Our Cocos Christmas honeymoon

Virgin Bart

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Four nights in Christmas Island - done.

Christmas is completely different to Cocos. Cocos is beautiful beaches, Christmas is rugged beauty and forests.

We stayed at Ocean View Apartments which were perfectly functional but extremely run down. This isn't unusual on the island though and is reflective of real life there. Everything is very expensive and materials are hard to come by. Whatever negatives there may be about the apartments they are made up by the owner, Nigel. Nigel is fascinating and a genuinely great person. On Monday nights Nigel cooks a feast for those staying at his apartments and other friends. It's a great, delicious, merry and late night. It was the highlight of our trip.

Note that the apartments are very slowly being renovated and whilst you will not have the luxuries of a Hilton I still recommend staying there.

The Island is known for the crabs, of which there are three main types. Red crabs which are everywhere and cute, robber/coconut crabs which are the size of a basketball and need to be driven around (they will puncture your tyres) and blue crabs. You aren't allowed to eat the crabs. It's such a great sight to see them everywhere though and it's amazing how quickly we got used to it. It's not migration time so most roads are open. During migration I understand they are literally everywhere.

Other animals of note are the wild chickens, which are everywhere and a delight to see. There is one dog on the island (an assistance animal). And cats have been banned since 2018, there are still some feral cats around though. The control method is shooting them... The Golden Bosun is a beautiful bird which is endemic to the island, and a real pleasure to see soaring in the skies.

A lettuce on the island costs about $22, Shapes $5.05. 1L of Absolut vodka costs $15. Christmas Island Supermarket is open 9-5 M-F and has the largest range of alcohol. Shop around, some of the other ones are cheaper for alcohol, some as much as half/double. A slab of beer is about $50. Wine seems slightly cheaper than the mainland. Food variety available is immeasurably better than Cocos.

There are no LAG restrictions on the way back to Perth, so you can carry your duty free purchases in your carry on, which I much prefer. Usual restrictions apply.

There are some nice walks on the island that we did. It's bloody hot though, and the tracks are suited to the adventurer. Many roads are often closed due to crabs or extreme potholes, but these are well signed around town. When a track is signed as 4WD only on a map, check it out and use common sense. Some of them are fine, some of them are genuinely difficult to walk, let alone drive down. We walked a 4WD only track yesterday and following a slip there were literally blood, sweat and tears.

There are two or three car hire places on the island, all largely the same prices. All with cars less than 10 years old that are rusted and rickety but fine. About $80 a day. Unleaded fuel is $2.20/L and available 9-1, 2-5 from the fuel stop opposite the supermarket.

We found eating out to be overpriced and relatively poor on the island. Somewhat below the standard of Cocos (though I see others disagree above!). The Golden Bosun pub is a favourite amongst the western crowd (as opposed to Chinese and Malay), but the food is expensive and nothing special (think processed Parma and chips). It does go off though, so if it's your scene it's probably the place to get on the piss.

There are two detention centres on the island, the low risk one for women and families, and the one for males we are used to seeing on TV. The family one has one family in it at the moment, the one from Bileola/Sri Lanka. The one that resembles a jail is empty. We bumped into Kristina Kineally numerous times in our four nights here, she was here to meet with the family in detention.

There are no sandy beaches on the land that we found. Lily beach is beautiful and totally different in high and low tide. The waves crash about 20m off shore and trickle in to the safe zone. Quite the sight. Ethel and Greta are super hard to get to and we actually never made it (see slip story above).

We had a wonderful time on Christmas Island. In summary, I think we may return one day but not as a priority. I wouldn't recommend it to a family, unless a very adventurous family (unlike Cocos).

And just like that, we are on the XCH-CCK flight now, then a 45 minute connection for the CCK-PER flight. Unfortunately due to COVID you can't leave landside when transitting. Pre-COVID some would go for a swim across the road from the airport in the transit. We arrive back in Perth at 2350 tonight. G2G passes are at the ready, and it will be interesting to land at an international airport. I'll report back tomorrow for the last entry.
 

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drron

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And we depart PER at 2350 tonight.Missyou by that much!
Thanks for the TR I would like to do something similiar one day.
 

Virgin Bart

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And one final post - the honeymoon is finally over!

Just stepped outside for the first time in two weeks. Four white walls for two weeks, ironically almost the complete opposite of spending time on Cocos and Christmas.

Thanks for reading, everyone.
 
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ajd

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Thanks for the report - I've got a trip booked for myself in August, I'm well aware from the internet that flight delays are a big issue so it's useful to read your experiences about how things panned out for you.
 

bigbigman100

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We just came back from Christmas Island two weeks ago and absolutely love it there, we stayed at Tong Chee House and Villa Papaya paid average of around $250 for Tong Chee and $300 for Villa Papaya it is expensive but its really good. The cheapest place to eat is Idah Kitchen the malay joint that serves nasi lemak, roti canai but only open from 6AM to noon.
 

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