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Diving in the Keeling Islands

Stop and stay a while on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, a little known tourist destination where scuba diving is at its prime. Warm white sand and crystal clear waters await, so don’t miss out!

Diving in the Keeling Islands

Quick facts

Untouched waters are the name of the game on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The idyllic setting is unlike any other in the world, and you are almost guaranteed to be one of the only few who have dived in specific locales.

Expect visibility of 25 meters or more, and warm, calm waters. A few favorite dives to check out during your stay are Cabbage Patch and the Garden of Eden. Here, you can see stellar corals and an abundance of marine life. Another favorite is Two Caves, an aptly named swim through.

Head to Direction Island, where the diving is exceptional. This island is uninhabited, and you can dive right off the shore.

When to go

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What to see

Marine life here is off the charts. You can see creatures both large and small, from clams and angelfish to dolphins and manta rays. Be sure to bring your camera, as the animals here seemingly beg to be photographed. You are sure to get some unforgettable pictures on these pristine reefs.

Look closely at the reefs for the colorful array of nudibranchs, whose unique characteristics will blow you away.


For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

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Made up of 27 coral islands, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, are a little known Australian destination. The horseshoe shaped atolls are found in the Indian Ocean, a long ways out from Perth, around 1700 miles (2750 kilometers). The islands’ closest neighbors are the Christmas Islands, which are 560 miles (900 kilometers) to the north east. An easy way to remember the destination is that they are about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka.

Only around 600 people live on the islands and atolls, making for a serene and private locale. The approximately 100 European settlers primarily live on the West Island, while the 500 native Malays live mostly on Home Island.

For centuries, the islands have been an excellent transitional stopping ground for sailors on the go. Today, most of the economic income on the island comes from scuba diving and watersports loving tourists. While the islands sustain themselves mostly by fishing and farming, most everything is imported from Australia, and beyond.

Other attractions

After a long day of diving, there’s no need to leave the water. Surfing and windsurfing have caught hold, and paddleboarding is gaining publicity. Out of the crystal blue, go to the Pulu Keeling National Park, where crabs meander through the jungle, dripping with verdant greenery.

Getting there

Fly from Perth twice a week, on a route that goes in a circle from the mainland to the Cocos Islands to Christmas Island.


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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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