In 1993, the Christmas Island Resort was opened on the island and the area became a popular tourist destination. Since that time, the island has drawn multitudes of eco-tourists, birdwatchers, divers and scientists. The Christmas Island resort included a multi million dollar casino and was an ideally designed and supplied vacation complex.
The Christmas Island Resort was closed in 1998; however, during its operation, it extensively promoted tourism to the area and turned the island into a lively destination. Christmas Island Resort acted as an excellent promotion campaign for definitely unique destination.
Although the island is small and its population is only one and a half thousand residents, it has annually held the Christmas Island Marathon, an internationally listed event. The marathon is extremely popular and annually increases its attendance. In 2004, the event raised nearly nine thousand dollars for the Make A Wish Foundation (the fundraiser's sole beneficiary) with the entrance fee of fifteen dollars!
Christmas Island travel is a chance to see over hundred and twenty million red crabs peacefully living in forest areas as well as to observe their migration to the ocean, if you visit the island in November. It is an opportunity to get back to nature and enjoy aromas of about two hunderd species of native flowering plants, relax in shadows of ancient forests and dive in clear waters to discover an incredible underwater world.
This small tip of land has a diversity of environment ranging from sea cliffs and beaches to terrace forests, caves and sinkholes. Neither environment nor unique flora and fauna are disturbed by human interference. The island coastal waters offer a variety of big fish such as Sailfish, Wahoo and Tuna and Christmas Island fishing is already famous internationally.
In addition to its rich nature, Christmas Island is rich in culture. The diversity of the settlers' cultures has resulted in a unique island's tradition, displayed by ethnic festivals held throughout the year. By the way, the Island's famous marathon also has roots in Christmas Island folklore.
Cultures and religions coexist in harmony. There are Chinese temples-Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian and others as well as a Christian church, a Muslim Mosque and a Baha'i Centre. The residents celebrate Christmas, Easter, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Month of the Hungry Ghost (August), Mooncake Festival (August), and Boxing Day and many other events.
The best time for Christmas Island travel from April to November, as the weather is more pleasant. There is no safe anchorage during the remaining months from December to March and the weather is wet, March is the wettest month.
Christmas Island travel requirements are the same as Australian. The visitors must arrive with a valid Australian visa. The only exception is for holders of New Zealand passports.