The Australian territory of Christmas Island lies in the Indian Ocean 2,000 km from the north east coast of Western Australia and 1,500 km from Malaysia.
With a total land area of 135 sq km and a population of 1,402, the island has been a non self governing territory of Australia, along with the Cocos ( Keeling ) islands, since 1957, and known collectivly as the Australian Indian Ocean Territories.
The island was named by Captain William Mynors, whom, aboard his vessel the ' Royal Mary 'sailed passed the island on the 25th of December 1643.
The island is the summit of what was once a volcano that rises out of the sea at 300 metres above sea level.
The island's terrain is made up of limestone rock, which is vegetated with tropical rainforest, and it's coastline is surrounded by coral reef.
It's rainforest interior is home to over 130 plant species, 16 of which are endemic to the island.
The island is a focal point for sea birds, that encourages at least 80 species to visit and at least ten species to mate and nest upon the island.
the island is host to one of the world's wonders of the natural world, when every November the island's ' Red Crab ' makes it's mass migration into the sea to spawn.
The Christmas Island Red Crab.
Around 100 million of the creatures attempt this in synchcronisation with the cycle of the moon.
It's main settlement is Flying Fish Cove, situated on it's north east coast, which has a population of 1,600.
This small town consists of shops, a bank, a post office a hospital and a chemist / pharmacy.
The island's overall population is comprised of 70% Chinese, 20 % European and 10 % Malay.
English is the official language, although the Chinese dialect of Hokkien is the most spoken language there.
the island is policed by 4 officers from Western Australia and 6 local special constables.
The island receives T.V and radio via the Western Australian network, plus it has it's own radio station, and is served by telephone and internet connections.
Three quarters of the island is National Park, managed by the Australian department of Environment and Heritage.
Industries on the island consist of off-shore oil extraction, local services, which include a small harbour and air field, and a small tourist industry.
the infrastructure is served by a good road network and an 18 km rail track.
The air field is served by 3 flights a week from Perth in Western Australia,2,600 km away ( 3 1/2 hour flight ) and 1 flight a week from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia 1570 km away ( 2 hour flight).
MAP OF CHRISTMAS ISLAND.
It's tropical climate gives rise to it's thriving albeit small tourist industry which is served by 10 small hotels and six restaurants, and offers beautiful beaches, scuba diving, bird watching, walking and yachting to it's visitors.
There are car hire facilities, a golf course, a cricket ground and an out door movie theatre.
There are island tours available which will take you to see the National Park, the Dale waterfall and Dolly Beach, home to the Green Turtle that nests there.
Attractions and accommodation can be seen on this tourism website - www.christmas.net.au
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Currency; Australian Dollar.
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