Have you ever thought of a holiday on a deserted island, where there is utter silence except for the sound of waves lapping against the sands of a perfect beach? Where you can walk for miles along the coastline and not see a soul? Sitting and sipping a glass of wine and watching a golden sunset over the Indian Ocean? If you think such a place no longer exists, think again. The Cocos Islands could be your ideal destination.
Cocos Islands is not your usual holiday spot; there are no resorts, shopping centers, restaurants or organized activities. Tourism here is simple and uncomplicated, which adds to the beauty and charm of the place. Cocos Islands is a group of 27 islands, of which only two, West Island and Home Island, are inhabited. It is a horseshoe-shaped coral atoll and has some of the most beautiful beaches to be seen anywhere.
Cocos Islands is surrounded by the unbelievably clean, clear Indian Ocean and is a haven for water-based activities. You can ferry across to Direction Island on a Saturday for a day trip and see the exquisite white, sandy beaches and also snorkel in the famous Rip, which is known for its teeming marine life, which includes fish, coral, reef sharks and parrotfish. A visit to Direction Island is a must for all water sports enthusiasts. Totally uninhabited, it offers ideal conditions for windsurfing and kite-surfing during July to October.
This is where the local Malays stay and you can ferry across from the main West Island. You can taste their delicious cuisine or pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it under the shade of one of the towering calophyllum trees.
If fishing is your thing, the locals would teach you a trick or two on how to catch dogtooth tuna or wahoo. If marine photography is what you are into, there is nothing like diving and exploring the wonders in the waters. The variety of marine life, spectacular gardens of hard and soft coral, the amazing visibility and the warm waters, make for ideal diving conditions. The fantastic variety of species of fish has to be seen to be believed; there are sharks, barracuda, dogtooth tuna and rainbow runners.
While you are diving or snorkelling, you may be accosted by a gentle dolphin, turtle or a manta ray! There are 25 diving sites which are visited regularly and each is special in its own way. The unique terrain of the atoll helps divers of all levels of expertise to experience the sheer wonder of this incredible natural habitat.
Pulu Keeling National Park
This is located near the southern atoll and can be visited only during the summer months. A special permit has to be obtained from Parks Australia, North to visit the park. Diving here is a memorable experience; with superb drop-offs, teeming fish life and colorful corals.