Christmas Island Tour

DAYS
8
Style
Accommodated
EX
Perth – Perth
From
$6,975.00

OVERVIEW

Next Tour: 19th - 26th November 2024

Highlights:

  • A chance to see the phenomenal Red Crab migration 
  • A boat trip along the coast, great for spotting birds and marine life
  • Enjoy a relaxing cool off at ‘The Grotto’
  • White sands of Greta and Dolly beaches 
  • Spectacular views from cliff lookout 
  • Blowholes on the southern coast 
  • Unique wildlife including Robber Crabs and endemic birdlife 

The naturalists’ paradise of Christmas Island is located 360 km south of Java. It is the tip of an Everest-sized undersea mountain; a limestone capped extinct volcano that first emerged from the sea about 60 million years ago. The perimeter of the island is rocky and steep and formed in a series of steps and terraces created by sequential uplifts off the island from the ocean floor. This surrounds a flatter central plateau. Its rugged shoreline and mountainous character combined to prevent colonisation by humans until the late 1800s.
The discovery of commercially viable quantities of phosphate led to the exploitation of this resource, which continues to this day. However, 63% of the island is designated as National Park and this is dominated by rainforest which itself is substantially modified by the presence of millions of land crabs. The most prolific of these is the endemic Red Crab (Geocarcoidea Natalis). It is estimated that 100 million Red Crabs inhabit the island and these still require the ocean as an integral part of their breeding cycle. The crabs migrate from the central plateau to the shoreline and pay no heed to any obstacle, be it natural or man-made.
The tour has been scheduled to hopefully coincide with this unique natural phenomenon. David Attenborough, the renowned Naturalist, is recorded as saying ‘the migration was the most amazing sight I have seen”.
The island is also home to much more endemic flora and fauna; nine species of birds, including the Christmas Island Frigate bird and the rare Abbott’s Booby; reptiles and bats and many species of plants, including palms, ferns, vines and pandanus.

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Extended Trip Details

Itinerary

Day 1

Perth - Christmas Island

Meet the group at Perth International Airport at 9.30 am for your early afternoon flight to Christmas Island. We arrive on Christmas Island in the late afternoon, where we will transfer to the accommodation and settle in. This evening we will have a welcome to Christmas Island BBQ. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 2

Christmas Island

Today is an introduction to the wildlife, history and culture of Christmas Island. A morning visit to The Settlement will include Flying Fish Cove, Smith Point and the cliff tops where Red-tailed Tropic Birds and Brown Boobies breed. The Red Crab migration could be underway so there may be crabs everywhere. An afternoon walk at the National Park Headquarters along a rainforest trail will reveal such species as true endemic Arenga Palm, Strangler Fig, epiphytic ferns and Tahitian Chestnut. The endemic Golden Bosun Bird, a highlight of the Christmas Island avifauna, can be seen from the lookout here. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 3

Christmas Island

A full-day outing will take us to Greta and Dolly beaches via shaded forest walk trails. Enjoy lunch and a swim on palm-fringed Dolly beach. The impressive Robber Crabs can be seen here as well as Blue crabs, Nippers and the ubiquitous Red crab. Returning via Margaret Knoll lookout will give us superb views of the rainforest on the coastal terraces as well as some of the old phosphate mines. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 4

Christmas Island

Weather permitting, we will undertake a boat trip leaving from Flying Fish Cove and travelling along the coast. During the trip, we should see a diverse array of birdlife and there will be time to look for marine life and have a swim off the back of the boat. In the afternoon, a visit to ‘The Grotto’, a natural limestone feature connected to the ocean, is good for a swim followed by a visit to a small wetland that has a population of White-breasted water hens, a recent colonist from Indonesia. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 5

Christmas Island

This morning's highlights will commence with a swim at Flying Fish Cove or a look around The Settlement. After lunch, we will visit the southern part of the island where much of the island's phosphate mining did, and still does take place. This is followed by a walk on a forest trail on the central plateau where large emergent trees such as Syzygium, Pisonia and Planchonella occur. Their associated epiphytes and vines include an endemic Hoya. Another endemic, Pandanus pelatus with stilt-like roots, also grows here. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 6

Christmas Island

Another full day out takes us to the western side of the island, firstly to Murray Hill, the highest point at 361m and then on to the Dales. Here the Non-porous volcanic basalt meets the porous limestone on the surface, and streams flow all year round. This provides good habitat for the blue and robber crabs. We return to The Settlement via a breeding area of the rare and endemic Abbots Booby, which nests in the canopy of the emergent forest. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 7

Christmas Island

The morning will be spent visiting several beach areas and their distinctive vegetation coastal pandanus, coconut palms, Hibiscus, Scaevola and the Helicopter Tree, Gyrocarpus. Frigate birds, including the endemic Christmas Island Frigate bird and Red-footed Boobies are ever-present. An afternoon visit to the blowholes on the southern coast will allow us to witness the extent of the Red Crab migration from the central plateau to the coastal terraces and shoreline and perhaps see some Spinner Dolphins. Bird highlights will include the endemic Goshawk, Christmas Island Thrush and Emerald Dove. Accommodation: CI Apartments D
Day 8

Christmas Island - Perth

Free time this morning before we check in for our afternoon flight to Perth. Our Flight takes us via Cocos Island and is due to arrive back in Perth around midnight.

Note: The above itinerary should only be used as a guide. Day to day activities may be varied according to conditions and local advice.

availability

Places available

Inclusions

  • Return Airfare from Perth to and from Christmas Island;
  • Twin share accommodation;
  • Meals as per itinerary D = dinner);

  • All national park entrance fees;
  • Christmas Island coastal boat trip with use of snorkelling equipment.

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