A global diving conglomerate has chosen Christmas Island as the location for its first Australian dive centre: Extra Divers has opened a new Christmas Island Dive Centre, effectively doubling the island’s diving capacity.
Extra Divers Worldwide, who currently operate in 35 locations across 11 countries, opened their much-anticipated Christmas Island facility Saturday, 1 October 2016.
“This is a massive boost to eco-tourism on our island,” says Linda Cash, of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, adding, “it’s also a giant tick of approval for our reputation as a global diving destination.”
Walter Harscher, CEO of Extra Divers Worldwide is so convinced that Christmas Island, located almost 2000 kilometres north-west of Broome, “is the untapped diving paradise of Asia” that his company has invested in a weekly charter flight from Indonesia to cater for the expected surge in divers from the northern hemisphere.
The air charter, serviced by a Bombardier 96 business jet will fly the Jakarta-Christmas Island-Jakarta route every Saturday and offers a special excess baggage rate for divers wanting to bring their own equipment.
“We’re expecting divers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Italy and also from all over Asia to flock here for the amazing marine life including, turtles, big pelagic fish, whale sharks and dolphins,” explains Harsher.
The new Christmas Island Dive Centre, which will dramatically increase the number of divers able to explore the island’s underwater paradise to 32 divers per week, will be headed-up by husband-wife team of Hiro and Sandra Yoshida.
“We have never seen anything comparable to the diversity of diving Christmas Island offers,” reveal the diving duo who have worked in many of the world’s diving hot-spots over the past decade.
“From shallow reef diving to deeper technical dives along dramatic drop offs and adventurous cave dives, Christmas Island has it all!” exclaims the Yoshidas, adding, “it’s been our dream for years to showcase this island to the world.”
The initial response to the new dive centre and northern flight have been so strong that Extra Divers Worldwide are already planning to build a dive resort on the island.
Cash reports there is “a real buzz on the island,” with locals and tourism operators gearing up to welcome divers to the island’s waters, “which are widely regarded as some of the clearest on the planet.”
The new Garuda charter flight services the Jakarta-Christmas Island-Jakarta route every Saturday. Return fares AUD730. Additional allowance for dive equipment AUD30. With cheap flights to Jakarta from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, this makes Australia’s Christmas Island so much more accessible to Australians too.
Virgin Australia also service the island, flying twice a week ex Perth.
Did You Know: Christmas Island rises dramatically from the edge of the Java Trench, the Indian Ocean’s deepest point. This contributes to spectacular drop-off diving with most walls just 20-metres from the shoreline.
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