Christmas Island for Nature Lovers

The island is 19 km x 14.5 km in breadth with 73km of coastline. Two thirds of the island is classified as “Christmas Island National Park”.
Christmas Island boasts the highest concentration of endemic species within an Australian protected area The island’s epic annual migration of approximately 60 million Red Crabs from the forest to the ocean shoreline to mate and spawn occurs each wet season (November/December).
Rated by David Attenborough as one of his top 10 natural experiences.Around 80,000 seabirds call the island home, including gorgeous frigatebirds, the endangered Abbott’s Booby, Christmas Boobook and the Golden Bosun. Offshore, coral reefs teem with over 680 species of tropical fish species, turtles, dive dolphins, whale sharks, turtles and mantas. Landscapes include stunning cliffs, blowholes, stepped terraces, waterfalls, abundant caves systems, including subterranean water bodies that are connected to the ocean.Christmas Island is home to 237 native plant species, including at least 17 species found nowhere else in the world. Home to Jurassic style rainforests through to wetlands.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Made up of 26 islands in the main atoll, plus a second smaller atoll to the north, with only two of of the islands permanently inhabited. Warm, crystal clear waters teeming with precious marine life in a kaleidoscope.
Activities include kitesurfing/windsurfing, birdwatching, snorkelling/Diving, SUP’s, kayaks, canoes, glass bottom boats.

 Christmas Island Ultimate wildlife tour

 Private touring options withIndian Ocean Experiences

Including direct flights return to Perth

7 Nights Accommodation Three Star  Accommodation  The Sunset Ocean View

Car Hire

From $3315 pp

Upgrade to Oceanview at Swell Lodge 5 Star

Including Car Hire, Meals and Touring

From $6740 pp

Flights depart and return to Perth on Tuesday’s and Fridays

Christmas Island Ultimate Wildlife – 7 nights
Bespoke Private Touring:
Orientation Tour – 2hrs
Nature Tour – 4 hrs
Panoramic Bird Tour – 4 hrs Dolly Beach Tour – 2 hrs Snorkelling Tour (shared) – 2hrs
• Includes Return airfares from Perth with Virgin Airlines
• 7 days 4WD car hire
• 7 nights accommodation, Ocean View Room at The Sunset

Christmas Island Birdwatching – 7 nights
Bespoke Private Touring:
Orientation Tour – 2hrs
Nature Tour – 4 hrs
Full Day Twitch Tour – 7 hrs Hawk Owl Tour – 2 hrs Snorkelling Tour (shared) – 2hrs
• Includes Return airfares from Perth with Virgin Airlines
• 7 days 4WD car hire
• 7 nights accommodation, Ocean View Room at The Sunset

Christmas Dive or Christmas & Cocos (Keeling) Islands Dive – 7 or 14 nights
Christmas Island Private Nature Tour – 4 hrs
4 days or 8 days double boat diving including refreshments, tanks and weights.
• Includes Return airfares from Perth with Virgin Airlines
• 7 nights or 14 nights accommodation
• 7 days 4WD car hire

Accommodation – Christmas Island
Swell Lodge – Christmas Island
Swell Lodge features two glass-fronted ecolodges where you can wake up in Australia’s most unique, wildlife-filled National Park all from the comfort of your luxury accommodation.

Accommodation – Christmas Island
Christmas Island Options

Australia’s Indian Ocean Islands

A Natural Wonder

Explore Christmas Island

What to see and do

Christmas Island Red Crab Migration
Gecarcoidea natalis (Pocock, 1888)
The Christmas Island red crab is by far the most obvious of the 14 species of land crabs found on Christmas Island. It is estimated that 40 – 50 million of these bright red land crabs live in their preferred shady sites all over the island.

Possible spawning dates for 2023:
8-10 November, 8-9 December, 7-8 January (2024)
Possible spawning dates for 2024:
25-26 November, 26-27 December, 24-25 January (2025)
Spawning could occur a day either side of these dates as well. Migration would typically start about 4-5 weeks before these spawning dates and is triggered by suitable rain.

Physical Characteristics of Christmas Island Red Crabs
Bright red is the common colour but there are the occasional orange specimens and more rarely some purple animals. They are a big crab. An adult body shell (or carapace) may measure up to 116mm across. The Christmas Island red crabs’ carapace is round shouldered and encloses their lungs and gills. Their claws are usually of equal size unless one is a regrowing claw. Males grow larger overall than females, while females have a much broader abdomen and usually have smaller claws than males. However young Christmas Island red crabs all have the characteristic narrow abdomen of the male. The broader abdomen on the female Christmas Island red crab only becomes apparent in the third year of growth.

Christmas Island red crabs grow slowly, reaching about 40mm in carapace width after 4-5 years. They are sexually mature at this age and begin to participate in the breeding migrations.The Christmas Island red crabs moult their shells regularly during their early growth phases to match their increasing body size. Moulting usually takes place in the protected moist environment of their burrows. Mature Christmas Island red crabs probably moult only once a year, as their growth rate slows.

Christmas Island in your lens
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.

Want to Scuba Dive on Christmas island?
Christmas Island boasts some of the best scuba diving trips in Australia and has some of the longest drop-offs in the world. The island rises dramatically from the edge of the Java Trench, the Indian Ocean’s deepest point. This contributes to the endless kilometres of spectacular drop-off diving with most walls being only 20 metres from the shoreline.

Our scuba diving trips boast spectacular wall diving, untouched corals, hundreds of species of tropical fish, dolphins, whalesharks, warm clear water, the opportunity to see magnificent marine life – what more could you expect from the ultimate scuba diving trip and experience?

Christmas Island is surrounded by a narrow tropical reef which plunges into a bottomless abyss. This makes it the perfect destination for scuba diving trips! This reef is laced with many unspoiled corals and abundant species of marine life. The northern coast in particular boasts some of the most unspoiled corals in the world such as Acropora and plate corals which play host to a wide variety of small tropical species such as surgeon fish, wrasse, butterfly fish, gobies, anemones, eels and many others which are a photographers delight.

You may also be paid a visit by one of the larger locals on your scuba diving trip. Pelagics like rainbow runner, trevally, wahoo and tuna cruise along the walls and the occasional shark comes up for a curious look.

You could be graced with the presence of the majestic whaleshark. An encounter with one of these gentle giants who often visit any time between November and April is an experience on your scuba diving trip that you’ll never forget!

With coral reefs surrounding the Island, snorkelling is a must on every visit to Christmas Island as the abundance of fish and coral to see is breathtaking, just a few metres from the shore. Popular and accessible Flying Fish Cove is great for snorkelling and swimming.

When the waters are too rough at Flying Fish Cove, head over to Ethel Beach which may offer sheltered water and an equally dazzling array of fish and corals.Truly Special sightings for those on a birdwatching holiday
Many species are quite inquisitive and those on a birdwatching holiday can be rewarded with some truly special sightings. Highlights include the rarest booby and frigate birds in the world, the Abbotts Booby and the Christmas Island Frigatebird. With little effort is it quite easy to tick off a full list of residents in a busy week or more relaxed fortnight, though the elusive Christmas Island Hawk Owl keeps many coming back for more!

Fishing on Christmas Island is a truly unique experience. Really, anything is possible!

Breathtakingly steep drop-offs enable anglers to target big blue water fish within ridiculously short distances from the shoreline. Whether it be trolling for pelagic species such as tuna, wahoo or sailfish, casting lures for the mighty giant trevally, or jigging for the iconic dogtooth tuna, it can mean just a two minute cruise from the boat ramp before it’s time to put the lures in the water.

From December through to April the monsoon, or swell season, can limit boat fishing opportunities. When conditions allow, trolling is the most productive and easiest way to catch yourself a fish. However, for the experienced angler the options are far greater. If it’s not the big fish you are after, you can drop a line from the jetty at Flying Fish Cove or one of the many spots along the cliff tops. Land based fishing is possible year round, though at its best during the swell season. Through the dry season, when the fish multiply in both size and numbers, there is nothing quite like catching a big fish on a jig or topwater lure. This is where the fishing experience on Christmas Island really excels.

Christmas Island Restaurants
Tastes of the Tropics
Christmas Island’s restaurants showcase its rich cultural mix. From spicy Asian fare to modern western cuisine, you’ll 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 islands’ many picnic and barbecue venues, and pack your own hamper from supplies available at the local shops. Cafe and restaurant options may be limited during Ramadan, Chinese New Year, and Christmas – contact the Visitor Centre for further information as to what cafes/restaurants will be open during your visit. As most food on Christmas Island is imported the cost for food and meals may be higher than other places to cover the additional transport.

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Images and some text courtesy of Indian Ocean Experiences and Christmas Island Tourism Association