Christmas Island traveller information
For more information visit the Christmas Island Tourism Association website.
- Air services
- Time difference
- Customs and immigration
- Importation of cats and dogs
- Information for visiting yachts
Virgin Airlines operate an air service between Perth and Christmas Island. Flights depart Perth International Airport on Tuesday and Saturday each week.
Refer to the Virgin Australia website for specific flight details.
Flights from Jakarta to Christmas Island operate once a week. For bookings and enquiries contact Travel Exchange Christmas Island or Indian Ocean Experiences via email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A freighter aircraft operates from Perth to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands each fortnight on a Friday (see Services section below for freight arrangements).
Christmas Island is one hour behind Australian Western Standard Time (WST), and three hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST). For example 9.00 am in Sydney is 7.00 am in Perth and 6.00 am on Christmas Island. Daylight saving is not observed on Christmas Island so when it is 9.00 am in Sydney during daylight savings time, it is 5.00 am on Christmas Island.
Passports and visas are not required when travelling to Christmas Island from the Australian mainland. However, photographic identification, such as an Australian Driver's Licence or Proof of Age card, must be produced for each passenger (including children) for clearance through Customs and Immigration. A valid passport meets this identification requirement and is the preferred means of documentation to expedite passenger processing and provide passenger identification in the case of a flight diversion to another country.
Normal Australian Customs and Immigration procedures apply when entry is made from outside Australia. A passport is necessary and a visa may be required. Refer to your travel agent or the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for further details.
Duty free purchases may be made for travel to and from Christmas Island.
Christmas Island is home to some unique endemic species of wildlife. It is also free of many pests and diseases that are found in other parts of the world. The Department of Agriculture is the border agency charged with the task of protecting the environment and human health from pests or disease incursions. The Department's objective is to facilitate the movement of passengers, cargo, aircraft and vessels in a way that minimises any inconvenience to the people involved, while maintaining the quarantine integrity of the island. This is achieved through various reporting, screening, inspection and treatment mechanisms. Certain products are prohibited on the island while other items may require some form of treatment before they can be released.
Any person wishing to know more about the quarantine requirements on Christmas Island should contact the Indian Ocean Territories office on telephone: 08 9164 7456, fax: 08 9164 7468, mobile 0439 215 456 or email Christmas.Island@agriculture.gov.au.
The importation of dogs and cats into Christmas Island is prohibited by the Importation of Dogs and Cats Ordinance 1973, due to concerns about environmental, social, cultural, animal health and welfare issues.
The Administrator has the discretion to approve the importation of a dog if it is an assistance animal. If a person wishes to import an assistance animal, an application in writing can be made to the Administrator of the Territory of Christmas Island at PO Box 868, Christmas Island Indian Ocean WA 6798.
The Shire of Christmas Island has a local law in respect of dogs and cats. Further information may be obtained from the Shire of Christmas Island's website or by phone 08 9164 8300.
A range of hotel and self contained accommodation is available on Christmas Island. Details and bookings are available through the Christmas Island Tourism Association website or by email at email@example.com. It is highly recommended that bookings be made prior to arrival on the island.
Restaurants, bars and shopping
There are a number of restaurants, cafes and bars on the Island offering a range of dining experiences including western, Malay and Chinese cuisine.
Christmas Island is serviced by small shopping areas located at the Barracks and Temple Court in Settlement, Poon Saan, the Kampong, Drumsite and the airport. The range of goods is not extensive and includes general groceries, clothing, sporting goods, souvenirs, photography supplies, electrical goods, furniture and whitegoods. There is also a newsagency and chemist on the Island. It is advised that you bring a sufficient supply of certain personal goods such as prescription medicines.
Westpac Banking Corporation has a branch on the island offering full banking services including foreign currency exchange. The Christmas Island Post Office is also a Commonwealth Bank agency and provides services for many banks including Citibank, Statewest, Bankwest, Metway, Hong Kong Bank of Australia and Adelaide Bank. EFTPOS and credit card facilities are also available as well as cash advances from credit cards of up to AUD$800 per day.
There is one generic Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) on Christmas Island.
The Post Office provides full postal and philatelic services, including special Christmas Island stamps and first day covers. Postal services to Christmas Island are weekly. Envelopes and Express Post Packages will be sent by air. All other post, including airmail packages, will be sent via seamail which may take up to two months for delivery. For further information you may contact the Christmas Island Post Office on 08 9164 8495 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freight to Christmas Island may be sent by air or sea. Air freighter services depart from Perth, every fortnight. Sea freight is from Fremantle, Western Australia every four to six weeks.
For further information:
- Air freight bookings and enquiries refer to http://www.freightshop.com.au/
- Sea freight bookings and enquiries refer to http://zentnershipping.com.au/
Taxi and car hire
A number of car hire companies operate on Christmas Island and can provide standard cars and four wheel drives. Bookings in advance are advised and can be arranged through the Christmas Island Tourism Association. Pickup and delivery can be arranged from the airport. A taxi service is available for shorter trips and sightseeing. Contact Island Taxis on 043 921 5644 for bookings or more information.
Christmas Island receives the standard digital television channels from Western Australia. Radio 6RCI is the local radio station, transmitting on 105.3FM from Rocky Point and 102.1FM from Drumsite. Transmissions are in English, Malay and Chinese. Christmas Island also receives Red FM—a commercial station based in West Australia as well as ABC Radio and JJJ FM.
Christmas Island has full STD access by phone or fax to and from the Australian mainland. The area code is +61 8 international or 08 domestic. Public phones are available at various locations across the Island. The Telstra GSM mobile network operates on Christmas Island. Phones, SIM cards, mobile accessories and phone cards may be purchased on Island. Contact IOCOMM Technologies on 08 9164 8505 for further information.
Fax and other business services are available through the Post Office.
Internet and other services such as photocopying and printing are available at the Christmas Island Visitors Information Centre.
Electricity (consumer voltage 240V 50hz) is generated by diesel plants in the power station located on the island, and is operated by the Indian Ocean Territory Power Authority.
Water is pumped from underground sources. The water supply is managed and maintained to Australian Standards by the Water Corporation under contract to the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
The local newspaper The Islander is produced fortnightly by the Shire of Christmas Island and is available from various shops on the Island.
There is a wide range of recreational activities and facilities available on the Island for visitors and residents alike. The Christmas Island Visitors Information Centre can provide information on the activities and facilities. Notices of events are posted in the local Newspaper, The Islander, and on the blackboards at the Roundabout.
Christmas Island National Park covers approximately 63 per cent of the Island and contains large tracts of tall rainforest, beaches, caves, freshwater streams and waterfalls as well as rare plants, bird life and other wildlife. A Visitor's Centre is operated by Parks Australia at Drumsite where advice on plants, wildlife and sightseeing is provided. The park is accessible by road and there are many walks along boardwalks or tracks. Guided tours are also available.
Spectacular fish, corals, rock formations and caves provide exciting snorkelling and diving opportunities on Christmas Island, from both the shore and by charter boat. The famous migration of large numbers of red crabs occurs between October and January each year. Whale sharks are also seen at this time. There are many vantage points to watch birds, some unique to Christmas Island, such as the Christmas Island Frigate Bird and the majestic Golden Bosun.
A recreation centre at Phosphate Hill provides a modern swimming pool, gym and sports hall. A crèche and café also operate at the centre. Golf can be enjoyed at the Christmas Island Golf Club. For more information visit the Christmas Island Tourism Association website.
The outdoor Cinema operates every Saturday Night at Poon Saan, even when it is raining. Check the blackboard or The Islander for the week's movie.
Many events are held throughout the year to celebrate the varied cultural aspects of Christmas Island such as Australia Day, Chinese New Year, Anzac Day and Territory Day. Visitors are welcome to join these celebrations and details are available through the Christmas Island Tourism Association website.
The relaxed attitude of the islands is reflected in the casual attire worn by residents and visitors. Business dress is smart casual. A hat, sunscreen and insect repellant is recommended when outdoors, and strong walking shoes are necessary for the jungle. Reef shoes or sandshoes should also be worn near the water to avoid injury from stone fish and coral.
When visiting the Kampong, appropriate attire should be worn to respect the Islamic community. Women and men are asked to wear modest outfits which cover the shoulders and upper legs.
Special vaccinations and medications are not required for travel to Christmas Island.
It is important to ensure that supplies of personal medications are brought for the duration of intended travel, as supplies of special medication may be limited and could take up to a week to obtain. Pharmaceuticals and general supplies are available from the chemist.
A small hospital operates on Christmas Island providing essential health services. People sustaining serious illness or injuries may be sent to Perth for treatment. It is important for people to check their health and travel insurances when planning a trip to Christmas Island.
Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean at latitude 10°30‘ south and longitude 105°40' east.
Christmas Island welcomes visiting yachts. Moorings, water and bathroom facilities are provided at Flying Fish Cove.
On or before arrival please contact Customs and Immigration on 08 9164 7228 or VHF channel 16 or 82 (local repeater system), tie up to an available mooring and display the yellow quarantine flag.
To avoid damage to coral, anchors must not be dropped in Flying Fish Cove. It is necessary to clear quarantine, Customs and Immigration before disembarking.
There is a small charge for mooring. For further information contact the Harbour Master at email@example.com, VHF channel 16 or 82 or phone 08 9164 8434.
Fuel is available by contacting Gaseng Petroleum on 08 9164 8313 or 0439 215 058.