Diving the reefs. Photo: Justin Gilligan / Christmas Island Tourism Association
Christmas Island is one of Australia’s best scuba diving destinations, with more than 60 different dive sites to choose from.
Perfectly positioned at the edge of the Indian Ocean’s deepest trench, the island has a fringing reef and some of the biggest drop-offs in the world, many of which plummet down several kilometres.
Most walls are only about 20 metres from the shoreline, making them easily accessible to divers of all levels.
What to see
Hawksbill turtle. Photo: Chris Bray
Christmas Island boasts an astonishing diversity of marine life, including 88 species of coral and more than 650 different types of fish. Visibility is consistently excellent, often reaching up to 50 metres.
Our coastline has some of the most pristine corals in the world, including massive fan and plate corals. These unspoiled reefs support surgeonfish, wrasse, butterflyfish, angelfish, groupers, parrotfish, eels and countless other species.
Macro fans will be in heaven thanks to the wide variety of nudibranchs, shrimp and other colourful critters hiding among the coral.
Out in the blue, you can see big pelagics like tuna, trevally, rainbow runner, marlin, swordfish and barracuda. Reef sharks, dolphins and turtles are common, as are graceful manta rays feeding on the abundant plankton.
Hammerheads can sometimes be spotted, and between November and April you will often encounter one of the ocean’s most majestic creatures – the enormous whale shark.
If you’re extremely lucky, you might even see a mola mola (ocean sunfish) lurking in the depths. These bizarre-looking animals can weigh up to 1000 kg and feature on many divers’ bucket lists.
Mola mola at Christmas Island. Photo: Chris Bray
Want to know more?
Christmas Island Tourism has details of the dive operators on Christmas Island. Their experienced divemasters have extensive knowledge of the local conditions and will choose dive sites based on your own experience and preferences.
And if you’ve never tried scuba diving before, Christmas Island is a fantastic place to get certified and start your underwater adventure!