Christmas Island is shaped like a fat crescent wrench with its open mouth pointed west and the handle sloping southeast. The Captain Cook is located on the northeast side of the head and Poland is on the lower (southwest) side of the jaw. The flight to Christmas Island is about 4 hours, arriving at 6.30am on a Wednesday morning. You will be met at the airport by our guide, who will drive you to the lodge. Christmas Island is a favoured site for scientific research into the ocean and atmosphere. The wildlife has also been widely studies and the Japanese space agency has a down-range satellite tracking station.
Christmas Island is located about 1200 miles south of Honolulu and is the largest atoll in the world, encompassing about 250 square miles. The lagoon is a maze of deep blue channels and white sand flats loaded with the local bonefish. The flight path from Honolulu to Christmas Island is approximately 1300 nautical miles. The aircraft passes Palmyra, however, not close enough to see th atoll. Christmas Island is one of the greatest sea-bird colonies in the world. As a forested oceanic island with access to nutrient-rich upwelling, it provides a perfect breeding environment for a wide variety of seabirds.
The forests are dominated by 25 tree species. Ferns, orchids and vines flourish on the branches in the humid atmosphere beneath the canopy. Beneath our feet, on rocky ledges overgrown with ancient strangler fig trees, were nesting brown boobies, another handsome bird. They are so unafraid of humans that approaching them slowly and sitting down beside their nests elicited nothing more than a quizzical turn of the head.
Shorebirds finding convenient and safe roosting and nest sites would also have excreted valuable nutrients and perhaps brought seeds with them. Over time, a more stable environment was created where other immigrants could arrive, survive and become established. Left to their own devices the crab eggs would hatch immediately in the sea, swim around for 27 days then return to shore as very small crabs and climb into the forest.
Christmas Island Facts: Christmas Island is the largest coral atoll in the world with an area of 248 square miles of which 125 square miles is land and the remainder lagoon. It is 2,015 miles from Tarawa, capital of the Republic of Kiribati; 1,335 miles from Honolulu; 4,000 miles from Sydney, Australia and 3,250 miles from San Francisco. The birdlife on Christmas Island is prolific with the seabird populations nesting on the island including some of the largest and most impressive colonies in the Pacific. A total of 18 species regularly breed there (including shearwaters, petrels, boobies, frigatebirds, tropicbirds, terns and noddies). As the largest and most well known of Kiribati’s Line Islands, Christmas Island is a place where you can find everything desired in a real life adventure.