Christmas Island is the tip of an extinct volcano. It emerges from the edge of the Java trench some three thousand metres deep. A narrow fringing reef surrounds the island, beyond that the water plunges to unimaginable depths.
The corals in the shallower waters depend on sunlight, and the deep water upwellings that supply rich nutrients. This environment provides a home to millions of reef dwelling fish, and in the deeper water, large pelagics and trevally can be found very close to the shore. This is what makes diving Christmas Island so special – the corals and ‘reef society’ are always there – but you never know what else you might encounter.
This very special marine environment is a magnet for divers and snorkelers alike; and there are also coastal caves to be explored.
If you really want to know what diving Christmas Island is like, start with this video.
The small rocky outcrop in the northern Indian Ocean that is Christmas Island, is about 2,500 Kms north west of Perth, and less than 500 Kms south of Jakarta.
There are charter flights to Christmas Island from Jakarta every Saturday, but these are only relevant if you happen to be doing Christmas Island as part of a wider trip. The only other alternative is from Perth with Virgin.
On Tuesdays there is a flight Perth-Christmas-Cocos-Perth
On Fridays there is a flight Perth-Cocos-Christmas-Perth
So a week starting on either of these days makes most sense, but there are also 10, 10 and 14 day alternatives. Just send us an enquiry via the form below and we’ll let you know the best options.
There are currently two dive operators on Christmas Island:
Wet n Dry Adventures – a small and friendly family business that has been operating on Christmas Island since 1994 – big on smiles and service and like to have a lot of fun but not at the expense of safety.
Extra Divers, part of the Extra Divers Global brand with a large boat able to take groups of up to 16, plus their own Divers Villa accommodation.
Where to Stay
Accommodation on Christmas Island ranges from boutique hotel rooms to luxury self-contained and lodge style properties – there’s something to suit everyone. Many offer ocean views, and all provide the personal service that you’d expect from smaller operations.
This accommodation boasts spacious, fully serviced air-conditioned rooms with king / queen size beds or twin share. Each room includes private ensuite. Centrally located at Settlement, it’s only a short stroll to shops, cafes and the Golden Bosun Tavern.
VQ3 Lodge is centrally located at Settlement, it’s only a short stroll to shops, cafes and the Golden Bosun Tavern. Each room has a private ensuite, tea and coffee making facilities, microwave, TV, small fridge and is air-conditioned – recently upgraded. VQ3 Lodge has a communal kitchen for the use of all guests. Guests of VQ3 are welcome to use the swimming pool and BBQ facilities at The Sunset (located across the road from VQ3).
The Captain’s Lookout is a fully self-contained, one bedroom studio apartment with direct ocean views from the verandah and BBQ area which would suit a couple. Air-conditioned with one queen-sized bed; kitchen area with a full sized fridge and cooking facilities: microwave, stove top and oven; TV/DVD player/radio, phone charging station; washing machine, shower and toilet.
Note that this is a single studio space containing both the kitchen …
and the bed.
The Captain’s Cabin is a fully self-contained, one bedroom apartment with direct ocean views from the verandah and BBQ area.
Air-conditioned and fan cooled with one queen-sized bed; it also has a sofa-bed in the bedroom which can be made-up at additional cost.
Separate kitchen area with a full sized fridge and cooking facilities: microwave, stove top and oven; TV/DVD player/radio, phone charging station; shower and toilet. Ideal for couples.
The Captain’s Retreat is a fully self-contained, three bedroom apartment with direct ocean views from the verandah and BBQ area. Air-conditioned and fan cooled with one queen-sized bed, one double bed and two king single beds.
This accommodation will easily accommodate 6 persons, and up to a maximum of 8 people (two folder-beds are available for hire if required). Large, complete kitchen area with a full-sized fridge and cooking facilities: microwave, stove top and oven; TV/DVD player/radio, phone charging station; shower and toilet.
Washing machine and dryer are accessed in a common laundry area (shared with the Cabin) beside the undercover carport.
The Villa which enjoys a wonderful sea view was renovated in the summer of 2018 and decorated in a modern colonial style. It is located in the heart of Settlement on Christmas Island, with several restaurants, shops and a supermarket within walking distance. The Extra Divers dive base is only a 8-10 minute walk along a coastal path.
Each room has access to the open plan living, dining and kitchen area. A large colonial-style dining table seats eight. In the middle of the large room there are two cosy sofas for sitting together after diving.
The kitchen is about 20 m² and is just off the large living room. It is equipped with modern kitchen appliances and utensils, including a gas stove top, oven, hot water kettle, coffee maker, toaster, fridge and freezer, dishwasher and microwave.
There is a total of four bedrooms in the villa that can sleep between 6 and 8 people.
The deluxe bedroom with private lounge is located at the front of the house, next to the living and dining area, and has a private bath. It has a king-size bed and a wardrobe, next to the bright salon, which is separated by frosted glass doors.
The saloon overlooking the ocean has a comfortable lounge sofa that can be converted into a double bed. The bathroom with shower / WC is just off the lounge space.
On the back right side of the house is the superior bedroom (approx. 45 m²) with its own bathroom. The room is furnished with a king-size bed (or 2x Singles), wardrobe, desk and sofa in the sunny alcove. The sofa can also be converted into a double bed for children or additional guests.
The standard bedroom is approximately 20 m² in size and features a king-size bed (or 2x Singles), wardrobe and desk. The standard bedroom has access to a modern bathroom across the hall. This bathroom is shared with the fourth bedroom.
The economy bedroom (approx. 10 m²) is located on the back of the main corridor opposite the standard bedroom. It has a queen size bed and an antique wardrobe shelf. Guests in the economy bedroom share the bathroom with the standard bedroom.
Sea Spray Villa
Sea Spray Villa is the former servant’s quarters to the larger Divers Villa located next door, offering a spacious and cool apartment-style bedroom, equipped with kitchen, bathroom and wardrobe space.
High concrete walls and gable roofing keep the villa cool in its tropical environment. Its interior is freshly decorated in a modern colonial style and features a quiet outside deck looking right out to sea.
Best time to go here
The roughest time of year can be around September and October at the start of the North-west monsoon, though it gets rough at other times too. Being an island, with more than one boat ramp, there’s always a lee shore no matter which way the wind is blowing. Of course, if you’re shooting for a whale shark encounter, they appear most frequently just after the annual red crab migration which occurs on the last quarter of the moon in either October, November or December – as long as there’s been enough rain. Check out Parks Australia.
The Christmas Island Website has lots of really useful information so make that your next stop if you haven’t been there already.
Likewise, when you’re there, the Visitors’ information Centre on Gaze Road will have the latest information about what’s on, and what, if anything, is not.
One of the island’s more endearing points of interest is the blackboard by the roundabout (There is only one roundabout).
Here you’ll find news on everything happening on the island – what movie’s showing at the open air cinema, what specials are available at the cafes, sporting events, cars for sale and the odd birthday message.
As well as the website they also have a Facebook page that’s updated daily.
The Islander – local paper $2. Grab the current and a back-copy to see what’s happened and what’s happening.
The sunsets over North West Point as seen from Settlement are invariably spectacular. Show commences daily at dusk!
Where to Eat
There are many places to catch a bite to eat on Christmas Island.
- Barracks Café on Gaze Road in Settlement has healthy options during the day, and is open later on a couple of evenings. Free WiFi for diners.
- Golden Bosun Tavern and Restaurant has an Aussie country town feel: good selection of cold beers and chilled wine, good ol’ fashion Aussie tucker (‘Modern Western cuisine’). Use the excuse that’s it’s a great place to catch the incredible great sunsets to be there before dusk!
- Seaview Fish & Chips behind the Poon Saan Shops – takeaway and eat on the beach in Flying Fish Cove (NB: Cash only!)
- Dive operator can provide lunch – so that’s one fewer to have to think about.
- Rumah Tinggi Restaurant has been recently refurbished and will probably be the highlight of your culinary experience on Christmas Island.
There are also a number of Chinese and Malay Restaurants – both eat-in and takeaway. We can send you an up-to-date list just before you travel.
How to Get Around
Hire a car: as well as schlepping dive gear around, you’ll probably want to explore the interior and go to the supermarket. We can arrange for you to pick up the car at the airport on arrival and drop it off when you depart.
There is plenty to keep any non-divers busy for a few days. Here are a few ideas which you can research according to where your interests lie:
- Water activities: kayaks, fishing, snorkelling
- Bird watching: the island’s endemic birds are world famous. Twitchers visit from all over to see the Christmas Island frigates, Abbott’s boobies and the beautiful Golden Bosun.
- Caves: The Grotto is a beautiful place for a cool dip and the stalagmites and stalactites of Daniel Roux cave are worth the climb.
- Nature Walks: Go for walk in the rainforest to the Dales or maybe to Greta or Dolly Beach and check out the many land crabs along the way.
- Remote Beaches: Hike down to Dolly Beach or the more easily accessible Greta, Ethel and Lily Beaches.
- Movies under the Stars: Every Saturday night for a nominal fee there’s a movie showing at the outdoor cinema in Poon San.
- Take a guided nature tour with Indian Ocean Experiences.
- Visit the island’s blowholes – a whole coastline of them!
Though the sub-aquatic terrain might appear to be the same all the way around the island i.e., a sharp drop-off from 5m to very-very-deep covered in coral for a deep as you’re likely to go, in fact, each site is different. There are bommies, caves, walls, reefs, in different inclinations and covered with subtly different corals, flora and fauna.