Christmas & Cocos Islands Discovery

Join us to experience unique wildlife, tropical jungle, magical reefs and sparkling beaches, on our 11-day escorted tour to Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands. This is the perfect getaway for travellers wanting to enjoy an active and exciting trip to these remote and pristine environments.

Christmas Island is a sanctuary for wildlife thanks to the majority of the island being made up of national park and it’s the perfect location when it comes to bird watching and hiking. And there’s plenty of that in this action-packed itinerary. In fact, a good level of fitness is required to get the most from this tour. Some walking is required up steep inclines and across uneven terrain, and there will be walks of up to several kilometres on some days to get to the best sights – although the pace is set to suit the group. After our week exploring the beauty of Christmas Island we fly to Cocos Keeling Islands for three nights. Here we visit West Island, Home Island and Direction Island with opportunities to swim and snorkel and enjoy a motorised outrigger canoe tour of the pristine waters.

Tour Fitness Level: Active

Itinerary

07/12/2021 (D)

On arrival into Christmas Island you will be met at the airport and taken to your accommodation. After settling in, there will be a briefing. For dinner, enjoy a beach BBQ at Flying Fish Cove. (BYO alcohol: we will stop at the mini-market for people to purchase drinks and other snacks they may like for the week) Return to the hotel.

VQ3 Lodge

Christmas Island

08/12/2021 (BLD)

Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel followed by an orientation tour of Christmas Island including its history, culture and photographic opportunities. Lunch is at the Local Café. After lunch we take in some breathtaking views as we trek to the Golf Course Lookout. It is a short walk but there is a steep climb/descent. This will be a fantastic opportunity for seabird spotting as red-footed boobies, frigate birds and golden bosuns glide over the picturesque cliff tops. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant.

09/12/2021 (BLD)

After a continental breakfast at the hotel we head off to Lily and Ethel beaches. Here we can take a swim or walk along the boardwalk between the two beaches to view the birds nesting on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Lunch will be a picnic at Lily Beach before returning to town for some relaxation time. Dinner is at a local restaurant.

10/12/2021 (BLD)

Start the day with a cooked breakfast at the hotel and spend a morning at leisure. Lunch will be at a local café. Then it is off to visit Lizard Lodge where we will learn about the reptile conservation program. Later we visit the Orphaned Bird Feeding program where we have the chance to see volunteers feed rescued Christmas Island birds. Later we return to the hotel and dinner is at a local restaurant.

11/12/2021 (BLD)

Enjoy a continental breakfast at the hotel before setting off for a walking tour to Hugh’s Dale Waterfall. One of the only places on the island with flowing water all year round, these rainforested wetlands are home to mighty Tahitian chestnut trees, blue crabs and an array of rare and endemic species. The Hugh’s Dale track is a raised boardwalk that leads to a permanent waterfall in the rainforest. (Good mobility and some endurance required). We enjoy a morning tea stop along the way and later a picnic lunch before returning to the hotel. Dinner is at a local restaurant.

12/12/2021 (BLD)

Start the day with a continental breakfast at the hotel, before heading off to the Blowholes. Here you can walk through towering rainforest and watch seawater rocketing high into the air. Enjoy a delicious fish lunch at Flying Fish Cove. Later enjoy a two hour snorkelling boat trip to see the abundance of fish that swim amongst the coral reefs just a few metres from the shore. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant. Later we have the option to enjoy the outdoor cinema for a $5 donation (subject to being open).

13/12/2021 (BLD)

After a continental breakfast at the hotel we head off to Dolly and Greta beaches. Dolly is one of the prettiest and most secluded beaches on the island. We walk through the rainforest along a boardwalk for approx. 2 kms. We then come to a sandy beach surrounded by overhanging coconut palms and shallow rock pools. Marine turtles nest at both Dolly and Greta beaches so we are bound to see some on our visit. Morning tea is provided and later we return to the township for a picnic lunch. The afternoon is at leisure.

14/12/2021 (BLD)

Enjoy a cooked breakfast at the hotel and spend a relaxing morning. After lunch at a local cafe we transfer to the airport for our flight  to the Cocos Islands. On arrival into the Cocos Islands we transfer to the hotel, and later enjoy dinner at Salty’s.

Cocos Beach Resort

Cocos Keeling Islands

15/12/2021 (BLD)

After breakfast we depart early on the ferry from West Island to Home Island. We tour Home Island including the Museum and the picturesque cemetery located towards the north of the island. Here we enjoy the amazing views of Prison Island and Direction Island. Returning by ferry to West Island we visit the Big Barge Art Centre and clam farm. The colourful barge hosts and sells a unique collection of local art including paintings, photo canvases, textiles, carvings and jewellery. A light lunch will be served here before heading back to the hotel to get changed for the afternoon motorised canoe tour.  During the tour we explore the pristine waters of the Southern Atoll and enjoy a swim or snorkel while looking out for numerous birds, turtles or crabs. Drinks and nibbles will be provided. Later we head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at House 20.

16/12/2021 (BLD)

An early start today to catch the ferry to Direction Island where we have breakfast on the beach. Enjoy a relaxing morning swimming and snorkelling in the waters surrounding Direction Island which offer a spectacular array of colourful reef fish and beautiful coral formations. Later we take a walk along the Direction Island Heritage Trail where we learn the fascinating history of Direction Island as we pass by interpretive panels telling its story. After lunch we have the opportunity for a final swim/snorkel, before catching the ferry back to West Island, where we take a tour to explore hidden spots and learn more about its history. This evening we enjoy an immersive experience with a Malay cooking class at Saltmakers Cafe, followed by dinner.

17/12/2021

Breakfast this morning is at Salty’s Cafe. (At own expense). There is the opportunity for last minute shopping before heading to the airport for our flight home.

(NB: As with all touring on Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands, the itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and tides.)

Highlights and Inclusions

Christmas Island

  • Orientation tour including history, culture and photo opportunities
  • Beach BBQ at Flying Fish Cove
  • Trek to Golf Course lookout to view birds in flight
  • Visit Lily and Ethel Beaches for swimming and bird watching
  • Visit the Lizard Lodge reptile recovery project
  • Tour the Dales including a walk amongst springs culminating in Hugh’s Dale Waterfall
  • Visit to the Blowholes
  • 2-hour cruise and snorkelling of Christmas Island coastline
  • Jungle walk to Dolly and Greta Beaches

Cocos Keeling Islands

  • Visit Home Island and delve into the fascinating history of Cocos Keeling Islands
  • Visit Big Barge Art Centre and clam farm
  • Motorised canoe safari
  • Day trip to Direction Island with opportunity to swim and snorkel
  • Traditional Malay cooking class

Inclusions

  • All accommodation (twin share)
  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners
  • All sightseeing as outlined in itinerary (NB: As with all touring on Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands, the itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and tides. If the crab migration is taking place this could cause some road closures resulting in itinerary changes and longer walks)
  • Transportation with driver throughout
  • Travel Directors’ Tour Leader

A booking form is to be completed by all passengers, and a non-refundable deposit of AUD $500 per person paid at the time of booking. The maximum number of passengers on this tour is 14.