Christmas Island rises to a central plateau of stands of rainforest. Its 80km coastline is an almost continuous sea cliff up to 20 metres high, with a few shallow bays of small sand and coral shingle beaches. The largest of these forms the island's only port, Flying Fish Cove.
Settled Areas on Christmas Island
Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery, the island was annexed and settlement was begun by the UK in 1888. Phosphate mining began in the 1890s. The UK transferred sovereignty to Australia in 1958. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.
The Australian Government in 2001 agreed to support the creation of a commercial space-launching site on the island, which now looks unlikely to proceed after funding was withdrawn.
Tropical; heat and humidity moderated by trade winds.
Steep cliffs along coast rise abruptly to central plateau. Rain forest covers the majority of the island, with small areas of the island under rehabilitation from mining. Sandy to Rocky beaches scattered along the coastline of the island separated by steep limestone cliffs.
There are twice weekly flights from Perth, Australia with National Jet Systems , who also offer a connecting flight to the Cocos Islands. Fare is A$840 one way/1,680 return with advance purchase return tickets available for $1,098.
Virgin Blue  will commence services from Thursday 1 April 2010 with twice weekly flights to Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island and an additional third weekly flight to Christmas Island only which will be reassessed after six months, subject to demand. This service will be underwritten by the Federal Government.
There is no passenger chartered boat services to Christmas Island, however Flying Fish Cove is frequented by yachts and cruise ships as a stop off.
Walk, ride, or hire of cars/4WD/SUV. You can hike around the settled areas of island, as most locals are happy to give a ride to visitors.
As a territory of Australia, English is the most common language spoken on Christmas Island, but is not universal. Many senior residents speak dialects of Chinese and Malay as a first language. All signs are in English.
The Island has "duty free" status, and shop prices for perfume and alcohol are very low compared to the Australian mainland.
Gas refills Open :9am - 11am Monday to Friday. Phone :9164 7575 Email :firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Postal Services, Commonwealth Bank Agency, Stationery, Philatelic Passport Photos, Souvenirs. Contact Michelle or Carolyn Phone :+ 61 8 9164 8495 Email :email@example.com
Gaze Road, Settlement - Usual Supermarket lines / groceries, fresh bread, fruit and vegtables, wine, beer and spirts. Open :Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm, Saturday 9 am - 1 pm. Phone :Eddie Tan on + 61 8 9164 8370 Fax :+ 61 8 9164 8374 Mobile :043 921 5370 Email :firstname.lastname@example.org
Run by the Christmas Island Tourism Association located at the Visitor Information Centre, Gaze Road, Settlement. A range of souvenirs from Australia and Christmas Island, local craft, T-shirts, Christmas Island Books, posters, maps and videos, jewellery, pottery, postcards and much, much more. To contact the Visitor Information Centre: Phone :+ 61 (0)8 9164 8382 Email :Christmas Island Tourism Association
Australian standard Diesel Automotive fuel and unleaded petrol: 2 stroke mix out board motors: 20L jerricans for loan to refuel yachts - free transport to and from the jetty and able to fuel larger yachts on application. Contact Craig Albanus: Phone :+ 61 8 9164 8313 Email :email@example.com
Cosmetics, perfumes, watches, jewellery, sunglasses, leather goods, top shelf liquor, giftware Phone :+ 61 8 9164 8215 Email :firstname.lastname@example.org Website :www.goldnthingsdutyfree.com.au
Dispersing of prescriptions and supply of vitamins, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, make-up, first aid items, suncare and sunglasses. Open :Mon to Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm and Saturday 9:00am - 12 noon. Phone :+ 61 8 9164 8337 Email :email@example.com
Family Hair Design "Service with Style" Open :Tuesday - Saturday or by arrangement Phone :+ 61 8 9164 7061 Mobile :0412 536 263
Whitegoods, stereo equipment and accessories. Music CDs, DVDs, PC and other console games. Open :Mon, Tue, Wed 10:00am - 3:00pm, Thu, Fri 10:00am - 6:00pm, Sat 9:00am - 12:30pm Ph / Fax :+ 61 8 9164 8184
Range of clothing and unique giftware from around the world. Open :Mon - Fri 9am till 5 pm and Sat 9am - 1pm Contact Bridgette or Ron Lines : Ph / Fax :+ 61 8 9164 8297
ShopSurf wear and accessories, sunglasses, shoes range of music CDs Phone :+ 61 (0)8 9164 7176 Email :firstname.lastname@example.org
Reels, rods, lures and expert advise for your fishing trip. Surf and sportswear, camping equipment, ice. Phone :+ 61 8 9164 8925 Email :email@example.com
All your banking or money changing needs. Open :9am - 3pm Monday to Friday Contact :+ 61 8 9164 8221
Gallery, Gifts and Homewares. Unique Gift Ideas, Handcrafted Australian Jewellery, Christmas Island Photography and Art. Located in the Temple Court. Open :Tuesday - Friday 11am - 5 pm; Saturday 9am - 12 pm Ph / Fax :+ 61 8 9164 8882 Email :firstname.lastname@example.org
Listing referenced from Christmas Island Tourism Association website http://Christmas.net.au
There are several restaurants on Christmas Island serving Western and Asian cuisine.
Western and Asian Food - Coffee, milkshakes and cool drinks. Located at the Christmas Island Recreation Centre. Open :Everyday Phone :+61 8 9164 8106
Rocky Point Complex, Gaze Road Settlement. Modern International fare, with a dessert selection and coffee. Uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean from the restaurant verandah Dinner served 6 nights per week, closed Monday. Restaurant : 5.30pm - 8.30pm Bar : 4pm till late Phone :+61 9164 7967
Mon - Fri :Fresh bread daily including white, wholemeal, wholegrain and 6 cut rolls Red bean paste; Kaya paste; Coconut and Sambal Prawn buns Chicken and Beef Sausage Rolls Sat :Closed Sun :Fresh bread and french sticks Available from Boong Trading, Meng Chong Trading, and Metro Enterprises.
Huge range of burgers, rolls, sandwiches, delicious meals and fresh salads, Fresh coffee and cakes BYO - Eat in or Take away Open :6 days 7:30am - 1:30pm (closed Sunday) Phone :+ 61 8 9164 7688
Gaze Road Settlement. The Rumah Tinggi offers modern Australian fare, fine wine and cocktails. With uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and a spacious open air verandah - the perfect location to watch the sunset or the moon rise over the Indian Ocean. Bar open 5pm till late - Dinner - 9 pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Contact :Mark or Kaz on + 61 8 9164 7667
Poon Saan area - upstairs from the Poon Saan Shops. Offers authentic chinese dishes in air conditioned comfort. Phone :+ 61 8 9164 7688
As Christmas Island is duty free, alcohol is usually lower priced than the Australian mainland. Some of the bars and taverns are:
Seven possibilities for accommodation exist on the island, five of which are in the main settlement. Of the other two, one is located next to the island's waterfall whilst the other is further out in an area called Poon Saan.
List of Accommodation available:
For further details, bookings or enquiries visit the Christmas Island Tourism Association website on http://www.christmas.net.au/accommodation.php
Christmas Island District High School is the main school on the island, Year 1 to Year 10 is taught based on the Western Australian Curriculum.
It is difficult for non-locals to find employment on Christmas Island. The largest employers on the island are the small scale phosphate mining and federal/local government.
The most common way of obtaining employment on Christmas Island for non-locals is to check government positions advertised on the Australian mainland (Federal Government Employment Gazette), there are occasionally posting for teachers on several years contract from Australia.
National Parks, Federal Police and positions related to the Detention Center are occasional advertised on Newspaper and Government Gazette.
Also check http://apsjobs.gov.au online for posting at Christmas Island.
The island is safe all times of the day in the populated areas, locals usually leave their houses and car unlocked. There are no poisonous or dangerous animals/insects on the island.
The most likely danger is large waves at cliffs and coastal waters during the monsoon(October - February).
There are occasional sighting of reef and hammerhead sharks off the coast near the 'drop offs' (underwater coastal shelf which drops off into the ocean depths, usually 5 - 30 meters offshore) , however there have been no reported sharks attacks on Christmas Island in recorded history.
Some 4 Wheel Drive tracks are steep and slippery during the wet season, caution is advised when driving in national parks areas. Many tracks are 4 Wheel Drive only, in particular Dolly beach track and Dales and Blow Holes National Park areas. 4 Wheel driving experience required when venturing into these areas.
It is recommended that you bring a local or get local advice before heading off to any unpopulated national park areas.
Wear loose fitting clothing suitable for humid tropical climates. A hat and suncream is recommended if you're intending to be under the sun at the beach or fishing.
Bring water with you, as in a humid environment you will tend to perspire more than normal.
Mosquito repellent should be brought on trips to rain forest areas, no instances of Malaria have ever been reported in recent history.
There are rare occurrences of Hepatitis A & B. However there is no particular vaccination required when visiting the island.
Nudity is not permitted at beaches, normal beachwear applies.
It's good manners to wave back if waved by locals when driving.
Cocos Islands is the closest land to Christmas Island and there are weekly connecting flights which take about 1 hour.