Christmas Island Still A Good Destination

Published 20 years ago, updated 5 years ago

We stayed in Christmas Island from Nov 10 – 21 and had no problems with customs or immigration. We were welcomed by all the islanders we met. There were three other boats there at the time and no one reported any challenges with checking in or out.

There is a fee of $40 per person for applying for a visa and a departure tax of $26. The currency used was Australian dollars and the bank on the island offered currency exchange. However, their exchange rates were not competitive and I would recommend that you exchange money before arriving if possible.

A large wharf has been recently constructed a mile or two down the coast from London. We got permission to land the dinghy at the wharf from the port captain (his office is in a trailer near the wharf). We anchored near the wharf and hitch hiked or rode the bus into town. As the prevailing winds created 2-3 ft wind waves in the pass we found this easier than the long dinghy ride around the point into town.

We anchored about 250 yards offshore in about 35 feet water. The bottom is patches of coral and sand. The sand patches are clearly visible. The wind blew out of the east and southeast when we were there and it was a bit rolly a few times but not bad.

There are numerous buoys in 30 – 40 ft of water off the coast of London marking fish traps. They are easily avoided during the day but are hard to see if coming in at night. The snorkelling near the pier is very good with lots of fish around.

We rented a car from JNB Enterprises (A gas station/General store near “the hotel”) for a day. The rates were not expensive and we had an enjoyable day seeing hundreds of thousands of nesting terns, exploring left over bunkers from from the atomic testing and enjoying a beautiful beach near the Korean wreck.

The best (only?) place to buy veggies is at the Captain Cook Hotel and you have to ask several times before they show you the good stuff. They were of good quality but VERY expensive.

Mike Stout, SV Mermaid

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