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Christmas Island Blog


Swell news for Christmas Island

Chris and Jess Bray, well known to Christmas Islanders for their popular photography tours, have received approval to develop a luxury eco-lodge inside the national park of Christmas Island, returning the remote, wildlife-filled Australian territory to the centre of attention for the right reasons after more than a decade of detention centre debacles. Construction of Swell Lodge’s solar-powered, glass-fronted eco-chalets along a 500m section of coastline will commence later this year, and is the first such eco-accommodation allowed inside any of the Commonwealth national parks which include Uluru, Kakadu and Norfolk Island. As Judy West, Acting Director of National Parks...
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Meet Leila Jeffreys, artist, journalist and Christmas Island bird lover.

Leila Jeffreys first visited Christmas Island some time ago, and it changed her life forever. “Flying in on a small plane, I looked down on imposing cliffs, dark, lush rainforests and thousands of pterodactyl-like birds circling on the currents above the jungle. It looked like Jurassic Park and it was exhilarating.” At this stage, Leila was already “consumed by a love of bird photography” and was drawn to the island for Christmas Island Bird ‘n’ Nature Week, where she met biologist and author Tim Low, who’s books had a “profound effect” on her. Leila is also the author of Birdland,...
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Wasps VS Ants - bio control to eradicate Yellow Crazy Ants

As many of you know, invasive yellow crazy ants have posed a serious threat to Christmas Island’s wildlife , the red crab population in particular, but it looks like scientists have finally found a solution: a micro-wasp from Malaysia. After more than seven years of research, community consultation, and biosecurity checks, the first batch of micro-wasps have been released in Christmas Island National Park to control yellow crazy ants. The baby wasps, growing inside parasitised scale insects, were bred in captivity in Malaysia. At the end of January this year, they were released into the forest canopy into a yellow...
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Kirsty Faulkner announces her first Christmas Island photo tour!

This week, local photographer Kirsty Faulkner announced her first photo tour, a chance for budding photographers to tour the island with Kirsty, learn all her secret vantage points, explore some unknown places and gain some amazing insights into her photographic skills. We thought we’d ask Kirsty about a few of the things that inspire her… What came first, the camera or the view? Definitely the view!  From the minute you land on this island, you are surrounded by nature.  The towering trees, crystal blue waters, gorgeous birds… its hard to miss!   The camera came much later, once my little family...
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Chris Bray’s red Christmas on Christmas Island

This festive season, adventure photographers Chris and Jess Bray spent Christmas on Christmas Island and found a whole new way to celebrate… Swapping the festive family feast for something a little less frenzied, my wife Jess and I decided we’d spend Christmas on Christmas Island last year. More than just a corny cliché, our holiday hideaway, decorated with the largest return of baby red crabs ever seen, turned out to be both remarkably refreshing and utterly unforgettable: Growing up sailing around the world, I first visited this tropical paradise as a seven-year-old kid in 1990. Memories of snorkeling in crystal-clear...
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Diver Kat Spruth shares her red crab migration (and diving) experience on CI

Scuba diver and underwater photographer Kat Spruth visited Christmas Island for the first time recently and was lucky enough to visit just as the baby crabs started their journey from the ocean back to their rainforest home. We asked her what the experience was like. What inspired you to visit Christmas Island? It was a combination of a who (David Attenborough) and a what (the crabs), as viewed through the lens of whichever nature BBC documentary he was narrating at the time.  I ate up nature documentaries up as a kid – and I’m as passionate about animals today as I was...
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Christmas Islander Rochelle Lessing shares her Red Crab Migration experience

This Christmas, Christmas Island has experienced one of the largest red crab migration events that the locals have ever seen. A long rainy wet season set the crabs off to an early start, spawning in November, and over the past several weeks, the baby crabs have been returning in quantities never before seen. So… what’s it like to live with all this going on all around you? We asked local teenager Rochelle Lessing, who has lived on the island for three years. Rochelle is 16 years old, turning 17, just like the year itself - and was born on the east coast...
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Brad Farmer tells us how he picked Australia's best 101 beaches

This month we were delighted to hear that Dolly Beach had been chosen in the Top 10 in a list of 101 Australian Beaches by Brad Farmer, Tourism Australia’s official Beach Ambassador. We always knew Dolly was special, but being chosen in the Top 10 out of the 11,000+ beaches that line Australia’s coastline, is pretty special. We asked Brad about his arduous task of assessing Australia’s beaches… CI. How long have you been researching Australia's best beaches? BF: 50 years, if you count that I was digging into the beach sands of this big sandbox as a kid… but...
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Australia’s best beach named…. (drum roll).

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...
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2016’s Great Migration: it starts…

This year’s red crab migration has come a bit earlier than in the previous few years after heavy rainfall set them on their merry way to the sea. We asked Rob Muller, Chief Ranger Christmas Island National Park, if there were any special preparations required – and if there was anything different about this year’s migration. CI: Is there is anything unusual about this year's migration? RM: With the continuous rain the island has experienced this year the crabs have had an extended period of time to get their reproductive stages underway (migrating, mating and spawning). There are three occasions...
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