The Dales

The Dales

The Dales is one of the Island's iconic sites and one of the few places with permanent flowing water and stunning wet areas, providing significant habitat for endemic blue crabs and impressive stands of Tahitian chestnut trees. The drive through the Dales leads through rainforest to a scenic and tranquil area, which has two walking trails starting from the Dales 4WD car park. The first is mostly a boardwalk, leading to Hugh's Dale Waterfall which is 1km each way from the car park. Signage along the trail offers information on the island's plans and animals. For the adventurous, a second trail leads on from Hugh's Dale for about 800m to Anderson's Dale, a small gorge with a small stream that flows to the sea.
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Dolly Beach

Dolly Beach

If you could draw an almost perfect Robinson Crusoe style beach, Dolly would definitely be a contender. Natural food supplies, shelter, and a source of freshwater would keep most castaways happy, and this beach has been known to do just that. As you arrive, especially if you are the first person of the day, you may be drawn to the turtle tracks in the sand. You can follow them until you find the signs of a nest. Both hawksbill and green turtles have been spotted. At the northern end of the beach the hills are marked by fantastic rock formations with plenty of resident seabirds. More interesting though are the sea level rock pool formations. Wave crash over the golden-toned, stony reef edges, which doesn't discourage the marine life. Red algae and small hard corals paint different colours across the surfaces, while small fish dart about between the pools. Tiny moray eels hunt in ankle-deep water, and if you stay still they will swim up to you. The opposing end of the beach has slightly deeper pools to explore and - depending on the tides - these allow safe, shallow swimming. Going over the rocks to the sea isn't advised, as currents can be strong.
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Fishing

Fishing

On the world map of fishing locations, Christmas Island may only rate a small dot, however fish being caught here are making a big mark amongst the international fishing fraternity. The secret is out... anglers around the world are starting to find out that Christmas Island is the hottest new spot for big fish in South East Asia. Within a few hundred metres of the boat launching facilities, it is possible to fish in thousands of metres of water for Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo and all the other exciting species that you usually find in tropical locations. The difference is that on Christmas Island the fish are BIG, very BIG! When the ocean currents bring the the tuna in, it is possible to see fish in excess of 100kg feeding on the surface. While the Yellowfin Tuna roam and pass the island quite regularly, Dogtooth Tuna live permanently on the steep drop-offs that surround Christmas Island and we’ve seen them up to 80kg landed. Or if you prefer the high flying aerial displays of a sailfish, during the pre-monsoon months some of the biggest Sailfish in the world are to be found at Christmas Island. Even trolling within a few hundred metres of the shoreline you will find the razor gang. Wahoo are the fastest fish in the world and Christmas Island is their favorite race track!
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Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

Christmas Island’s narrow fringing reef supports bountiful marine life, including 88 coral species and more than 600 species of fish. It’s an underwater wonderland for divers, with clear warm waters, coral reefs and spectacular wall dives. Soft corals, feather stars and gorgonian corals grow along vast walls which plunge into a seemingly bottomless abyss. The fish community is distinctive because the island is a meeting place for Indian and Pacific Ocean fish species – it’s one of the few locations in the world where you’ll see Indian and Pacific Ocean fish swimming side by side. Some of these species interbreed to produce hybrids. Christmas Island has more hybrid fish than anywhere else in the world, making it a marine hybridisation zone of international significance. In addition to the hundreds of species of tropical fish, dolphins inhabit the island’s waters and whale sharks regularly visit during the wet season. Whale sharks generally first appear when the red crabs are spawning at the start of the wet season — they converge to supplement their plankton diet with crab larvae. Locations such as Flying Fish Cove, Ethel Beach, Dolly Beach, West White Beach, and Winifred Beach offer scuba divers and snorkellers a rewarding marine experience. At Flying Fish Cove and Ethel Beach shore diving is possible depending on the time of the year. There is excellent fishing, with sailfish, tuna and wahoo among some of the fish to be caught. You’ll find boat ramps at Flying Fish Cove and Ethel Beach.
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Golf - Island Style

Golf - Island Style

Golf is one of the favourite pastimes of Islanders and the Golf Course is well worth a try for professional golfers or first timers. The 9-hole golf course is situated amongst palm trees and tropical rainforest with a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. Green Fees of $10 per round are payable for non-members. Clubs are available for hire from the Christmas Island Visitor's Centre and visitors are most welcome. Christmas Island Frigates nest inland from the course and land crabs can be a local hazard. Christmas Island Golf Open 2017 If you fancy hitting a club amidst a spectacular backdrop with little red crabs crawling the greens, the Christmas Island Golf Open is the event you should be a part of. Hosted by the Christmas Island Golf Club and sponsored by Acker, experience playing golf on one of the most remote Australian Golf Courses, meet the locals and enjoy a series of competitive events which will ensure you get the most of your visit to the island. Further information on the 2017 Golf Open (19 - 21 May) will be available soon ...
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Bird'n'Nature Week

Bird'n'Nature Week

Once a year, generally in the first week of September, Bird'n'Nature week participants will be invited in small groups to help catch Abbott’s Boobies high in the rainforest canopy, assist to colour-band Brown Boobies and monitor their colonies on the remote and secluded rocky coasts. Participants will work with our internationally renowned guides to study the nesting biology and foraging ecology of Christmas Island Frigatebirds and Red-tailed Tropicbirds. Depending on interest and demand, there will also be opportunities to assist in the colour-banding of Christmas Island Goshawks, a Christmas Island Hawk-Owl survey, seabird identification workshops, territory mapping of Island Thrushes and closer looks at the island’s other wildlife. And of course there will be the chance to search for a few of those rarities for which Christmas Island is so famous. Nightly seminars will showcase the results of all the seabird research (revealing the wanderings of the majestic Abbott’s Booby, CI Frigatebirds and more), the status of the endemic landbirds, the rarities of Christmas Island, and the marine and terrestrial ecology of the island.
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Birdwatching

Birdwatching

Birds Christmas Island Christmas Island is one of the world's truly spectacular tropical seabird rookeries. It's not just the number and variety of seabirds or their magnificent splendour that make the island so remarkable, but also their sheer visibility. Around 80,000 seabirds nest here annually, with 23 breeding or resident species. Birds can be seen and heard everyone on the island, at just about any time of the day. With a little effort birdwatchers can easily tick off a full list of residents in a busy week or a more relaxed fortnight - although the elusive Christmas Island hawk owl keeps many coming back. More than 100 vagrant and migratory bird species have been recorded here, including eight breeding seabird species and one subspecies. The most numerous is the wide-ranging red-footed booby, which nests in colonies in trees on many parts of the coastal shore terraces. you may see the endangered Christmas Island frigatebird soaring above Settlement - it's the world's rarest frigatebird and nests only on the island. The golden form of the white-tailed tropic bird is an endemic subspecies unique to Christmas Island. Known locally as the golden bosunbird, this stunning bird is graceful in flight and has been adopted as the island's fauna emblem.
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Photography

Photography

It’s hard to imagine a more visually tantalising place to photograph than Christmas Island. All around you are sights, colours, textures and landscapes you’ll want to capture, so bring nature to life through your lens. From soft, pastel sunrises to glorious sunsets, Christmas Island is bathed in ever-changing tropical light. Vivid colour is everywhere, from the crabs’ rich reds to the rainforest’s deep greens, to turquoise waters. Catch the robber crabs on film, zoom in on gentle orchids and twisting vines, and train your lens skywards to capture the elegance and freedom of rare birds in flight. Underwater photographers have a kaleidoscope of colours and shapes to shoot. On land the imposing, inspiring and detailed architecture of temples and other built form keeps shutters clicking. Video cameras capture the sights and sounds of millions of scurrying red crabs, or the hauntingly musical call of the island’s thrush, and the stirring call to prayer from the mosque. Best spots for best shots Martin Point – for staggeringly beautiful sunsets and seabirds. Blowholes – capture the energy of the water on a rugged coastline. Dolly Beach – impressively large robber crabs plus turtle tracks. Hughes Dale Waterfall – an iconic island place for your unique shot. Blowholes Road – get creative with a special tree along the road. Greta Beach – nesting turtles all year round make wonderful pictures. Island temples – rich colours fused with wisps of incense smoke. Tai Jin House – capture the detail of this building and its gardens. Flying Fish Cove - for underwater photography.
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Red Crab Migration

Red Crab Migration

Tens of millions of red land crabs live on Christmas Island. They are the Island's keystone species, because they play a vital role recycling nutrients and shaping and maintaining the structure of the rainforest. At the beginning of the wet season (usually October / November), most adult Red Crabs suddenly begin a spectacular migration from the forest to the coast, to breed and release eggs into the sea. Breeding is usually synchronized island wide. The rains provide moist overcast conditions for crabs to make their long and difficult journey to the sea. The timing of the migration breeding sequence is also linked to the phases of the moon, so that eggs may be released by the female Red Crabs into the sea precisely at the turn of the high tide during the last quarter of the moon. It is thought that this occurs at this time because there is the least difference between high and low tides. The sea level at the base of the cliffs and on the beaches, where the females release their eggs, at this time varies the least for a longer period, and it is therefore safer for the females approaching the water's edge to release their eggs. Sometimes there are earlier and later migrations of smaller numbers of crabs but all migrations retain this same lunar rhythm. The main migration commences on the plateau and can last up to 18 days. Masses of crabs gather into broad "streams" as they move toward the coast, climbing down high inland cliff faces, and over or around all obstacles in their way, following routes used year after year for both downward and return migrations. Movement peaks in the early morning and late afternoons when it is cooler and there is more shade. If caught in open areas, in unshaded heat, the crabs soon lose body water and die. Possible Spawning Dates 2016 The possible spawning dates for 2016 are: 24/25/26 November 2016 24/25/26 December 2016 Spawning can happen as early as October and as late as January but November and December are the more usual months. The migration comprises a sequence of events that follow on from one and other in a distinct order – a following sequence cannot be undertaken without the crabs having accomplished the preceding. The crabs will migrate to the coast where the males will dig mating burrows and they will mate. After mating, the males will commence their return migration. The females will brood their eggs for 12-13 days before emerging from the burrows to commence spawning. The females will commence their return migration immediately after spawning. The eggs hatch into free swimming larvae immediately after they are drooped into the sea. The larvae grow through several stages in the ocean for over four weeks before emerging from the sea to become tiny crabs.
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Christmas Island National Park

Christmas Island National Park

For nature lovers, Christmas Island National Park provides fantastic opportunities to observe unique plans and animals in their natural habitats. The park covers 85 square kilometres - about two thirds of the island. As an isolated oceanic island, distant from other land masses, Christmas Island is home to a high proportion of endemic species - found nowhere else in the word. Several are endangered. The park protects significant ecosystems including much of the island's uniquely structured rainforests and two wetlands of international importance, the Dales and Hosnie's Springs. In and around the national park you will find a host of native sea and forest birds, unique marine life, and land crabs - including tens of millions of red crabs, famous throughout the world for their spectacular annual breeding migration.
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