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Wildlife Region

Cocos Keeling Islands

Cocos Keeling Islands

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are two atolls, made up of 27 coral islands, formed around the ring of an extinct volcano. With 26 kilometres of glorious coastline, the islands are covered with coconut palms and idyllic white-sandy beaches, with the highest point among the islands less than 10m above sea level. 

The southern atoll is made up of 26 islands, including the two populated islands of Home Island and West Island. West Island is where most accommodation is located and offers opportunity for snorkelling, kite surfing and canoe safaris. Home Island is home to the Cocos Malay community and the seat of the Clunies-Ross dynasty, Oceania House and is regularly serviced with a ferry across the lagoon.

There are over 60 plant species native to the 22 vegetated islands with the region playing an important role in the routes that shorebirds take during their annual migration, with the islands found within the southwest extremity of the East Asian - Australian flyway. There are 39 breeding or resident species of birds on the atolls and one endemic sub-species, the Cocos Buff-banded Rail. 

North Keeling National Park supports many of the vagrant species as it is remote to the other 26 islands and is a key breeding site for many seabirds, with Red-footed, Masked & Brown Boobies, frigatebirds, Common Noddies, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Red-tailed and White-tailed tropicbirds, and Sooty Terns possible sightings.

The Cocos (Keeling) Island are known for their spectacular clear azure waters, with a renowned population of turtles in the lagoon (15,000 Green Turtles and 15,000 Hawksbill Turtles), reef sharks, dolphins, Manta Rays, diverse coral gardens delicate Gorgonian Fans and hundreds of tropical fish species.

Featured operator

  • Featured operator

    Indian Ocean Experiences

    When 70% of your island home is made up of Christmas Island National Park, with more endemic species than any other Australian protected area, it’s easy to understand how Managing Director of Indian Ocean Experiences, Lisa Preston, became captivated by the beauty, the wildlife and the significance of the biodiversity of Australia’s Indian Ocean islands, and felt the need to share these unique experiences and encourage their continuing protection.

    Proudly calling herself a local, Lisa Preston founded Indian Ocean Experiences in 2011, being one of the...

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