INTRODUCING

Cocos Keeling Islands

Set in the heart of the Indian Ocean, the Cocos (Keeling) islands are a remote territory of Australia. There are two coral atolls and 27 white sand-fringed islands to explore.

Originally named after Captain William Keeling in 1609, the name Cocos was added as a reference to the plentiful coconut trees on the islands. Divers will love it here –get up close to the phenomenal coral reefs, teeming with life, including rare hawksbill turtles. If you get the chance, make sure to dive the atmospheric WWI wreck of SMS Emden, sunk by an Australian destroyer in 1914. The island has just under 600 residents, mostly Cocos Malay people, along with a small group of Europeans. Learn more about their culture at the Home Island Museum. The islands see few visitors, but you will be in good company – the Queen and Prince Philip visited the islands on their world tour in 1954.

Highlights

  • Visit the isolated Pulu Keeling National Park to see the exotic bird colonies.
  • There are over 25 dive sites to explore, with the chance to swim with green turtles, manta rays, dolphins, sharks, moray eels, wrasse, and if you're lucky, the Cocos pygmy angelfish.
  • Fly fish for bonefish in the lagoon. Bring your own gear and fish from the shore for these elusive, iridescent fish that grow up to one metre long.
  • Visit Home Island to meet the locals. Descended from slaves and members of the harem of Alexander Hare, an early 19th Century English explorer, the Cocos Malay people have preserved their unique culture.
  • Join a cultural tour to meet them, watch basket weaving demonstrations, learn some Cocos Malay words and visit the museum.

 

GALLERY

A flavour of Cocos Keeling Islands

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