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Christmas Island Blog

DEC
30

Happy New Year! It's party time for Christmas Island's red crabs

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...
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DEC
21

It's Christmas on Christmas Island. So what's that like we hear you ask?

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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NOV
19

Christmas Island Heritage explored at Tai Jin House

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...
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NOV
13

Diving Christmas Island's caves

Christmas Island is honeycombed with caves, some accessible from the mainland such as Daniel Roux and the Grotto, and some by sea. The two most accessible sea caverns for diving are Thundercliff Cave and the cave at West White Beach, and they’re both pretty spectacular. What’s wonderful about the sea caverns at Christmas Island is not just that they’re interesting in themselves, but they are surrounded by picturesque coral reefs, teeming with marine life, so it’s like two dives in one! West White Beach cave (or rather, sea cavern) is a good one to tackle first if you’re a cave-diving...
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OCT
28

20km of barriers, 31 underpasses and 1 bridge: getting ready for the great crab migration.

It’s that time of year, when we await the pitter patter of little feet. About 400 million little feet in fact, as our resident population of 50 million red crabs start their annual migration to the sea to spawn. There’s a lot of work to do to help them on their way safely, to divert them from traffic, which Parks Australia has already commenced. We spoke to Rob Muller - Chief Ranger, Christmas Island National Park, to find out more. Typically, when do you start preparations for the crab migration? Rangers begin preparing for the migration around the beginning of...
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OCT
15

Around the world in 80 dates

Christophe Sepot is a man on a mission: he’s sailing around the world in 80 dates. That’s right – this cheeky Belgian is breaking hearts (or maybe having his own broken) as he sails around the world with his mate. Last month he had Date No. 43 on Christmas Island, with local Rhiannon Bird and we asked him how it all went… What inspired this journey? I met Cedric (the captain) a while ago travelling and was offered the chance to sail around the world when and if Cedric bought a boat. While working for a TV company in Belgium,...
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OCT
12

Territory Day – what’s it all about?

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”....
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SEP
30

Flying Fish Cove - the world's best shore dive?

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...
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SEP
18

Round the World yachties Mark and Cat share their first impressions of Christmas Island

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...
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SEP
15

Mark Holdsworth talks about Bird & Nature Week, and what's so special about goshawks!

Mark Holdsworth has been part of the Bird & Nature Week team since its inc eption and has been here for all but one year. We asked him what he thinks is special about the island and why he keeps returning. CI. When did you first become interested in the wildlife on Christmas Island? In 2004 I was part of a team from the Australasian Raptor Association to undertake banding studies of the endangered Christmas Island Goshawk. I've continued this study and visit the island as often as I can. CI. What is so special/unique about Christmas Island? Without doubt...
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