Christmas Island Holidays
Discovered on Christmas Day, this secluded tropical island is a multicultural paradise and an Australian territory. In recent times the island of the red crab has become associated with asylum and detention but this does not and should not define it.
Its limestone cliffs and magnificent rainforest contribute to stunning natural beauty, and its Asian-influenced culture and laid-back lifestyle help make this island an Australian treasure waiting to be discovered.
This remote and largely untouched island’s best features are its natural ones. A four-wheel drive is needed to visit most attractions, as wilderness areas and steep terrain abound, and it is advisable to seek local advice before setting out. As the island is two-thirds tropical rainforest and national park, it is a nature lover and adventurer’s paradise. You can trek the national park and marvel at the Dales wetlands area with freshwater streams and a waterfall that you can shower and swim under, and some of the most unique wildlife and flora on Australia territory, including the Christmas Island red crab, famed for its en-masse annual migrations to the sea.
Dolly Beach is a must-visit for campers and a favourite spot for both visitors and locals. It takes an hour’s drive plus a 45-minute trek to get there but it is worth the effort. There is a freshwater stream here with drinkable water and it is also frequented by nesting sea turtles. Those lucky enough to witness eggs being laid will welcome this truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Eat and Drink
Christmas Island fare is a blend of Western and Asian cuisines. Most foodstuffs are imported from the Australian mainland and Malaysia due to parasitic worms living in the island’s soil that make it difficult to grow fresh produce.
What can be grown in small viable pockets of land are usually Asian greens like bok choy and okra, while papaya, coconut, mango and lime also grow on the island.
Noodles, fish and meat are often part of the imported produce. The Christmas Island Resort, Lucky Ho, Seasons Palace and Cari Makan are among the island’s few restaurants.
Where to Stay
The secluded island has only a few accommodation options, which range from resorts to cottages and tree lodges. The best and most popular areas to stay are in the island’s capital, known as the Settlement, and Flying Fish Cove, its only port.
The island doesn’t boast a department store or shopping centre but it does have basic boutiques with all the necessities. For souvenirs and postcards you can visit the Christmas Island Post Office and the Visitor Information Centre.
For gifts try the Wild Papaya store and Gold N Things Duty Free. You will definitely pick up a few bargains and unique items here if you’re after handicrafts, jewellery, fragrances and leathergoods. You can buy Christmas Island apparel from Lucky Lukes and the Red Crab Surf N Sounds.
Christmas Island Like a Local
Seventy per cent of Christmas Island’s people have a Chinese background, making Chinese culture a strong influence on the island. Traditions like Chinese New Year are celebrated, so take part in these festivities.