christmas island Tourism Association

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

1 Cossies Pic Soderlund 2
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.

7 Dolly Beach Pic Gary Bell
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 been named in the Top 10 of Australia’s Best 101 Beaches for 2017.

The much-anticipated list, compiled for only the second time in history by Australia’s leading beach expert Brad Farmer, was announced by the Federal Minister for Territories and Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash at iconic Bondi Beach on Saturday.

Farmer, who is endorsed by Tourism Australia as an Aquatic and Coastal Ambassador, and who has been researching beaches since 1985, left no stone (or should that be sandcastle!) unturned in his quest to uncover Australia’s award winning stretches of sand.

7 Dolly Beach Pic Chris Bray

Over the past five months, clad in little more than boardies, hat and sunnies, the beach aficionado has “comprehensively assessed thousands of kilometres of coastline around Australia” in what some may describe as the ‘best job in the world’.

While news that one of Christmas Island’s beaches has made the Top 10 list might be a shock for many Australians unaware of the island’s natural wonders, the sought-after gong comes as no surprise to us locals.

“It’s an early Christmas present for us” says Linda Cash, Marketing Manager of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, adding “our island paradise is blessed with some of the most spectacular coastline on the planet.”

Brad Farmer

“When there are 11,761 (but hey, who’s counting!) beaches in our country, to be named in the Top 10 is a real privilege,” adds Cash who hopes the announcement will shine the spotlight on the island’s natural beauty, which in recent years has been partly overshadowed by the island’s facility for asylum seekers.

One person who clearly needs no convincing is Farmer who when he visited Christmas Island as part of his exhaustive research, wasn’t just blown away with the beauty of the island’s “sublime isolated beaches” but was also enamoured by its wildlife including its “soaring birds” and “diverse marine life”.

According to Farmer, “Christmas Island is one of the world’s best kept secrets whose time to shine as an internationally acclaimed ecotourism destination has arrived.”

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  • Airport Transfers

    Airport Transfers may be arranged direct with Indian Ocean Experiences on +61 (0) 439 215 667

    $25 one way
    $35 return
    Minimum 2 people
    Book here

    Taxis For bookings, please call +61 (0)439 215 644
  • Communications

    Internet

    The internet service on Christmas Island is provided through a satellite system and at times the service may be slower than you may be used to and may drop out during rainy periods. WIFI hotspots are available at various locations around the settled areas and your accommodation may offer WIFI. No data (internet) is available through the mobile phone system (Telstra 2G).

    Postal

    The Christmas Island Post Office provides a range of unique Christmas Island stamps just waiting for the postcard. The Post Office provides a full range of postal services and philatelic items, some banking services, mobile phones, SIM cards and a range of stationary and other items. Contact the Christmas Island Post Office on Ph: +61 (0)8 9164 8495 or Fax: +61 (0)8 9164 8494 E-mail: cipost@cipost.cx

    Telephone

    There is full phone access to and from the Australian mainland and internationally. A Telstra 2G GSM Mobile Telephone Service (no data services) operates on the Island. Telstra SIM cards are available at various shops including the Christmas Island Post Office. Christmas Island numbers are listed in the "Great Northern WA" phone book and in the Australian directories on the internet. Public phones are located at various locations. Contact the Christmas Island Post Office on Ph: +61 (0)8 9164 8495 or Fax: +61 (0)8 9164 8494 E-mail: cipost@cipost.cx

    TV/Radio

    Christmas Island receives Australian Digital Television Stations. As stations are broadcast through a satellite service, interference may occur due to rainfall. Radio 6RCI is the local radio station staffed by volunteers and transmits on 105.3FM from Rocky Point and 102.1FM from Drumsite. The schedule is advertised in the local paper, The Islander, and includes English, Malay and Chinese programs. Other radio stations are broadcast on the FM frequency including Red FM - a commercial station based in West Australia as well as ABC Radio National, ABC NorthWest WA and JJJ.
  • Taxis

    The Christmas Island Taxi Service is available:

    Tue-Thur: 6:30am - midnight
    Fri & Sat: 6:30am - 2:00am
    Sun: 7:30am - 11:00pm
    (Closed Monday)

    For bookings, please call +61 (0)439 215 644
    Airport Transfers may be available upon request.
  • Health

    Travel insurance to cover medical needs is strongly recommended.  Routine medical services are provided free to Australian citizens & permanent residents.  International travellers may be covered under reciprocal arrangements or through travel insurance.  If you have specialist health needs it is recommended to check with the Indian Ocean Territories Health Service prior to arranging your visit and to bring a supply of any medication you may use.  This should be carried in your cabin luggage with a copy of any prescriptions.

    Health care is available at the Christmas Island Hospital through the Indian Ocean Territories Health Service.   The facilities are modern and well equipped and includes GP and dental services and an accident and emergency department.  Patients requiring specialist care are assisted in their travel to the mainland, and emergency cases are evacuated to Perth through the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It is important that all visitors to the Island have appropriate travel insurance to cover their health needs and emergency evacuation from Christmas Island. 

    A pharmacy operates on Christmas Island and supplies a large range of medicines and other health supplies. 

    Christmas Island is a tropical environment.  It is recommended to drink plenty of water, wear a hat and use sunscreen. Tap water is safe to drink. 

    Contact the Indian Ocean Territories Health Services on Ph: +61 (0)8 9164 8333 or Fax: +61 (0)8 9164 8338
    Contact the Christmas Island Pharmacy on +61 (0)8 9164 8337

  • On Arrival

    Customs

    ABF House (formerly Customs House) Christmas Island - 3 Tong Chee Road - The Australian Border Force protects the Australian border and manages the movement of people and goods across it. ABF House at Christmas Island undertakes the functions associated with the arrival and departure of commercial vessels, small craft, aircraft, crew, passengers, air and sea cargo. It also deals with the import or export of motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft for the residents of Christmas Island. Operators and owners/masters of arriving and departing craft are required to report certain information to ABF, within specified time periods, prior to the actual arrival or departure occurring. Residents can report suspicious activity to the ABF. ABF House Christmas Island does not deal with visa or citizenship inquiries, and for most over the counter transactions and payments, you should contact ABF House (formerly Customs House) at Perth Airport. ABF Christmas Island can be contacted via email on dmwaci@border.gov.au, Telephone +61 (0) 8 9164 7228 or Fax +61 (0) 8 9164 7205.

    Police

    The Australian Federal Police are responsible for providing police services to the community of Christmas Island. A team of sworn police officers and locally engaged 'special constables' provide the full range of community policing services, including land and marine search and rescue coordination, within a small, diverse and multicultural community. No firearms are allowed on Christmas Island. Further information about the Australian Federal Police can be found by visiting www.afp.gov.au.
    Contact the Christmas Island Police (AFP) on:
    Phone +61 (0)8 9164 8444 or Fax: +61 (0)8 9164 8440

    Quarantine

    Christmas Island is an island with some unique endemic species of wildlife. It is also free of many pests and diseases that are found in other parts of the world. Quarantine is the border agency charged with the task of protecting the environment and human health from pest or disease incursions. The department's objective is to facilitate the movement of passengers, cargo, aircraft and vessels in a way that minimises any inconvenience to the people involved while maintaining the quarantine integrity of the island. This is achieved through various reporting, screening, inspection and treatment mechanisms. Certain products are prohibited on the island while other items may require some form of treatment before they may be released.

    Any persons wishing to know more about the quarantine requirements on Christmas Island should contact the Christmas Island Quarantine Service on Tel: +61 (0)8 9164 7456 or Fax: + 61 (0)8 9164 7468 or via E-mail on Christmas.Island@aqis.gov.au
  • Banking

    Westpac Banking Corporation have a branch located at Canberra Place, Settlement offering banking services  including foreign currency exchange.   
    Contact Westpac-Christmas Island on Ph: +61 (0)8 9164 8221 

    An ATM is available at the Poon Saan Shops.  

    Many shops and restaurants accept credit cards and electronic payments. Some may offer you to take out cash when purchasing items. However, it is recommended that you travel with some Australian cash.

  • Education

    The Christmas Island District High School provides education from pre-school level through to Year 12 secondary level. For further information on the education services provided on Christmas Island, please see www.cidhs.cx Contact the Christmas Island District High School on:Ph: +61 (0)8 9164 8546 or Fax: +61 (0)8 9164 8544

    Indian Ocean Group Training Association
    Indian Ocean Group Training Association (IOGTA) is the main employment provider on Island. IOGTA also runs many training courses for more information on current training course please contact: Phone: +61 (0)8 9164 7220 or Fax: +61 (0)8 9164 7129

  • Other Services

    Electricity

    The island electricity (consumer voltage 240V, 50 cycles) is generated by diesel plants in the power station located on the island.

    Australian plugs are in use - international visitors may need to bring an adapter.

    Water

    Water is pumped from several springs and underground streams. The water is treated and supplied in accordance with West Australian standards and is tested periodically. The water is safe to drink.

  • Driving

    Driving on Christmas Island

    Some tips for those visitors planning to drive whilst on Christmas Island
    - drive on the left side of the road
    - bring a valid drivers licence.  If you are an international visitor, you are able to drive with your foreign licence for three months.  If your licence is not in English, you will need an International Drivers Permit (IDP) from your home country
    - wear a seatbelt
    - follow the speed limits and traffic signs
    - do not drive while under the influence of alcohol
    - do not use a mobile (cell) phone  while driving
    - wear a helmet when riding a motorbike or bicycle
    - road conditions vary, particularly after heavy rains and you should check conditions first and then proceed with caution on some of the tracks
    - slow down and go around crabs on the road when safe to do so
    - some roads will be closed during the red crab migration.

    Cars are available for hire

    Mountain bikes are available for hire at ExtraDivers

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