Christmas Island is a remote territory owned by Australia, but situated closer to Indonesia’s Java. Fostering so many endemic species, the island is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. Yet it also displays a curious amalgam of cultures, history and industry, which lend the island a truly unusual travel experience. Opportunities to explore the natural wonder abound, with activities like diving, snorkelling, fishing, birdwatching and guided tours all on offer.
Christmas Island’s population may be miniscule; however there are quite a few quality eateries and dining experience to be enjoyed.
Rumah Tinggi Tavern and Restaurant presents one of the island’s most upmarket dining opportunities, serving modern Australian fare and fine wine with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. Also overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Golden Bosun is a visitors’ favourite, presenting European dishes infused with Asian flavours.
Located within close proximity to Asia, the island has a notable Asian influence, which is particularly apparent within its dining scene. Season's Palace, Lucky Ho and The Chinese Literary Association all offer authentic Chinese dishes in humble surrounds. The Malay Association Kitchen is the island’s only Halal restaurant, serving simple Malay fare. While Longs Bakery is a great option for Asian-inspired fresh baked goods.
Simple bites are also on the menus of the island’s cafes and pubs. The Barracks Café, offers a great selection of burgers and fresh Wahoo – a local speciality. Tracks Tavern and Restaurant is popular with local western workers, offering large home-style meals and duty free alcohol. Kookai'z Cafe, at the Recreation Centre, serves coffee, cakes, sandwiches and hot food to go. While The Rockfall Café specialises in cooked breakfasts, sandwiches and burgers.
Aside from clean air, beautiful beaches, natural splendour and unique wildlife, Christmas Island has another big draw card… Duty Free shopping! Carrying an impressive range of Duty Free products, such as perfumes, cameras, leather goods, jewellery, watches, sunglasses and alcohol, Gold n Things’ shops (at the airport and at The Barracks shopping centre) stock a great range of gifts and souvenirs at very attractive prices.
On the whole, Christmas Island has very limited shopping facilities. Most of the island’s most retail scene can be found at The Barracks Shopping Centre or at the Poon Saan shopping complex. Like most beach-side villages, the island has a surf shop, Red Crab Surf Shop located at The Barracks – which caters for the local lifestyle with a wide range of surf gear. Also at The Barracks, Lucky Lukes offers Balinese-style clothing, souvenirs, jewellery and gift ware.
Take away a memento of island life; the Visitor Information Centre sells a range of souvenirs and informative books.