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Your islands await...

Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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Description 2011 Filename CKITA000008_DESTINATION_BROCHURE_HR_1-1 Publication Cocos Island brochure

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Breathe in.

Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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Breathe out.

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Natural, uncrowded stretches of endless, white sandy beach. Warm, crystal clear waters teeming with precious marine life in a kaleidoscope of colours. Peace, palm trees, far horizons and a destination that feels ‘real’ under perfect skies. Welcome to a tropical escape that’s all yours. explore a new culture or simply relax in complete tranquillity, you’ve picked the most perfect destination: Cocos Keeling Islands.

Break free from everyday life and take an unforgettable holiday on faraway shores. Lazing in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, this sun-kissed getaway is like no other. Whether it’s your dream to kite-surf, dive, snorkel, birdwatch, fish, canoe or get married in spectacular surrounds; or if you want to find your artistic side, stroll on empty beaches, be inspired by magnificent sunsets,

So find your whisper-quiet accommodation, pack your swimming gear and tick off your Cocos preparation list. Then wave goodbye to annoying, bustling crowds. Get far away from artificial resorts and noisy night life. Come to a real tropical island. And make it yours.

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Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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Prison Island

Make it yours

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Cocos Keeling Islands: At a glance

Jetty sunrise

Traditional basket weaving

Hermit crab

Young Cocos Malay boy

Location

Language

The Cocos Islands lie in the Indian Ocean, 2,750km north-west of Perth. There are 26 islands in the main atoll, plus North Keeling Island, a second, smaller atoll to the north, which is protected within the Pulu Keeling National Park.

The Cocos Keeling Islands are an offshore Territory of Australia, so you will holiday among a small, welcoming expat community of Australian English speakers on the 15km long West Island. Across the lagoon you’ll find local Home Islanders speaking Cocos Malay and English.

Getting there Virgin Australia services the route with flights departing three times a week from Perth International Airport. Passports are preferred, but you must carry some form of photographic identification. Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Cocos via Christmas Island every Saturday with Firefly.

Climate Expect hot days and balmy evenings for your perfect escape. Cocos is warm and tropical with year round temperatures at a comfortable 24 – 30°C. The humidity averages 75% and rain usually falls at night. The trade wind season runs from April/May through to September/October.

Currency Cocos Keeling Islands operate in Australian Dollars and are duty free. Credit cards are best, and most businesses accept them. Some West Island businesses have EFTPOS facilities and most small businesses appreciate smaller notes and change, so bring some cash as well.

Time zone Cocos Keeling Islands operate one and a half hours behind Western Australian Standard Daylight Time, which is GMT +6:30. See pages 9 & 10 for more useful information and handy tips on how to prepare for your unforgettable Cocos Keeling Islands getaway.

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Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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Direction Island

Cocos Keeling Islands

Perth

Make it yours

Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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History, geography and culture

Horsburgh Island cannon

History

Geography

Culture

The Cocos Atoll was discovered by Captain William Keeling (East India Company) in 1609, and named by British hydrographer, James Horsburgh, in 1805. Scottish trader, Captain John Clunies-Ross, landed here in 1825, and dug wells and planted palm trees.

The Cocos Keeling Islands are two coral atolls that have developed on top of old volcanic undersea mountains in the north-east Indian Ocean. This undersea range also includes Christmas Island. Atolls are more or less circular coral reefs enclosing a lagoon. On large atolls, parts of the reef have been built up by wave action and wind to form low island chains connected by the reef.

The approximately 400 Cocos Malay people of Home Island form a tiny society that has been held together for more than 150 years by geographical isolation, shared religious beliefs, strong family loyalty and a unique version of the old ‘Trading Malay’ language of the East Indies. Today the cornerstone of Cocos Malay society is the Islamic religion. Few depart from its teachings and observances, and Islam is the focus of most people’s lives.

The first workers and settlers were brought in by merchant, Alexander Hare in 1926. The group included Malays, Chinese, Papuan and Indians. Cocos was a powerhouse of copra production until 1987, with all resources devoted to coconut growing and processing. In 1984 the people of the Cocos Keeling Islands voted to become part of Australia. During both World Wars, the islands were strategic targets. The remains of SMS Emdem, a German Raider still lie in waters off Pulu Keeling National Park after the vessel was outgunned in 1914 by HMAS Sydney I. In 2013, celebrations will begin for 2014, the 100 year anniversary of Australia’s first naval battle victory.

Charles Darwin developed his theory of atoll formation during a visit to the Cocos Keeling Islands in 1836. In his publication on coral reefs in 1842, he was the first to propose the theory of reef formation and evolution based on earlier discoveries and his visit to the Cocos Keeling Islands. His theory is still held as valid.

West Island is home to an even smaller group of expat Australians who speak English and celebrate traditionally Australian events and Christian-based holidays. These two diverse groups share life on Cocos in peace, harmony and mutual respect.

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Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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Pulu Keeling National Park

Cocos Malay traditional costume

Make it yours

Client Cocos (Keeling), Shire of (COC002) Campaign CKITA000008 Destination Brochure

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Accommodation

Tropical gardens

Cocos sunset

Where to stay Your Cocos accommodation is located predominantly on West Island and is mainly self-contained. You have a choice of several options including holiday houses, bungalows, cottages, villas, apartments and a budget style motel. Not all accommodation is airconditioned, so please request this if preferred when you book.

Choose one of the several holiday houses, including one located on Home Island and enjoy roomy, open plan living. All holiday houses are close to the lagoon or Indian Ocean, and most offer great views over the water. This is a good option for families or groups who enjoy plenty of space and more than comfortable living accommodation.

Deluxe style accommodation includes private self-contained oceanside villas and retreats set in tropical gardens, architect-designed cottages with sweeping lagoon views, suites with large verandahs overlooking the ocean, and bungalows nestling in lush, landscaped gardens.

When you opt for standard accommodation, you can expect a centrally located motel with many comfortable rooms overlooking the Indian Ocean. These rooms are ideal for couples or singles, and include an ensuite and air-conditioning.

Here you’ll find luxuries such as airconditioning, ceiling fans, fully equipped kitchens, picnic cool boxes, quality linen, washing machines, beach towels and barbecue areas. Some accommodation includes hire vehicles, airport pickup or complimentary bicycles.

Wherever you choose to stay for your getaway, the unique island beauty of Cocos is on your doorstep.

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Indian Ocean views

Make it yours

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Travel tips

Prepare for your perfect Cocos getaway. Your holiday to one of the world’s most remote islands does mean you need to come prepared. Take time to plan your visit carefully and make sure you are aware of what to expect, and your island adventure will be just the way you want it to be. Money Credit cards are best for everything from car hire to groceries. Most West Island businesses accept all credit cards and some offer EFTPOS. Many small businesses (like the Cocos Club) appreciate small notes or change, so bring some cash with you. Accessing funds on Cocos can be complicated if you are unprepared. Once a week a Commonwealth Bank agency offers CBA customers online withdrawal facilities, but is not able to cash traveller’s cheques or foreign currency, or accept cards from other banks. For cash withdrawals, a machine that accepts all cards is located in the Community Resource Centre.

Groceries & selfcatering food There are two supermarkets, one each on West Island and Home Island, plus several small grocery stores on Home Island. Fresh bread and rolls are usually baked twice a week. Frozen bread is available. Due to the remote location of Cocos Keeling

Islands, the choice of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and deli goods can be limited. So you may like to bring a supply of favourite and special dietary items. Have your Australian supermarket receipts ready for Quarantine on arrival.

Shops and local businesses A visit to Cocos Keeling Islands is a step into another world. There are no crowded shopping centres to fight your way through, and business opening times are varied and short. That means you’re free to spend more time relaxing on the beach or exploring! A number of smaller shops offer an excellent variety of souvenirs, T-shirts, snorkelling gear, fishing tackle and duty free items. Stop off first at the Visitor Centre (administration building next to the airport) to find opening times and to book tours and activities.

Plan your time in advance You’re strongly advised to book your accommodation prior to arrival. To get the very best out of your visit, it’s also a good idea to plan and book some activities in advance. Local operators will organise trips to ensure you experience the ultimate Cocos adventure. Tours may not run daily and numbers are generally limited, so you don’t want to miss out.

Travel insurance Being fully prepared and covered for all eventualities ensures your trip to one of the world’s last remaining real tropical destinations can be enjoyed with complete peace of mind. It is highly recommended that you obtain travel insurance – preferably international cover – prior to your departure.

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Snorkelling

Local ferry service

Traditional wedding costume

What to wear

Cultural tips

The Cocos Keeling Islands are warm, casual and relaxed. Shorts, t-shirts, sarongs, swimwear and a beach towel are probably all you will need. For footwear, bring comfortable sandals or joggers, plus footwear for reef walking. The Cocos sun is strong (even on cloudy days) so pack a high SPF sunblock and even a rash shirt to avoid sunburn.

When visiting Home Island, please note that entry to the mosque can only be in the company of a Cocos Malay person. While you should definitely have your camera to capture the vibrant colour and charm of Home Island, please remember to request permission before photographing any residents.

Arriving by yacht

Unless you’re visiting for a special function (like a wedding), evening wear is definitely not required. Speak to your travel agent or contact the Visitor Centre regarding ‘formal’ events during your stay on the islands. Please remember to dress modestly for visits to Home Island, covering shoulders and knees to observe and respect the local custom. But remember that the dress code is still casual and comfortable and you should ensure you’re equipped for the weather conditions.

The Cocos Keeling Islands is an Australian Territory and relevant visas, identification documentation and yacht registration are required on arrival. Vessels will be inspected by Australian Federal Police and strict quarantine regulations apply. During your stay, please adhere to guidelines for water, fishing, rubbish disposal and lighting fires on-shore.

Make it yours

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Experiences

Kitesurfing the lagoon

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Kite & Windsurfing In crystal-clear waters with palmfringed beaches as your backdrop, experience the thrill and the adrenaline rush that is kitesurfing and windsurfing. Recognised as one of the best places in the world to enjoy these invigorating sports, the Cocos Keeling Islands’ lagoon comes alive during the ‘winter’ months of July to October, when the southeast trade winds bring ideal conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

The conditions are ideal – no matter what your ability level. You’ll have more fun and exhilaration than you can imagine! Even in peak periods, the southern end of the lagoon is uncrowded, there’s enough open water for everyone, and the sky is ablaze with colourful sails and kites. You can make your own way to Cocos and join a group, or you can take advantage of full packages with flights, accommodation, equipment hire and – most important – experienced instructors for beginner to advanced lessons, plus support boats.

Kitesurf to Prison Island

Windsurfing on Cocos

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Experiences

White Tern

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Birdwatching The Cocos Keeling Islands is on the edge of the East Asian-Australian flyway, so avid birdwatchers will be spoilt for sightings of migratory and resident birds – all within a remote tropical island environment. The best possible months for birdwatching are November to April. Migratory shorebirds follow the sun on their 25,000km round trip from the Arctic Circle via South-East Asia and Australia to New Zealand. They can be sighted on Cocos while they feed and replenish fat reserves on their journey. Approximately 60 species of birds have been recorded on the Cocos Keeling Islands, and you’re likely to spot endemic species, seabirds, rare birds and even ‘vagrant’ species from as far away as China and Africa.

White-breasted Waterhen

Pulu Keeling National Park is an internationally significant seabird rookery. Most of the seabird species sighted also breed there, and it is one of the world’s largest and most significant breeding colonies for the Red-footed Booby. Professionally run birding tours are the best option for enthusiasts. Operators work with Parks Australia (landing on Pulu Keeling is only possible with a Parks Australia officer) and travel is specially organised. Any trips to Pulu Keeling will depend on weather conditions. Recent recorded sightings include the endemic Cocos Buff-banded Rail, Saunders Tern, Large Hawk Cuckoo, White Tern, Sooty Tern, Brown Booby, Asian Koel and White-throated Needletail to name but a few.

Twitching on Cocos

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Experiences

Ready for action!

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Kids snorkelling

Diver with Sea Fan Coral

Diving & Snorkelling When it comes to scuba diving, Cocos Keeling Islands tick all the boxes: water temperature between 26°C and 29°C; average visibility of 25m; more than 25 uncrowded, regularly dived sites; varied atoll terrain that suits divers of all abilities; and minimal travel time to see a diversity of marine life unlike any other. In fact there are a possible 1,550 species of sea creatures to discover in these waters, including the only endemic fish species, the Cocos pygmy angelfish. You can get up close to Kat the dugong, a permanent resident in the lagoon for more than eight years. Watch graceful mantas and be entertained by curious dolphins and turtles. Dive sites in and outside the lagoon include wrecks, reefs, caves and drop-offs. The local dive operator has over 10 years’ experience and can accommodate divers of all levels, from beginners to experienced. It is strongly recommended that you book all dives before arriving on Cocos.

Snorkelling on Cocos is a must. It’s great for all ages, and you’ll be in shallow and protected conditions as your own aquarium comes alive in crystal clear waters. You’re likely to see clams, sea stars, sea urchins, rock cod, basslets, butterflyfish, bannerfish, angelfish and parrotfish along with many other species. The best known adventure snorkelling site is ‘the Rip’ at Direction Island, where a current from the outer reef to the lagoon creates a flowing body of water for an exciting ride. For a more gentle experience, the ‘Humbug Drift’ alongside Prison Island is ideal for first-time snorkellers, kids and those who want to build their confidence before tackling ‘the Rip’. Either bring your own snorkelling gear or hire equipment from the Visitor Centre, where you can also find details about accessing all sites, and tours that take you there. Remember to wear plenty of sunscreen when diving and snorkelling, and always exercise caution when touching or handling marine life. If you want to stand up while snorkelling, look for a sandy patch to stand on, not coral.

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Experiences

Kayaks, Canoes & Glass-bottom Boats Take to the sparkling, crystal clear waters of Cocos Keeling Islands in a kayak, as part of a motorised canoe tour, or on a relaxing glass-bottom boat tour. It’s the perfect way to explore above and below the water, and to see your tropical holiday escape from new angles. You can hire kayaks, canoes and stand up paddle boards and get out on your own. Some operators will transport you to your chosen departure point, and pick you up later. Hire includes life jackets and a map showing accessible points of interest around the atoll.

hopping, snorkelling and fishing trip. You’ll discover the beauty of the southern end of the lagoon before relaxing and enjoying complimentary drinks and nibbles. There’s nothing like a day out in a glass-bottom boat with a knowledgeable local to guide you. Gaze through the glass at the awe-inspiring marine world of the Cocos Keeling Islands. Enjoy the opportunity to snorkel, fish and island hop. Your trip can be tailormade and you can visit Direction Island, beautiful Prison Island or the more remote Horsburgh Island.

Paddle southwards in the lagoon for some quiet exploration with likely sightings of manta ray, turtle and eel. Or consider joining a motorised canoe safari and make the most of a four-hour island

Glass-bottom boat tours

Exploring the southern lagoon

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Stand up paddle boarding

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North Keeling Island Pulu Keeling National Park

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Experiences

Nek Neng with Ikan Hiju

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Art course in action

The Big Barge

Arts & Culture Set your creative side free as you immerse yourself in art or photography against the backdrop of a captivating landscape and stunning natural environment. Or set out on a voyage of discovery into the fascinating culture of the Cocos Malay people. A visit to Cocos is not complete without a stop at the art gallery housed in the restored old Barge on West Island. Bringing arts, culture and creativity to remote islands, this one-of-a-kind gallery showcases original local artworks for sale, such as paintings, photo canvases, textiles, carvings and jewellery. Inspiring creative workshops under expert guidance are run here and encompass a diverse range of dynamic art experiences including printing, flotsam and jetsam mixed media, coiling, weaving, drawing and environmental art.

A short ferry ride to Home Island takes you into the heart of the Cocos Malay community, where the local culture is a blend of history and tradition found nowhere else in the world. Take a friendly and personal Home Island tour and get hands-on experience of local trades and crafts. Try basket weaving, learn about traditional jukong (boat) building, have a go at coconut husking, listen to personal stories, visit the museum and get an insight into the now-ceased copra industry. Dine on authentic and delicious Cocos Malay cuisine and stop for a chat with the friendly locals. During term time the Home Island school campus runs a tour for visitors. It helps the students practise their English while sharing their culture. Many cultural ceremonies and events are held through the year at various houses in the kampong (town). As well as family celebrations in this small community, the biggest event is Hari Raya Puasa, the day marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. If you’re on Home Island at this time, don’t miss the opportunity to wander the kampong with the locals as they take their celebrations from house to house.

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Experiences

Fishing Take your pick out here in the clear turquoise waters teeming with fish both in and outside of the lagoon. In fact, there are few places in the world offering such fishing diversity as the Cocos Keeling Islands.

Why not take the whole family fishing for sweetlips, silveries, cod and mullet? Then end the day in true Cocos style as you barbecue your freshly caught dinner on the shores of the lagoon as the sun sets.

Try fly-fishing for bonefish and experience the exhilaration of bringing in a catch of up to one metre long. Pelagics such as wahoo, mahi-mahi and sailfish will keep you on the lookout, and you’ll be hooked on the excitement of bringing in deep-sea species like tuna and trevally.

With the perfect combination of open ocean trawling, deep sea jigging and lagoon sport fishing, you’ll be busy for hours or days – however you choose. The fishing is perfect all year round, and you can hire a charter boat if you want to chase the big ones (best booked in advance before your arrival) or simply head down to the jetty or any beach and cast a line. Fishing tackle and gear are available for purchase locally. Call in to the Visitor Centre for details.

Fishing with kids

Beach fishing at its best

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Charter fishing

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Experiences

Snorkel the ‘Humbug Drift’

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Walking, Beachcombing & Golf The Cocos Keeling Islands offer a rare experience available nowhere else in the world. The horseshoeshaped atoll encloses a lagoon that is remarkably shallow at low tide. Keen visitors can walk the entire atoll at certain times – this is the only atoll in the world where such a walk is possible. Planning and preparation are required, so please talk to the Visitor Centre for more information. Alternatively why not book yourself on a walking tour? You’re likely to be walking where none of your friends have ever been before. Organised tours cater for easy and moderate walks, and you’re sure to get a rare insight into the environment. Walking trails that lace Cocos include the Bicentennial Track, Ferdinand Walk, Home Island walk trails and easy grade tracks on both South and Direction Islands, all of which are day walks. Why not join the local Hash House Harriers every Monday as they traverse West Island in a most unique and local way.

Walking or beachcombing is also a great way to discover the unique flora and fauna of Cocos. Or you can simply stroll the beaches at your leisure, marvel at the turquoise water, and soak up time and space in one of the world’s most remote and beautiful getaways. If you love walking, why not play a round of golf on one of the most unique courses you’re ever likely to encounter? The weather’s perfect, the views are stunning, and the only stop you may have to make is when you cross the runway! The Cocos Islands golf course is bisected by the main runway – so you’ll have to give way to any planes landing. Join the locals for Thursday Scroungers, which is great fun for beginners to advanced. To arrange a round and find out about club hire, talk to the Visitor Centre.

The Atoll walk

Golf – Cocos style!

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Experiences

Birdwatching on Cocos

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Colour therapy

Direction Island

Island Hopping With 27 coral islands making up the Cocos Keeling group, there’s plenty to explore. Whether you seek solitude on an uninhabited island, a chance to glimpse seabirds or simple relaxation on a deserted beach, there’s an island just for you. Island hopping can be done with the local ferry between West, Home and Direction Islands. Or join one of the many tours to other islands of the atoll. See the Visitor Centre for details.

Take a cultural break at the art gallery, grab a real coffee at the cafe and chat to the locals over a drink at The Cocos Club. West Island is the place to catch dinner from the jetty, watch a spectacular sunset or even pick your own perfect spot to get married!

Home Island

West Island West Island’s size makes it perfect for pushbike or hire car exploration. Visit Bob’s Folly with majestic Calophyllum trees and native hibiscus, take a plunge in the turquoise Indian Ocean at popular Trannies Beach, or take a low tide reef walk from Scout Park to the tiny island of Pulu Maraya for excellent snorkelling. The Yacht Club is great for sunset drinks, and the best vantage point for watching kitesurfers and windsurfers. Surfers can try out The Spot and The Shack, but always check conditions with the locals.

A short ferry ride across the lagoon takes you to the home of the Cocos Malay, offering a great contrast to West Island. Wander the streets to see the kampong (town). Take a guided cultural tour, sample spicy Malay cuisine or enjoy a picnic lunch under the canopy of a huge foreshore Calophyllum tree. Explore the Home Island Museum to discover local culture and traditions, Australian naval history, native flora and fauna, plus the history of the early owners of the islands, the Clunies-Ross family. Then stroll through the small shopping precinct and pick up groceries, Asian food goods, fishing gear, hardware and souvenirs.

Direction Island A day trip to this picture-perfect island is a must! A brief ferry trip away, it offers exquisite white sandy beaches, shady shelters, wood-fired barbecues, eco-toilets and walking trails. Try out ‘the Rip’ renowned for its diverse and vivid coloured marine life or just relax, surrounded by a crystal clear lagoon. Camping is permitted so you can enjoy a truly remote island experience. You’ll need to be fully self-sufficient as there is no drinking water or electricity here.

Prison Island Between Home and Direction Islands, Pulu Beras (or ‘rice island’ as it’s known in Malay) is a place of legend. Along with a prison from early settlement days, Cocos Malay say a mermaid lives here, calling home any Cocos-born people who leave the islands’ shores. Enjoy an easy walk around the island, swim in the shallow waters and soak up the tropical experience. To reach this idyllic spot, take a glassbottom boat tour that includes a stop here.

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Experiences

Hands on

Coral and giant clam

Discover Flora & Fauna The Cocos Keeling Islands support a spectacular array of marine and land life that’s waiting to be marvelled over. Pack your camera, set out on a walking tour, take a ferry, hire a kayak, jump on a glassbottom boat, pull on your snorkel or diving gear and discover a whole new world of beautiful and strange creatures up close. Look out for the turtles, graceful manta rays, and playful bottlenose and spinner dolphins that are regulars in the waters around the islands. Whales are not common but they have been sighted in the waters off the outer reef of the atoll. The outer lagoon provides sea grass feeding and refuge for a lone male dugong, Kat, much loved by divers. Diving puts you among gardens of hydrocorals, soft corals, sea fans, sea anemones, stony corals and black corals. Discover colourful varieties of nudibranchs (colourful

sea slugs), shrimps, flatworms and crabs. See varieties of surgeonfish, parrotfish, wrasse, damsels, angelfish and butterflyfish at play. The Cocos Islands is a crab haven and home to many species you’ll see on sandy beaches and forest floors. Look out for the purple land crab, red hermit crab and horneyed ghost crab. The huge robber crab and Christmas Island red crab are rarer but equally exciting to find. No less than 61 plant species have been recorded on the Cocos Keeling Islands. Following settlement, large sections of vegetation were cleared to plant coconut palms that supported a once-thriving copra industry. Since then, coconuts dominate much of the original open forest. Pulu Keeling National Park (on North Keeling Island) is home to the remnants of the original Cocos Keeling Islands flora. Here you’ll see species found nowhere else on Cocos. Public access is only permitted in the company of Parks Australia staff or licensed tour operators, so make enquiries at the Visitor Centre or the Parks Australia office for details on visiting this natural wonder.

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Underwater playground

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Experiences

West Island

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Weddings & Honeymoons Break away from the everyday, escape the stress and celebrate your wedding in a place where you and your partner are the toast of the island. Do things differently and take your wedding vows on a stunning white sandy beach, with a romantic backdrop of sparkling, sapphire water and gently waving coconut palms. For your unforgettable Cocos wedding on the beach, you choose a completely uninhabited island or a picture-perfect deserted beach. For an unusual venue, consider the art gallery on West Island with its private and vibrant space plus spectacular Indian Ocean views.

While you and your guests sip champagne and watch the melting sun set lazily over the lagoon, you can be totally relaxed and enjoy your special day to the full. Simplicity is the highlight, and barefoot is the key. On Cocos, you design the wedding to fit your dreams. With an on-island marriage celebrant, a wedding coordinator, and a resident photographer, you’re assured an event that’s beautiful, spontaneous, natural and romantic.

Beach wedding

Jukong sailing boats

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Suggested Itineraries

Get the best out of Cocos. Take a look at these suggested itineraries and get ideas on ways to make your getaway to Cocos Keeling Islands exactly how you want it to be. Five-day itinerary - ‘Cocos Highlights’

Day 3 - Jump aboard a local tour and get

Day 1 - Join one of the many day tours.

some great insights from your guide and adventure to another island of the atoll.

Explore the southern end of the lagoon with a motorised canoe tour or kayak hire, book a scuba dive and meet ‘Kat’ the dugong, or board the glass-bottom boat for a tour of the lagoon.

Day 2 - Get to know West Island. Visit the art gallery, have coffee and lunch at the cafe, followed by a swim at Trannies Beach. Join the locals for a drink and some colourful stories at the Club after dinner at the restaurant.

Day 4 - In the afternoon board the ferry to Home Island. Join a tour taking in the unique Cocos Malay culture, stay for dinner and enjoy the delicious local cuisine, returning to West Island on the late ferry.

Day 5 - Boarding the ferry once again, it’s off to Direction Island with a picnic lunch and refreshments. Swim, snorkel ‘the Rip’, lie in a palm tree-suspended hammock, explore the many tracks through the island interior, or just relax with a book.

Hermit Crab tracks

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Cultural tour

Home Island Museum Horn-eyed ghost crab

Malay elder

Seven-day itinerary - ‘Cocos Escape’

Day 5 - Relax in the morning, then board

Day 1 - Begin your Cocos escape with a day

the midday ferry to Home Island. Take in a cultural tour, visit the museum and wander around the ‘kampong’ greeting the Cocos Malay locals. Stay for dinner and enjoy the delicious local cuisine, returning after dinner to West Island.

tour of the lagoon aboard the glass-bottom boat. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to snorkel, visit uninhabited islands and watch the marine ‘locals’ at play.

Day 2 - Staying on West Island and working with the tides, explore the south end of the island. Low tide allows you to walk across to Pulu Maraya from Scout Park to a safe snorkelling area teeming with marine life in a natural, protected pool. Head further along the road, spend time at the Yacht Club wallowing in the crystal-clear water at high tide and watching kitesurfers carving up the lagoon and decorating the sky with colour.

Day 3 - For those with a thirst for adventure why not jump aboard the dive charter and explore the coral reefs and tropical marine life that Cocos boasts, or join a fishing charter and bring home dinner and bragging rights!

Day 6 - With picnic lunch packed and refreshments organised it’s over to Direction Island on the ferry to swim, relax, wander the many tracks across the island and snorkel ‘the Rip’ - Cocos’ very own natural aquarium!

Day 7 - Head to the cafe to enjoy breakfast and a coffee overlooking the Indian Ocean. Grab a bicycle and ride down to the art gallery and see how flotsam and jetsam is transformed into unique, eyecatching artwork. Then it’s on to Trannies Beach for a refreshing swim and snorkel before heading back to your accommodation for lunch and an afternoon siesta. Finish the day with dinner at the restaurant followed by drinks at the Club.

Day 4 - It’s all about a memorable trip to the islands at the southern end of the lagoon, either with a motorised canoe tour or under your own steam with a hire canoe. Discover marine life and explore the fascinating shoreline. It’s an experience not to be missed.

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Connections

High tide lagoon cricket

Home Island tourist bus

Getting around Like the easy pace of life on Cocos Keeling Islands, getting around is simple and you’ll find just what you need to help you explore and discover this idyllic atoll.

Vehicle, scooter and bike hire A number of local car hire companies can offer you a range of cars, single or double cab utes or 4WDs. They’ll meet you at the airport, and provide baby seats and booster seats if needed. Scooters and bikes can be hired and they’re perfect for getting around West Island which is only 15km long. Many accommodation providers will supply push bikes for guests.

A ‘green’ electric bus called Ikan Hiju (Green Fish) meets the weekday morning Home Island ferry to drop visitors to their chosen location round the kampong on Home Island. The bus can be hired for private charter use. Contact the Visitor Centre for more information.

Ferry service A regular inter-island ferry connects West and Home Islands 6 days a week, with additional services between West and Direction Islands on Thursdays and Saturdays. A local bus service from the settlement to the jetty on West Island departs 20 minutes prior to the departure of the ferry. The Visitor Centre can provide further information and timetables.

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Kitesurfing

Diver with cabbage coral

Keeping in touch While you probably want to get away from it all when you come to Cocos, you can still be in touch with the rest of the world if you need to.

Phones Your mobile phone may not work on Cocos, so you should be prepared for this. Some mobile phones can be hired for incoming calls, and you will find public phones on West and Home Islands.

Post Office Australia Post has outlets on West and Home Islands. The West Island Post Office is located in the Administration building, while the Home Island Post Office can be found in the Community Resource Centre. The post offices stock stamps, limited souvenirs and postcards. Opening hours on both islands are varied, so please check with the Visitor Centre.

Internet Internet hotspots can be intermittent. Some accommodation providers offer wireless internet access. Your best option is the internet café in the Community Resource Centre on West Island (next to the Visitor Centre). You’ll find internet access, wireless internet vouchers and you can also use your own laptop here.

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Local flavour

Lagoon Swim

Calendar of Events 2012 20th August – Hari Raya Puasa 17th November – Lagoon Swim 31st December – Fireworks Display 2013 26th January – Australia Day 2nd April – Act of Self Determination Day 25th April – ANZAC Day 1st July – Tradewind Season commences 8th August – Hari Raya Puasa 16th November – Lagoon Swim

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Goatfish Fusiler

Green Junglefowl

Local art

Eating out

Shopping & local business

When you come to Cocos, don’t forget to pack your holiday tastebuds. You’ll discover a truly delicious range of healthy, flavoursome offerings among the unique local restaurants and cafes on West and Home Islands.

The beauty of a visit to Cocos Keeling Islands is that you can escape noisy, crowded shopping malls and experience the joy of finding everything you need – and a little more – in a range of friendly, personal shops and small businesses.

Here you will sit back and savour the taste of freshly prepared meals in relaxed and welcoming settings. Your selection includes both tasty Western and spicy Malay cuisine, and in many cases you’ll enjoy your meal against the beautiful backdrop of the Indian Ocean or within lush gardens.

Along with grocery and duty free items, you’ll discover fishing, snorkelling and diving gear, plus souvenirs that include unique gifts and Cocos-inspired artworks. Take time to drop into these local retailers and businesses.

Whether it’s a hearty breakfast to set you up for an active day on the water, a casual family lunch or an evening meal to end another gentle day in paradise, on Cocos you can linger over freshly brewed coffee and muffins, experience traditional hot and spicy Malay dishes, or satisfy your hunger with spectacular fresh seafood.

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The Castle

Cocos Seaview Apartments

Enjoy your stay on the beautiful Cocos Islands in the centrally located Castle.

Drift off to sleep to the sounds of the ocean… • Nestled in a quiet leafy cul-de-sac, 50 metres from the Indian Ocean and 700 metres from the central hub. • Clean, comfortable, self-contained apartments with wide verandahs, all with ocean views. • Air-conditioning, fans, screened doors and windows throughout. • Free airport transfers, bicycles for guests and laundry facilities. • Covered outside BBQ area. • In-house glass bottom boat. • Wireless internet available to all apartments. On site tropical clothing / souvenir shop. Diners and Amex cards accepted.

The Castle comprises three bedrooms which sleep up to 8 people comfortably. You can cook your day’s catch in the spacious well-appointed modern kitchen or use the BBQ in the huge outdoor entertaining area. The Castle boasts airconditioning and ceiling fans throughout. It is a short stroll to the water’s edge, shopping, Cocos club, restaurant and café. Your ideal holiday awaits you! Bookings to Ashley and Kylie James. Cocos Islands Adventure Tours E: kylash@cki.cc T: 08 9162 7717 W: www.cocosislandstourism.com.au

5 Qantas Close, West Island PO Box 1060, Cocos Keeling Islands 6799 T: 08 9162 6761 E: cocosseaview@cki.cc W: www.cocosseaview.com

Cocos Village Bungalows

Ocean Villa

More than a resort. Enjoy our lifestyle!

Fully self-contained villa located on Home Island. Air-conditioned one double room plus family room (double & single bed) with a shared entertainment area equipped with widescreen and dvd. Spacious bathroom with laundry services, fully equipped kitchen. Internet access available.

One of the most luxuriously appointed resort style accommodation facilities on the Islands. Featuring ten individually designed tropical holiday bungalows and studio apartments creatively incorporated in the private gardens. PO Box 1029 Cocos Keeling Islands Indian Ocean WA 6799 T: 61 8 9162 7711 F: 61 8 9162 7711 E: info@cocosvillagebungalows.com W: www.cocosvillagebungalows.com

Home Island, Cocos Keeling Islands, WA 6799 T: 08 9162 7734 E: dzul.cocos@hotmail.com

Cocos Autos Car Hire

Car and Bus Hire

Largest fleet of hire vehicles on Cocos – air-conditioned, professionally maintained and cleaned. Receive a FREE Cocos stubby holder with your booking! Choose from a single cab or 2WD/4WD dual cab. Prices start from as low as $65/day!

1/8 page U12/13 Sydney Highway, Cocos Keeling Islands T: 08 9162 7661 E: cocosautos@kampong.cc W: www.cocosautos.cc

Explore the many tracks and roads on West Island with your own vehicle. We have dual cab utes and a 14 seater bus for larger groups. We will meet you on arrival at the airport and show you to your clean and well maintained vehicle. Daily and weekly rates are available.

1/8 page Cocos Islands Adventure Tours Ashley and Kylie James House 20 West Island E: kylash@cki.cc T: 08 9162 7717 W: www.cocosislandstourism.com.au

COCOS ISLANDS

Adventure Tours

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Cocos Castaway

Just a coconut throw from the Indian Ocean! Cocos Castaway, stylish, ocean side, self-contained accommodation located on West Island on the beautiful and remote Cocos Keeling Islands, the “jewel of the Indian Ocean”. This exclusive complex provides a private and relaxed atmosphere with the majestic Indian Ocean right at your back door. Cocos Castaway has up-to-date facilities so you can live in comfort at yesterday’s pace. Just imagine sitting on your verandah taking in the breathtakingly beautiful sunsets whilst enjoying the balmy tropical Cocos evenings. The Cocos Keeling Islands is a place where the crabs move faster than you. Come visit us on Cocos and experience for yourself this little known tropical paradise. You’re just a coconut throw away from a holiday of a lifetime!

Sydney Highway, West Island, Cocos Keeling Islands WA 6799 T: +61 8 9162 6515 E: info@cocoscastaway.com W: www.cocoscastaway.com

Cocos Accommodation

My Island Home

My Island Home

My Island Home

Cocos Homestead

Cocos Homestead

Cocos Homestead

The islands holiday accommodation and booking service My Island Home is an architecturally designed two bedroom holiday house for those searching for a comfortable secluded retreat. Centrally located and surrounded by parklands it is only a short stroll to the ocean or lagoon. The home is ideal for honeymoon couples, small families or for those who want a little more seclusion. My Island Home sleeps up to four people. Ability to accept extra children on two fold away beds. Cocos Homestead is a roomy four bedroom, open plan style executive holiday home with views overlooking the golf course towards the Cocos lagoon. It’s great for families, a group of friends or couples who enjoy plenty of space. Cocos Homestead comfortably sleeps up to six people. For your added convenience, free wireless Internet provided. All Cocos Accommodation properties are fully furnished and self-contained including linen and bath towels. Outward phone calls can be made using a phone card. Refer to our website to check availability and access discounted on-line rates.

PO Box 1015 Cocos Keeling Islands WA 6799 T: +61 8 9162 6515 E: info@cocosaccommodation.com W: www.cocosaccommodation.com

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Motorised Outrigger Canoes

Island Explorer Holidays

Explore the pristine waters of the southern Atoll. Snorkel, fish, explore or just sit back and take in the breathtaking views in your own canoe. Visit historical sites. Meet some of the local hermit crabs, turtles and bird life. Tours are tide dependent, drinks and nibbles included.

1/8 page Cocos Islands Adventure Tours Ashley and Kylie James House 20 West Island E: kylash@cki.cc T: 08 9162 7717 W: www.cocosislandstourism.com.au

Package holidays to Cocos Keeling Islands – WHOLESALE rates!

Adventure Tours

Cocos Barefoot Weddings

We are the only dedicated travel wholesaler in Australia offering cheap holiday packages to Cocos Keeling Islands. BOOK your holiday with us! • Flights • Accommodation • Canoe Safari tours • Kayaking

COCOS ISLANDS

• Vehicle hire • Cultural tours • Glass bottom boat tour • Travel Insurance

Personalised barefoot weddings on the beautiful Cocos Islands The pristine waters, talcum white beach sand and abundance of palm fringed islands truly makes Cocos Islands one of the most desirable places to be married. We offer a fully inclusive wedding planning service.

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Wholesale packages = Big savings!

Cocos Islands Adventure Tours Ashley and Kylie James House 20 West Island E: kylash@cki.cc T: 08 9162 7717 W: www.cocosislandstourism.com.au

T: 08 9322 9561 W: www.islandexplorer.com.au E: reservations@islandexplorer.com.au

COCOS ISLANDS

Adventure Tours

Christmas Island Tourism Association

What do you have when you combine...

Like to know more? Please visit our website for more information or follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

A rugged coastline, pristine rainforest, world class diving, rare & exotic birds, abundant sea life, warm tropical waters... not to mention the fishing, snorkelling, golf, jungle walks, friendly locals and lots and lots of crabs?

Christmas Island - one of natures most impressive feats, an island full of natural wonders: from the unique annual red crab migration to rare and unusual birds and glorious deserted beaches. With 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, emerging as a place where all these elements create a truly unusual travel experience

Gaze Road, Settlement Christmas Island WA 6798 T: +61 8 9164 8382 E: cita@christmas.net.au W: www.christmas.net.au

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Cocos Barefoot Photography

Cocos Dive

World class diving in a 5 Star underwater environment

When you break away from the routine and experience an iconic barefoot wedding on the fabulous beaches of the Cocos Keeling Islands, Karen Willshaw from Cocos Barefoot Photography is available to capture spontaneous, elegant, natural and unobtrusive images on your special day. Affordable packages that include a uniquely designed magazinestyle coffee table book. PO Box 1015 Cocos Keeling Islands WA 6799 Ph: +61 8 9162 6515 E: karen@karenwillshaw.com W: www.cocosbarefootphotography.com

Cocos Dive offers exciting, uncrowded diving in a pristine underwater environment. Enjoy the abundance of beautiful corals, clean warm water and spectacular marine life. Cocos Dive attracts divers looking for that something special. Studies by James Cook University have revealed well over 500 species of fish, including the majestic reef mantas, sharks, turtles, dolphins. If you are very lucky, you have the chance to dive with our resident lone male dugong, affectionately known as Kat.

PO Box 1015 Cocos Keeling Islands WA 6799 T: +61 8 9162 6515 E: scuba@cocosdive.com W: www.cocosdive.com

Zephyr Tours Cocos Kitesurf & Stand Up Paddle Centre World Class Kitesurfing right here! The Cocos Islands has a consistent SE trade wind that blows morning, noon and night and with the shallow waters and steady winds, it’s a kitesurfers paradise. The shallow lagoon and sandy beaches make it an ideal place to learn to kitesurf, practice your freestyle or explore on kitesurfing adventures.

Stand Up Paddle Fun & Fitness The Lagoon and inner reef is also an ideal place for the new easy sport of Stand Up Paddle surfing [SUP]. SUP’ing is an easy sport to learn and once you have mastered it you can SUP anywhere, anytime. Our top-end SUPs can be hired by the hour, day or week and we will provide you with the lessons - if needed, best places to paddle as well as experienced guides and suggested adventures. The Zephyr Kite & SUP Centre is open from July to October each year. We specialise in kite & SUP packages from Perth and bookings are highly recommended. Zephyr Tours: www.zephyrtours.com www.cocoskite.com www.cocossup.com T: 0400 800 838 E: info@zephyrtours.com

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Mesra Café

Darliana’s Boutique Truly homemade and fresh daily Cocos cooking

New merchandise arriving regularly!

Come and dine at the Mesra Café on Home Island during your visit. Open Monday to Friday for breakfast and lunch. Group dinner bookings and catering available on advanced request.

Speciality retail store providing a range of quality items for personal shoppers. Browse for the latest Asian fashion clothing for women and men. Hampers and gift baskets also available.

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Lot 227 (In the Community Resource Centre building), Home Island, Cocos Keeling Islands E: mesra48@hotmail.com T: 08 9162 7791

Lot 228 (Behind the Cyclone Shelter), Home Island, Cocos Keeling Islands E: d.boutique@hotmail.com T: 08 9162 6788

Dory’s Cafe

Shopping Solutions & Logistics

Darliana’s Boutique

Where we pick pack and deliver! • Order Online • Market Fresh Produce • Fruits and Vegetables • Groceries • Household and Electrical items • Orders Delivered Weekly

Enjoy fresh espresso coffee, tea and milkshakes, home-baked muffins, cakes and sausage rolls, along with healthy sandwiches packed with yummy fillings. Dory’s Café is centrally located on West Island with views to the Indian Ocean.

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Dory’s Café, Admiralty House, West Island T: 08 9162 7646 E: dorys@cocos.cc W: www.karenwillshaw.bizland.com/dory/index.htm

T/F: 1800 MY SOLUTION (1800 697 658) M: 0422 236 218 W: shoppingsolutionsandlogistics.com.au E: sales@shoppingsolutionsandlogistics.com.au

Cocos Island Co-operative Society

Cocos Beach Motel & Duty Free | Tropika Restaurant | Supermarket The Cocos Beach Motel is a clean and comfortable home away from home when you visit the Cocos Islands, offering basic motel style accommodation with 26 rooms located in the heart of the main settlement. It’s situated right on the ocean front and the adjoining Tropika Restaurant has an outdoor dining area that takes advantage of the spectacular Indian Ocean. The supermarket offers a range of standard grocery lines, frozen meat and seafood, deli goods, limited fresh fruits & vegetables and duty free alcohol.

Sydney Highway, West Island, Cocos Keeling Islands WA 6799 T: 0891 62 7576/0891 62 6702 F: 0891 62 6764 E: cocos-lodge@kampong.cc

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The Big Barge Art Centre

Sydney Emden 100 Years

The art centre is an inspiring space to view, buy or create artworks that capture the beauty of the islands. We run a unique local artisans gallery and offer creative art courses, art retreats and venue for hire. Join us on the 9th November 2014 to remember the 100 year anniversary of the HMAS Sydney SMS Emden battle at Cocos Keeling Islands, the first naval battle and victory for the Royal Australian Navy.

Lot 100 Sydney Highway West Island, Cocos Keeling Islands T: 08 9162 7710 E: info@thebigbargeartcentre.com.au W: www.thebigbargeartcentre.com.au

T: +61 8 9162 6790 E: cocos@sydneyemden100.com W: www.sydneyemden100.com.au

Freightshop

Community Resource Centre Visit the Community Resource Centre for internet access, wireless vouchers, mobile phone hire and recharge vouchers. Facilities also include printing, photocopying, a fax service, DVD hire, passport photos, Cocos calendars, tide charts and a Kodak photo kiosk. Administration Building, West Island T: 08 9162 7707 E: cocosislands@crc.net.au W: www.cocos.crc.net.au

• Flying to Cocos? • Your freight is all we do! • 20 years experience.

• Weekly freight to Cocos Keeling and Christmas Islands • Excess baggage is cheaper with us!

WAREHOUSE Airport Park, 6 Tarlton Crescent Perth International Airport Call 08 9477 6088 Email: perth@freightshop.com.au

Cocos Keeling Islands Visitor Centre

The friendly staff at the Cocos Keeling Islands Visitor Centre are locals and have the most up to date and comprehensive information about what to do on Cocos. We offer a FREE booking service and you will soon be able to book online, 24 hours a day. Come in and check out our range of souvenirs, locally handcrafted items and specialty books. The Visitor Centre is open 6 days a week: 8am – 3pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday. PO Box 1030, Cocos Keeling Islands, Indian Ocean WA 6799 T: +61 8 9162 6790 E: info@cocoskeelingislands.com.au www.cocoskeelingislands.com.au

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“I’ve travelled to many different and exciting parts of the world but nothing compares with the islands of Cocos. As part of Australia, it is somewhere I think all Australians should visit. One of my greatest decisions has certainly been buying a home on Cocos. For 13 years my family and friends have enjoyed this enticing island paradise, its natural beauty, tropical weather and iridescent water. It is like going back in time to the simplicity of life without locked doors, an abundance of sea life, magnificent snorkelling, amazing surf and untouched beaches. Cocos is unique, not just with all the activities to do, but with all the wonderful people that will truly make your visit one that will leave you wanting to come back again and again!”

Kim Hughes, Former Australian Cricket Captain & Cocos homeowner

PO Box 1030 Cocos Keeling Islands, Indian Ocean WA 6799 P +61 8 9162 6790 F +61 8 9162 7708 E info@cocoskeelingislands.com.au www.cocoskeelingislands.com.au

www.australiasindianoceanislands.com.au

The CKITA gratefully acknowledges Inger Vandyke, Karen Willshaw, Pam Jones, Glen Cowans, Lisa Smith, Takako Uno, Stephen Wong, Jules Bush, Mark Glendinning, Vanessa Archer and Cocos locals for the images used throughout the brochure. The Cocos Keeling Islands Tourism Association has a Code of Conduct and Ethics for all tourism members to abide by, ensuring that you, the visitor, enjoy your stay. e-brochures available on the website.

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Cocos Keeling Islands Destination Brochure  

The Cocos Keeling Islands lie in the Indian Ocean, 2750km north-west of Perth. There are 26 islands in the main atoll, plus North Keeling Is...

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