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Recent blog posts

Australia’s best beach named…. (drum roll).

Posted on in News
It’s a secret no more – the beaches of Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Islands have been named in the Top 10 of Australia’s Best 101 Beaches for 2017. The small strip of white sand on Direction Island, over on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands has been freshly minted ‘Cossies Beach’ in honour of Sir Peter Cosgrove – and handed the title of Australia’s Best Beach – out of 11,761 contestants. Our own favourite Dolly Beach (No.1 in our books!) came in at No. 7. So, it’s a secret no more – the beaches of Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Islands have...
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The Red Crab Migration: a local perspective

Posted on in News
What’s it like living with 40 million land crabs? We thought we’d ask a couple of locals what it’s like to experience the red crab migration. Is it amazing? Or is it an inconvenience? Maria and Jacobo Jacobo and his mother Maria live in Drumsite and crabs are everywhere. Not only during the migration but crabs, red and robbers, are in the garden and on the streets year-round. Jacobo’s favourite is the robber crab and he wants to pet them. Maria’s first experience of the migration was last year. It raised a lot of questions: "What is it that makes them...
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Day 6: Thongs beyond belief I’m being guided by a died-in-the-wool celebrity. Tim Low is, according to the blurb is his latest book, a ‘highly regarded biologist and a prize-winning author of seven books.” He also knows Christmas Island biology every bit as well as our previous guides, having done this trip for many years. On this last day of arranged tours for Bird and Nature Week, he’s taking us from the sublime to the ridiculous, from Oh My GOD to Oh…. My…. God. Its raining again but, with sunshine in the distance, we head off to the other side of...
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Day 5:  Boobies, noddies and extraordinary tails Nic Dunlop is my new best friend. Because of him, I got to throw a bird off a cliff and watch it catch the wind and soar. That’s a pretty awesome thing. We start early, in misty rain, scrabbling through the vines and among the rocks, to the place where the tropic birds were.  'Were' because the adults went to sea several hours ago to fish for their young, leaving the chicks concealed in the thick and tangled undergrowth, invisible to our uneducated eyes. But Nic knows. Adult red-tailed tropic birds are iridescent white,...
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It took barely ten minutes for them to appear. Our whole evening had been meticulously planned by Lisa, tour guide and all-round sorter-outer-of-problems. Dinner was at the Christmas Island High School allowing the junior Master Chefs of Year 11 and 12 the opportunity to practice on real people. But we’d barely sat down in the new outdoor dining area when the first one scrabbled its way out of the jungle surrounds. Robber crabs, uninvited and unexpected, marching relentlessly towards the smell of food, a multitude of mobile bowling balls pressing forward with all the determination of a Light Brigade. More and...
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Day 3: The Old Man of the Sea So today is it! The main reason why I came all this way to this tiny spot on the map. It’s Abbotts Booby day. I don’t know who Abbott was or why he had a seabird named after him, but he certainly got a good one – the rarest booby in the world, the evolutionary elder of the booby and gannet bird families, the true old man of the sea. And today, Day 3 of Bird and Nature Week, I get to see one up close and personal. If they cooperate, cautions Janos...
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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Arthur Toh Keng Jeow
    Arthur Toh Keng Jeow says #
    Hi Karen, I'm Art Toh from Singapore. We met Dr Janus and his team at the airport and had a good chat with him. We (5 of us)were
  • Art Toh Keng Jeow
    Art Toh Keng Jeow says #
    Hi Karen, My name's Art Toh and we (5 of us) were at CI from 20 - 27 Aug to do some birding. We are from Singapore. We met Dr Jan
Day 2: Trawling for Goshawks Fishing for birds in the jungle. A sentence I never thought I would write, a thing I never thought I would do. But hey, this is Christmas Island, and here, its not just a very cool way to spend a day, its helping save a laconic little raptor. The Christmas Island goshawk is about the size of a pigeon, sleek and slim, with golden eyes and a yeah, whatever attitude. Mark Holdsworth and Sue Robinson, goshawk gurus and guides, have instructed many an amateur in the fine art of trawling for birds. First thing you need...
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Bird'n'Nature Week - Arrival - a daily blog by Karen Hunt ...

Posted on in News
Day 1: Arrival  “Oh look,” I said as the pamphlet fluttered to the floor.  “Christmas Island. That would be so much fun. I’ve often thought I should do that.” “Well, why don’t you?” he asked. And even though I could think of a hundred reasons why I shouldn’t, I did it anyway. I booked. And arrived for Bird and Nature Week on Christmas Island a few months later, packing my camera, my biggest zoom lens, and a brand new flash card that would hold two and a half thousand images. Right-oh, I thought, I’m ready. Ready to leave behind the dull...
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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Nugget
    Nugget says #
    Good job Karen Hunt take care and have fun xxx yuor biggest fan.

A travel agent's perspective...

Posted on in News
Recently a few travel agents visited Christmas Island to find out about what was, to them, a relatively unknown destination. The group included Mike Drew of Bicton Travel and Mathew Hollis of Cathie Rice Travel - we asked them what they would now be telling their customers about the place. CI: What did you know about Christmas Island before visiting this year? Mathew Hollis: I didn’t know a lot about Christmas Island before I came but I have left knowing a lot more and have a greater appreciation for “Australia’s Galapagos.” Mike Drew: All I knew about Christmas Island prior to...
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The countdown has started for Bird & Nature Week

Posted on in News
The countdown is on for Bird & Nature Week, our one special week when we are privileged to join in on the research carried out each year by experts including Nic Dunlop, Janos Hennicke, Mark Holdsworth and Tim Low. Our rare and endemic birds, including the Christmas Island Frigatebird, Abbott’s Booby and Christmas Island Goshawk are the subject of ongoing study by visiting bird specialists, and Bird & Nature Week guests are able to take part in the research as well as attend seminars and guided bird-watching tours. Nik Dunlop will take guests on a tour to see noddies, bosuns and...
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