The 27 islands of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is one of the most unspoilt and isolated beach destinations in Australia. When I visited the islands, the first thing I noticed when arriving on West Island is that the airport runway goes through the middle of the golf course…. just the start of the unique experiences to be had on the islands. The second thing is how isolated the islands really are, small islands with a small population and no mainland Australia phone and internet services, if you want a getaway and not be contacted, Cocos is the destination for you!
The best experience I had was discovering the Southern Atoll by a motorised Canoe Safari, an easy and fun way to visit some of the uninhabited islands. We saw numerous bird species, turtles, crabs, and fish. Learn about the surprising war history of the telegraph and cable station, war history of the SMS Emden attack and HMAS Sydney and bombing raids. There is time to swim or snorkel the clear waters and search for beautiful marine life.
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are famous for the empty beautiful white sand beaches, no tourists in sight which leaves the beaches all to yourselves. The picture-perfect and remote Direction Island (DI) is accessible by ferry and an absolute must for a relaxing day out on the famous Cossie’s Beach and swimming in the clearest waters I have ever seen on all my travels. Cossie’s Beach is named after former Australian Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove. We took our own food as there is BBQ facilities on the island as well as walking trails for a self-guided history walk. A must do on DI is to swim or snorkel “The Rip”, it is much safer than the name suggests and is full of incredible marine life such as parrotfish, reef sharks and a huge array of beautiful coloured fish. Another great swimming and snorkelling spot is Trannie’s Beach on West Island, again, a beautiful array of fish to be explored.
The islands are an amazing destination for water sports and discovering the stunning white sand beaches, however, a must day trip by ferry is to Home Island, home of the Cocos Malay people.
Here is a fantastic museum with all the history of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and the culture of its people including the early owners of the islands, the Clunies-Ross family who once owned and lived in Oceania House situated at one end of the island. A fascinating Australian history lesson that most Australians have never heard of, you can also stay a night in one of the beautiful decorated rooms.
After our history lesson it was time to soak that information in and we walked in low tide from Home Island to the stunning and tiny Prison Island with just a few trees and an absolute little oasis.
That night we enjoyed a delicious traditional Malay dinner at a local restaurant, a cooking class at a local school can also be arranged if you are a foodie.
Our last morning, we visited a clam farm and learned and saw all the life stages of beautiful coloured clams, followed by visiting the Big Barge Art Centre next door which is owned by local artist Emma Washer.
If you enjoy fishing, diving, boat trips, canoeing, kayaking, snorkelling, and island hopping then the stunning Cocos (Keeling) Islands) is your tropical island destination.