will also find deposits of limestone from coral reefs on the Christmas Island. The central part of the island forms a plateau, surrounded by steep cliffs along the coast. A narrow fringing reef also borders the island.
How to reach (transport) :
You can travel to the Christmas Island in the following ways:
- The island is served by its own airport. Weekly flights connect it to the nearby Cocos Islands. Besides, flights are also available to Perth. There is also some talk of launching a direct flight to Jakarta from this island.
- Though there are no passenger ships to the island, it is a favorite port of call for yachts and cruise ships.
The island has warm tropical climate influenced by the monsoon winds. The wet season lasts from November to May when heavy downpours occur at any time of the day and cyclones may also develop. The weather is drier from June to November and this is the best time to visit the Christmas Island.
Points of interest (places to visit) :
Christmas Island is more popular with scientists and naturalists rather than with the tourists. But the clean air, quiet beaches and the friendly locals make it a great place to relax. In addition, the unique flora and fauna of the island can be of great interest to the tourist. The most important points of interest on the island are as follows:
- There are several freshwater streams called dales that flow out to the ocean. During their journey, these dales have sculpted the surrounding landscape into a unique one with interesting forms or terraces.
- The Lily Beach is a beautiful beach where you can find a bathing pool as you run down the sandy shores. However, it is best not to venture beyond the bathing pool as the current can be quite treacherous.
- Unique geological features have been developed on the steep limestone cliffs along the coast. These are blowholes where water rushes in and throws the air out with a force.
- The Dolly Beach is another scenic beach with white sands backed by the black basalt cliffs. It is known to be a nesting ground for the endangered sea turtles.
- You can indulge in several activities like scuba diving, nature walking, and fishing. One of the most wonderful sights is the red crab migration that is seen here.
Though small, the Christmas Island offers a variety of accommodation ranging from lodges, cabins and boutique hotels. The Cabin, Hibiscus House, Captain’s Lookout, Mango Tree Lodge, Papaya Cottage, The Sunset, and The Sanctuary are some of the places that you can check out for your accommodation.