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 novice.
The cave is shallow, between nine and 15 metres deep, and has two wide entrances with a pillar separating them. This is great spot to get yourself one of those silhouetted diver shots – especially on a sunny day.
Go into the cave a little bit and you’ll find some very interesting stuff on the roof of the cave – simply amazing colours and marine life.
Once you’ve explored the cave, take a right out of the cave and enjoy a colourful, lively reef at 12 to 18 m.
Thundercliff cave is a lot bigger, and goes much further into the island’s core.
There are actually a series of caves starting with a big open chamber with very nice blue light at the entrance and a second cave beyond and accessible via the first.
The next is a cathedral cave, with more interesting stalactites and stalagmites: particularly one tall thin column which looks almost too thin, as it is almost cylindrical rather than the typical conical shape of a stalagmite. There is also a formation referred to as a hanging shroud.
Beyond here, if you’re game and the tide is right, you can take off your dive gear and go exploring the tunnels beyond (make sure you have fresh batteries in your torch!)
Outside the cave there is a flatter reef at about 12 m which had lots of the usual reef suspects: leatherjackets, ornate butterflyfish and velvet surgeons and a host of goldspot seabream.
For more information on diving on Christmas Island, visit diveplanit.com and watch this video…