Christmas Island Blog

Latest news and articles from Christmas Island

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Recent blog posts

Growing up on Christmas Island

Posted on in News
Christmas Island is a unique place. People who visit the island – whether for a short holiday or as a long-term resident, are left with a lasting impression. To find out what exactly makes this island so special, we thought we’d ask former resident Carl Vogelsang, who grew up here before moving to Queensland in his late teens. Carl moved to Christmas Island in 1970 at the age of 4, and left as a teenager in the mid-1980s. If anyone asks him where he comes from, he still tells them; “Christmas Island”. Here’s Carl’s story. I arrived at Christmas Island in...
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The red crab migration reaches its climax this week!

Posted on in News
A climax has been reached for Christmas Island’s crabs as the final day of spawning kicked off this morning just before dawn. Female crabs were seen in their millions, carpeting the cliffs and beaches of he island as they each tentatively tiptoed into the water and shook off their large sacks of eggs into the outgoing tide. Island residents and some very happy visitors got up bright and early to watch the spectacle and they were not disappointed. The first few female crabs shimmied off their egg sacks on Tuesday morning, followed by a considerably larger group on Wednesday, and the...
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Recognised globally as one of the world’s great animal migrations, Christmas Island’s red crab migration is a spectacular event, and it’s about to reach its climax in a few short days. Tens of millions of red crabs have marched down from the rainforest to the ocean’s edge, and in a few days, the migration culminates in the mass spawning where millions of female crabs release their eggs into the sea. The exact spawning date each year is reasonably easy to predict once we have had sufficient rainfall for the migration to commence. The females generally spawn on an outgoing pre-dawn tide,...
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What’s that like? It’s very, very Christmassy, in its own special way. While people all over the world are putting the finishing touches to their Christmas decorations, here on the island named after Christmas, the whole island is decorated. And red is the predominant colour. Everywhere you look, whether it be in the rainforest, in the sky or even in the water, our island’s unique creatures are embracing the festive spirit. We love this time of year. It’s as if someone has draped the island in the traditional Christmas colours of red and green - the combined effect of millions...
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Christmas Island Heritage explored at Tai Jin House

Posted on in News
Christmas Island has a fascinating story to tell, from its early discovery and European settlement in 1898, to present day, there has been plenty of drama to match its dramatic landscape and unique wildlife. This story is now told in a permanent exhibition at Tai Jin House – and it makes for a very interesting day trip. One story told is that of Christmas Island’s cultural heritage. Ever since Christmas Island was first settled back in 1898, the island has been home to a mix of British, Chinese and Malay people. The establishment of the Christmas Island Phosphate Company in 1898...
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Territory Day – what’s it all about?

Posted on in News
Earlier this month, we marked the occasion of Territory Day, as we normally do, with a week-long celebration. This year the ceremony also encompassed the Mooncake Festival and a family sports day. So what’s it all about anyway? On the first of October 1958, the sovereignty of Christmas Island was transferred from the UK to the Commonwealth of Australia. The Christmas Island Agreement Bill included an “ex gratia payment of approximately 2,800,000 pounds to the Singapore Government to compensate for the loss of revenue from royalties and rent, which were applied to Singapore when the island was a British Colony”. This...
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Flying Fish Cove - the world's best shore dive?

Posted on in News
The diving on Christmas Island is incredibly varied – from the shallow coral gardens of Flying Fish Cove, the unfathomable depths of Perpendicular Wall to caves such as Thundercliff. (Photo above by David Pittock) We asked Diveplanit’s Simon Mallender to describe a few of his favourites for us., kicking off with everyone’s favourite shorey, Flying Fish Cove. This Christmas Island shore dive rates as my best shore dive in the Indian Ocean. Walk straight down the boat ramp into the warm, clear Indian Ocean and within seconds you’re swimming through pristine coral gardens. Here’s how the dive goes… Follow the line...
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The World ARC Round The World fleet are spending 15 months sailing around the world, and they started arriving in Flying Fish Cove this week. Yachties Mark Pitman and Catherine Watts aboard Tuuletar, beat them to it, arriving during Bird & Nature Week at Christmas Island for the first time. Here are a few extracts from their log… Before we got here more than one person asked why we would go to Christmas Island, after less than 12 hours here I wonder why you would ever consider missing it! Dubbed the Indian Ocean Galapagos, we have been immediately treated to the most...
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Elizabeth Rippey launched her new book, “Christmas Island, Animals, Plants and Ecology”, this week, during our 10th annual Bird & Nature Week. She has been visiting the island for some years and now comes every year for the event. We asked her a few questions about what inspired her to publish the book, and why she continues to visit the island. What first drew you to visit Christmas Island? (Seabird Ecologist) Dr Nic Dunlop and Dee Margetts invited us to the island as they have a flat here. We stayed with them and it was wonderful. What is so special/unique about...
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Photographer and adventurer Chris Bray has been running photography tours to Christmas Island for two years now. He tells us about his first impressions of the island in this guest blog post. I first visited Christmas Island back in 1990 when I was just a boy of seven, sailing around the world with my family on our homemade sailboat. I remember it as a lush, green tropical paradise crawling with brightly coloured crabs, surrounded by warm, crystal-clear water with amazing snorkeling, and the trees, rocks and skies filled with all manner of seabirds.When I returned in May 2013 to investigate it...
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