Looking to boost your local knowledge? Take a look at these 24 facts about Christmas Island!
- Christmas Island is a small Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.
- Its nearest neighbours are Indonesia to the north and east, Australia to the south and Cocos (Keeling) Islands to the west.
- To witness the majestic sights and social intricacies of this wonderful country, head for the coordinates of 10.4833° S, 105.6333° E for your very own Christmas Island adventure!
- The terrain here consists of steep cliffs along the coastline, rising sharply to a central plateau.
- The total land area of Christmas Island is 52 square miles (135 square kilometres)…
- …that’s slightly larger than Bristol.
- Christmas Island’s population was 1,530 in 2014…
- …that’s less than 1/275th of the population of Bristol.
- Residents here are known as Christmas Islanders!
- The capital is Flying Fish Cove; it had a population of 500 in 2013.
- Christmas Islanders enjoy a tropical climate with a dry season from May to November, followed by a rainy season from December to April. The heat and humidity here is moderated by trade winds.
- Amazingly, around 2/3 of the island is a national park!
- Christmas Island was formed around 60 million years ago when a basalt volcanic seamount (an underwater mountain) rose 5,000 metres from the ocean floor!
- There are an estimated 45 million (yes, million) red crabs living on this tiny island! They migrate each year from the centre of the island to the beaches to breed and can be seen travelling in droves!
- Christmas Island is also home to several other species of crab including the largest species in the world, the coconut crab, which can weigh up to 4.1kg and measure 1m long!
- The official language of Christmas Island is English.
- Did you know that Christmas Island was actually named after its discovery on Christmas day in 1643?
- Despite being discovered in 1643, the island wasn’t inhabited until 244 years later!
- Australian Dollar is the official currency here.
- You must not touch a stranger’s head in Christmas Island, as it is considered extremely intimate… Ooh err!
- Christmas Island doesn’t currently grow anything on a commercial scale, although they are working towards growing fruit and vegetables as a future goal.
- Its industry consists of tourism and phosphate extraction.
- Christmas Island’s main export is phosphate.
- Do you know someone lucky enough to live in Christmas Island? You can make cheap calls to Christmas Island with Cherry Call – don’t forget, you’ll also need to use the international dialling code of 0061891.
To keep up-to-date with what’s going on in Christmas Island, head over to the Shire of Christmas Island website.