Christmas Island, a territory of Australia since 1958, is located 2600 kilometres northwest of Perth and 500 kilometres south of Jakarta, Indonesia. It offers uncrowded dive sites with colorful reefs, plentiful pelagic species, a well-preserved WWII wreck, limestone caves and a wall surrounding the island that drops to infinity. With excellent above the water activities and over 40 dive sites, Christmas Island is a remote diving wonderland.
Diving near Christmas Island is available year-round due to the fact that the island’s visibility and currents are largely unaffected by its monsoons. As a general rule, the air temperature has a constant average high of 82°F (28°C) with slightly cooler temperatures in July and August. The water temperature is usually 82°F (28°C) from November to March and 79°F (26°C) from April until October. The months from April to October make up the island’s dry season which features calm surface conditions and fantastic visibility. November to March is the wet season. This means that sites on the northern side of the island may be inaccessible and visibility can drop to between 65 and 100 feet (20 and 30 meters). During this season, the plankton blooms attract manta rays and whale sharks.
Because of Christmas Island’s hard-to-reach nature, the island has been largely untouched by tourism. Those that manage to make it to this lush wonderland are rewarded by beautiful scenery both above and below the water. Most of the dive sites are accessible to those with an Advanced Open Water certification. While most sites don’t, some areas may feature fast and wild currents. Accommodation on the island ranges from hotels to luxury resorts although budget digs are virtually nonexistent.
Because of Christmas Island’s remote nature and mild wet season, there is no real high or low season and prices remain constant throughout the year. For calm conditions and excellent visibility, visit from April until October. If you are looking for whale sharks and manta rays, November to March is your best bet.
While Christmas Island may have some excellent underwater attractions, above the water offers plenty to fill your days as well.
63% of the island is National Park land so you can spend your days hiking to remote waterfalls, beaches and lookouts. Exploring the caves surround the island’s limestone walls is also possible with a local guide. Fishing excursions offer an afternoon activity that will keep you flush in fresh seafood for dinner.
If you happen to visit the island at the end of the beginning of the wet season, between October and November, you will be just in time for the island’s premier event, the red crab migration. At this time, an estimated 43 million crabs move from jungle to beach in order to mate.
With these plentiful above ground attractions and the amazing dive sites, you are sure to love your stay on Christmas Island.
The only way to reach Christmas Island is by flight from Perth or Cocos Islands on Virgin Australia. On a rare occasion, chartered flights are available from Jakarta.
Renting a 4WD or hiring a driver and car is the best way to travel around the island.