AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019 - 32

IDYLLIC ISLANDS

CHRISTMAS ISLAND
WHAT BETTER PLACE TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS THAN AT APPROPRIATELY NAMED CHRISTMAS
ISLAND? THIS AUSTRALIAN TERRITORY, KNOWN AS THE GALAPAGOS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN,
MAKES IT EASY TO FILL THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS.

A CAPITAL CHRISTMAS

Begin in Flying Fish Cove, the island's primary harbor and
home to the capital, known on area maps simply as Settlement.
Learn about the island's history, including how the British
claimed the port in 1888, at Tai Jin House, a waterfront museum
housed in the former colonial administrator's home. The single
cannon visible at the nearby gun emplacement was the island's
sole defense during World War II. Stop at the Christmas Island
Visitor Centre to learn about area shops and restaurants, plus
available charters. After all, the second day is well spent on an
adventure tour. Hire an outfitter to take you fishing for bonefish
in the flats or snorkeling or diving at a vibrant reef.
Given that two-thirds of the island comprises Christmas Island
National Park, spend your remaining days appreciating why the
island is a popular ecotourism destination. If timed correctly, day
three could be spent checking out the island's most alluring event:
the red crab migration. Possible dates for 2019 are Nov. 22-24 and
Dec. 21-23. The migration begins with the rainy season when red
crabs leave their inland homes and scuttle as a horde to the ocean,
where they mate and spawn, before journeying back. To observe
this spectacular act of nature, find a spot at Flying Fish Cove, Ethel
Beach, Greta Beach, Drumsite or near one of the crab bridges
built for crabs to cross over the roads.
BEACH WALKS

Importance site, freshwater streams spill from underground
caves and form spectacular waterfalls. Take the Hughs Dale
trek cool off under the cascade. Along the way, keep your eyes
open for Technicolor blue crabs.
Birdwatching dominates the sixth day since the island annually
hosts about 80,000 nesting seabirds, including the rare Abbott's
booby and the Christmas Island frigatebird. The Margaret Knoll
viewing platform offers a spot to observe these birds.
DEEP DIVES

Head underwater on the seventh day. One of Australia's
best scuba diving destinations, Christmas Island presents more
than 60 different dive sites, most are close to the shore and
varied from fringing reef to big drop-offs. More than 650
different types of fish and 88 kinds of coral awe divers.
Watch green turtles and hawksbill turtles on day eight. You
can see them most anywhere in the island's waters. In fact, you
might spy a few at Ethel or Lily beaches on the ninth day. A
boardwalk connects the two strands.
Enjoy a cultural experience on day 11 at Mar Chor Nui
Nui Temple, a Chinese temple with ocean views. Finally,
conclude you holiday, the 12th day at Christmas Island, with
an amazing sunset at Martin Point.
- Amity Moore Joyce

Spend the fourth day on a scenic walk to Dolly Beach. A
one-kilometer boardwalk leads through the rainforest before
ending at a sandy beach lined with coconut palms.
Stretch your legs again on day five, this time at The Dales.
Here in this Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International

Where's your
favorite island?
Email us at
Traveler@AAACarolinas.com
and we might feature your
pick in a future issue
of Traveler!

Flying Fish Cove



AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019

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AAA Traveler - Holiday 2019 - Contents
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