Cheap Flights to Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Flights to Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Unless one is looking for it, Cocos (Keeling) Islands is easy to overlook on the map. The small isles lie on the wide expanse of the Indian Ocean between Australia and Sri Lanka. The island nation is also closer to Indonesia, which puts it on a potentially strategic position for transport. The isolation from a major landmass, however, made the islands uninhabitable until the 19th century, when the Clunie-Ross family got control of the area between 1820s to 1978. This started the copra industry in the island, securing its livelihood and economy.
The annexation of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands by the United Kingdom in 1857 put the isles under Australian authority in 1955. This heralded the advance of a few who began migrating to the islands. The Europeans eventually settled on West Island and ethnic Malays on Home Island. North Keeling was also established as a national park, with the rest of the islands remaining relatively untouched destinations.
What to see & do
There is a charm in hiding away in a group of islands whose population is just a bit above 500 people. One is given the opportunity to enjoy various natural sights away from the busy city life and the throng of tourists in major vacation hotspots. Cocos (Keeling) Islands make a perfect getaway for this type of solitude where one can explore overgrown palm plantations. A tour can make one familiar about various products from coconut and other related crops. There are also the hiking trails to take, and one can explore the forests in the islands to appreciate the local flora.
Those on a wildlife tour will not see any endemic animals here, except for some migratory birds especially in Pulu Keeling National Park. Going to this area is forbidden except for travellers accompanied by licensed tour operators or staff of the National Parks in Australia. This is due to the sensitivity of various species to human presence, which can make them reticent and sometimes look for other breeding grounds.
Those who want to go underwater will enjoy diving and snorkeling due to the richness of marine life here. One can also swim with dolphins and see the occasional whale. Sea cows, snakes, and turtles can also be seen near the coast and other likely areas. After a dive, one can stay on the beach and go on a stroll on the horseshoe-shaped atoll. It encloses a clear shallow lagoon at low tide, where one can dip the legs and just feel the soft sand swirling as one walks.
Before the day is over, one must look for seafood fresh from the Indian Ocean. Those eager to catch their own fish can book chartered fishing tours to reel some bonefish in. Others, however, can go for tuna and trevally, which can be a bit more difficult to catch due to their size. Anglers, beginner or professional, will have fun, though, making this part of the world a pleasing destination for fishing enthusiasts.
How to get around
Those going around the Cocos (Keeling) Islands can board the ferry that will take travellers to the isles in the area. There is a lagoon anchorage between Horsburgh and Direction Islands suited for large boats while yachts and small fishing boats can make their way to the southern part of Direction Island. Those going inland can walk to appreciate the sights better.
How to get there
Those going to the islands can board a flight from Perth or Christmas Island to Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airport. Only Virgin Australia serves this port of entry, which makes it necessary for international visitors to book connecting flights.
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