12 reasons why Christmas Island needs to be on your must-visit list

Christmas Island Things To Do
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Who doesn’t love an island getaway?

Christmas Island awaits as a hidden jewel in the crown of tropical destinations. It’s time to rewrite your travel playbook and chart a course for this undiscovered paradise!

Just a four-hour flight from Perth, lush jungles, secret grottos, and rare wildlife greet you at every turn, inviting intrepid travellers to explore its untamed beauty.

Along with the local culture and flow of island life, Christmas Island offers an array of off-the-beaten track experiences that promise to leave you enthralled in a destination that almost demands repeat visits:

Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, and Freediving

Boasting the status of being the second largest marine park in Australia, this unique location offers unparalleled opportunities for diving in pristine, transparent waters with year round temperatures of 26-30 degrees. Diving beneath the pristine waters encircling the island, both snorkelers and divers will discover an aquatic wonderland. Vibrant coral gardens dance with life, hosting a kaleidoscope of marine creatures. Encounter playful spinner dolphins, graceful green and hawksbill turtles, and majestic manta rays, just a glimpse into the rich marine biodiversity boasting over 88 coral species and over 650 species of fish.

Christmas Island Things To Do

Located on the edge of the Java Trench, the deepest part of the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is an idyllic destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and freediving enthusiasts with over 60 dive sites to discover. After a short cruise to the top of the island you can immerse yourself in the spectacular beauty of the Perpendicular Wall – a world renowned dive site that needs to be on your must visit list! Encompassing four sites in one, you’ll traverse layers of endless plate corals, that then emerges into cavernous reef. The gorgonian fans plant a vibrant pink garden, until you reach an almost vertical wall of breathtaking corals of every kind.

Christmas Island Things To Do

Throughout the months of November to April, the island also becomes a stage for the captivating journey of whale sharks during their annual migration, offering swimmers a rare opportunity to swim alongside these gentle giants.

Christmas Island Things To Do


The island’s coast is dominated by sheer cliffs that give way to pockets of some of Australia’s most secluded and pristine beaches. While there are many easily accessible options including the island’s main beach Flying Fish Cove, as well as Lily Beach, Ethel Beach and Isabel Beach, there are plenty more off the beaten track that are well worth the journey for adventure seekers. One particularly exclusive little beach, Merrial Beach, is only accessible during low tide and fits a few individuals at a time; so get in early because local etiquette advises that if you spot a car parked at the trail’s entrance, it’s best to continue driving!

Christmas Island Things To Do

National Park 

Covering nearly two thirds of the island, Christmas Island’s National Park offers a sanctuary of pristine wilderness for rare and endemic flora and fauna. Traverse dense rainforests teeming with life, where colourful birds flit amongst the canopy and friendly, giant robber crabs come and say hello. Guided tours offer insights into the island’s unique ecosystems, providing a deeper understanding of its ecological significance.

Christmas Island Things To Do

Bird Watching 

Christmas Island is home to a rich avian population, with hundreds of bird species inhabiting the island, seven of which are exclusive to its unique ecosystem. Among these is the curious Christmas Island Thrush (known for its melodious evening song), the Abbott’s Booby and the Christmas Island Frigatebird. With minimal effort, visitors can easily spot a comprehensive list of resident birds during a busy week or a more relaxed fortnight, although the elusive Christmas Island Hawk Owl continues to entice many enthusiasts back for further exploration! Let’s just say, if you weren’t a bird lover before you visit Christmas Island, we promise you will be by the time you leave!


Throughout the island, particularly in the National Park, you’ll discover picturesque drives, rugged walking trails and boardwalks, all designed to cater to various fitness levels and activity preferences, providing delightful opportunities to connect with nature. Stroll along shorter, well-established trails through forests and coastal regions for a leisurely experience. Or for the adventure seekers, longer, rugged paths are available to tackle challenging ascents.

Christmas Island Things To Do

Hughs Dale Waterfall and Hidden Grotto

With a short hike through the rainforest and along the boardwalk you can delve into the heart of Christmas Island’s rugged landscape and discover Hughs Dale Waterfall. This year round flowing waterfall is surrounded by rare and endemic species of flora and fauna including Tahitian Chestnut Trees and endemic blue crabs. A unique ecosystem and culturally significant ceremonial site for the local Chinese Buddhists, these ancient formations bear witness to the island’s geological and cultural history. The waterfall has carved a series of gorges into the landscape over time, which is where you will find a hidden grotto waiting to be explored…

Christmas Island Things To Do

Red Crab Migration

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the island’s spectacular red crab migration, described by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the most memorable moments from his life’s work.” Migration times vary but generally take place late in the months of November to January, during this time you can bear witness to one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles as millions of Christmas Island’s endemic red crabs embark on their annual migration from the forest to the ocean.


Christmas Island is certainly a bucket list destination for any shutterbug, offering captivating sights at every turn. Photographers can immerse themselves in the vivid colours, intriguing textures, and diverse landscapes, including pastel-hued sunrises and glowing sunsets, Christmas Island is enveloped in ever-changing tropical light. Vibrant hues abound from the intense reds of the crabs, and the robust greenery of the rainforest, to the shimmering blue waters (home to their own special wonders if you’re a diver).

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Christmas Island Things To Do

Locals, History and Culture

Christmas Island has a rich history and cultural background including Malay, Singaporean, Australian, and Chinese heritage. Visitors are encouraged to experience the warmth and hospitality of the island’s diverse community through local cuisine, vibrant festivals, celebrations, and traditions spanning a host of religions and cultures. There is a unique spiritual heart to Christmas Island in its sacred temples and shrines where the scent of incense flows, the call to prayer fills the air and the tapestry of harmonious culture is weaved into island life. The locals are proud of their home and its harmony, with a blend of Buddhist, Christian, Taoist and Muslim cultures that are celebrated openly, and places of worship are open to all.

Health and Mindfulness

If you’re looking to kick back and really take in the serenity, Christmas Island offers some unique stays with panoramic ocean views that will encourage you to relax and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of life on the island. You can find a myriad activities to switch off and unwind, from yoga amidst the lush rainforest to beach walks, with a coastline all to yourself.

Christmas Island Things To Do


If golfing is more your ideal way of unwinding, the island has a 9-hole course situated amongst the palm trees with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. It is an avid passtime on the island offering one of Australia’s most secluded courses. Plan your visit to tee up with the Annual Christmas Island Golf Open with exclusive tourism packages available just for the event.

Christmas Island Things To Do Golf

Open Cinema

A trip to the island isn’t complete without a visit to the outdoor cinema. Offering the latest movie options under the twinkling canopy of the night sky, it’s a great way to unwind on a Saturday evening before heading out the following morning for another full day of island adventures.

Head to christmas.net.au/perthisok for more info on planning your trip.