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  • Red Crab Migration

  • Golden Bosun

  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

  • Christmas Island Rainforest

  • Frigatebird

Indian Ocean Experiences

Bird & Nature Week Christmas Island

  • Available from: August 27 2024 - September 03 2024

From: $2,650 USD

Duration: 8 days/7 nights

Type: Groups, Shared.

Departs: August 27, 2024

Interests: Birds.

Gain privileged behind the scenes access to the incredible birdlife on Christmas Island during the annual Christmas Island Bird & Nature Week.

  • Led by experienced guides specialising in bird research, you will work alongside working scientists as they band birds, collect data and highlight their subjects of expertise – all in a safe, low impact and educational atmosphere.

  • Activities may include banding the Christmas Island Goshawk, monitoring Brown Bobbies and atlassing the island's many species of crabs.

  • Nightly presentations by experts before dinner, will provide comprehensive information about conservation projects on and off the island, and topics relevant to maintaining and improving the ecology of the island.

About Indian Ocean Experiences:

Proudly calling herself a local, Lisa Preston founded Indian Ocean Experiences in 2011, being one of the first operators to offer expertly guided land experiences across Christmas Island, centred around sustainable and conservation focussed touring. As specialists in tailor-made itineraries across passion points such as birdwatching, diving, photography, geology and culture, the team prides itself on delivering genuine experiences for guests, connecting with passionate locals who love sharing their stories.

Prices are based on per person twin/double share unless advised, subject to availability. Price includes return flights from Perth with Virgin Australia to Christmas /and Cocos (Keeling) Islands as optional add-on, 7 nights accommodation at VQ3 Lodge, 6 days of guided touring including transport, 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners, return airport transfers and welcome pack sponsored by Christmas Island Tourism Association. Other accommodation options are available on request. A non-refundable deposit per person is required . Currency fluctuations may affect prices as quotes based on AUD. Prices are current at time of posting (1/4/2024) and may differ when you book your travel.


Tour day-by-day

  • Bird & Nature Week Activities

    Please note that the numbers for the event are capped to keep the group manageable and the experience intimate for guests. The group is broken down into smaller groups and rotated through a different activity each day. The flow below is an indicative itinerary.

    Join the dedicate researchers and natural history experts for a week long immersion with the following activities.

    Day 1: 
    Guest Arrival & Welcome Dinner

    Day 2:
    Day Tour - Bosuns and Boobies
    Evening Talk - The ecology of Christmas Island
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

    Day 3: 
    Day Tour - Naturalist Tour
    Evening Talk - Threatened species
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

    Day 4:
    Day Tour - Goshawk banding
    Evening Talk - Cat control and eradication
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

    Day 5:
    Day Tour - Tracking Abbott's Boobies at sea
    Evening Talk - Tracking Boobies and Frigatebands
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

    Day 6:
    Day Tour - Dolly Beach and Hosnie Springs (RAMSAR Wetland) walking tour
    Evening Talk - National Park research and conservation
    Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

    Day 7:
    Free Time: Relax, shop, enjoy the township
    Breakfast included

    About Christmas Island's Birdlife

    Christmas Island is one of Australia's best birdwatching destinations. An internationally renowned seabird rookery, the island attracts about 80,000 nesting seabirds every year. You will have the opportunity to see the world's rarest booby and frigatebird There are 23 breeding or resident species of birds on Christmas Island, including nine species of seabird (two species and two subspecies are endemic) and 14 land birds (three species and four subspecies are endemic).

    Birds can be seen and heard all over the island at any time of day and most will let you get quite close to observe them.Target species include the mesmerising Golden Bosun, Christmas Island Hawk-Owl, Abbott’s Booby, Red-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Christmas Island Frigatebird, Christmas Island Goshawk, Red-tailed Tropicbird, Christmas Island Emerald Dove and Christmas Island Imperial Pigeon. This experience also involve looking for more elusive birds, including rare or visiting vagrants. To view the full Christmas Island birdlist, please click here.

  • Optional Extension - Cocos (Keeling Islands)

    Cocos Islands add-on starts from $1,200 AUD

    Why not extend your Bird and Nature Week adventures to include the Cocos (Keeling) Islands! The Cocos (Keeling) Islands play an important role in the routes that shorebirds take during their annual migration, with 39 breeding or resident species of birds on the atolls.

    The Cocos Islands have one endemic sub-species, the Cocos Buff-banded Rail, and due to a successful translocation program, is now able to be seen foraging on the edge of the vegetation around the picnic area on Direction Island. 

    North Keeling National Park supports many of the vagrant species as it is remote to the other 26 islands. Cocos (Keeling) has boasted several new sightings for Australia in the last few years, including Mugimaki Flycatcher and Common Teal. 

    Expand Full Itinerary:

    Tuesday 6 September
    Arrive & settle into hotel - dinner at Saltmakers - Pizza + Dessert
    Wednesday 7 September
    7:00am - Pick up from accommodation
    7:30am - Ferry to Home Island
    Breakfast will be served on foreshore of Home Island
    Group will be split into 2 to allow for use of buggy's
    One group will walk to the museum and explore the gardens of Oceania House, the other group will visit the cemetery - then change
    10:30am Depart Home Island on the ferry to West Island. Visit the Big Barge Art Centre for morning team
    12:00pm - Return to accommodation to change into swimmers for Canoe Tour
    1:00pm - Pick up from accommodation for Canoe Tour exploring South Island. Lunch will be served out on one of the remote islands
    5:00pm - Return to West Island in time to change for dinner
    6:00pm - Dinner : Tropika Restaurant
    Thursday 8 September
    7:00am - Pick up from accommodation
    7:30am - Catch ferry to Direction Island
    Breakfast and lunch will be served on Direction Island. Swim, snorkel, historical walks and information
    2:00pm - Ferry back to West Island
    3:30pm - Option to play golf across international runway - pay your own fees
    6:30pm - Dinner at Saltmakers
    Friday 9 September
    8.00am - Check out of accommodation
    Breakfast at Saltmakers Café
    10.00am - Check in at airport

  • Tour details

    Accommodation: VQ3 Lodge. Other accommodation options available on request.
    Fitness Requirements: Good mobility and stability essential as walking is required.
    Flights: Virgin Australia operates flights to Christmas Island and the Cocos Keeling Islands twice per week ex Perth. Return flights are included as part of this package.

    How you'll be making a positive impact

    We have aligned our sustainability vision with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    E-WEB-Goal-15Citizen Science with Indian Ocean Experiences

    Guests are able to contribute to a reptile census and hands-on conservation activities for the endemic Blue-tailed Skink and Lister’s Gecko during Citizen Science Week. During Bird & Nature Week, guests work alongside scientists banding birds, collecting data on various endemic species and participating in nightly presentations about restoring the ecology of the island.


    E-WEB-Goal-14Cleaning Up and Making Art from Christmas Island Debris

    Due to surrounding currents and winds, the beaches of Christmas Island are often awash with masses of marine debris. Unfortunately, across locations such as Greta Beach, it is not uncommon to see turtle nesting habitat covered in marine debris. As part of Indian Ocean Experiences’ Dolly Beach Tour, guests are encouraged to grab a bag and search for unusual treasures that the tide has bought in including flotsam carried by ocean currents from regions far away.

    Once educated on the type of marine debris deposited and harmful effect on marine species, almost 100% of guests are eager and keen to pick up bags of rubbish.

    Indian Ocean Experiences’ staff often volunteer during community organised beach clean-ups, with the organisation providing equipment such as bags, gloves and vehicles to ferry volunteers. The team works closely with Tangaroa Blue when on island for Christmas Island Marine Debris Week, promoting the event alongside the Christmas Island Tourism Association. It is estimated that Indian Ocean Experiences removes over one tonne of marine debris every year.

    Guests are actively encouraged to purchase local art made by organisations such as Eco-Crab Industries, which turns plastic and debris into things such as building blocks, bowls, coasters, and other artisan items.

    E-WEB-Goal-17Developing Partnerships To Meet Sustainability Goals

    Indian Ocean Experiences have developed a number of partnerships with key environmental organisations on Christmas Island, including Christmas Island National Park, Tangaroa Blue and Clean Up Australia. Activites include the removal of marine debris from beaches and tree planting as part of Christmas Island Citizen Science Week.


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