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Christmas Island
December 1994

Christmas Island, an Australian Territory, is in the Indian Ocean 2600km north-west of Perth, Western Australia. It is about 135 square km – 24km long by 7km wide. Almost two-thirds of the island is a national park and there are birds and crabs everywhere.

Christmas Island was named in 1643 for the day of its discovery. The island was annexed and settlement began by the UK in 1888 to harvest timber. Phosphate mining began in the 1890s. The UK transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1958. The current population is around 1,500 people and 100 million red crabs.

There are not a lot of sandy beaches but the diving is fantastic with a good chance of seeing (in season) christmas_island_resortgigantic whalesharks, turtles, sharks and dolphins. Tourism is currently the main industry with diving and casino as the main attractions.

We arrived on Christmas day and stayed at the Christmas Island Resort and Casino for a week. We rented a car and spent some time exploring the island (there is not a lot to see), went diving one day and spent the rest of the time at the beach or by the resort pool.

crabsThe red crabs where doing their annual migration from the forest to the sea where they breed and they were all over the place. You couldn’t drive down some of the roads without running over them and there were dozens of them on the golf course.

 

More Christmas Island photos