Christmas Island’s history is short, tumultuous, and unique. The community has been shaped by phosphate mining, different cultures, colonial and commercial interests, war, industrial unrest, and a natural environment like no other. For a small, remote island on the edge of the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island has been at the forefront of Australian politics; yet remains relatively unknown and retains a harmonious multi-cultural community in an irreplaceable setting. It takes time for Christmas Island to reveal her secrets. So take a “Step Back in Time” and discover Christmas Island stories in the historical township.
“The Old Railway” follows the route of the railway that once stretched from Drumsite to the thriving settlement at South Point and the story of phosphate; the economic and social foundation of the island. The trail recognises the men who cut a path through the forest, carved jungle tracks, built a railroad across the plateau to reach phosphate deposits, created a township, and the women and children by their side.
The “Spirit of Christmas Island” is everywhere in the nature, the built landscape, the street art, and the people. Its strength is derived from remoteness, community, family, beliefs, culture, and traditions. Christmas Island is a place where different beliefs and traditions are welcomed and celebrated. In fact, Christmas Island is the only place in Australia which recognises Christian, Islamic and Chinese celebrations with Public Holidays. This self-guided trail explores some of the different beliefs, traditions, and cultural practices which make up the community through some of the places of worship.