Spotlight and first hand experience of Cocos – Keeling Islands
Just a four hour flight from Perth and you land in paradise, a remote Australian Territory of 2 coral atolls making up 72 islands of pristine white sandy beaches and crystal blue water.
With a 0% crime rate, and 100% friendship rate you slip into island time instantly.
We picked up our hire car from the airport on West Island, our keys were in the ignition ready to go and a sign on the window had our names. No paperwork, off we go. West Island is only 2km long and 1km wide, so you’re guaranteed ocean views wherever you stay.
The locals are excited to have you there, and everybody has their role to play, most even have several roles.
My experience on Cocos Island was incredible. We were lucky enough to Kayak amongst the 30 thousand Green Turtles who have made the waters of the Cocos Islands their home, we snorkelled with colourful fish and coral and tried to get up close with shy baby black tip reef sharks. On our first night we were hosted to a beach BBQ with Ash and Kylie, amazing locals who run many of the various tours on West Island. Absolutely no food is wasted, with the thousands of hermit crabs cautiously approaching our table to eat lettuce scraps and enjoying cake in particular.
By day we would enjoy white sandy beaches to ourselves, swimming and paddle boarding in the clear water, and with no dangerous sharks, stingrays, spiders or snakes it’s easy to just sit back and relax.
We took a ferry across to Home Island, where local Malay people live, where we were able to learn about the important Naval History and presence Cocos Island played during World War 2. During low tide you can walk across to Prison Island, a tiny Island or take a speed boat with some playful dolphins leading the way, to Direction Island, where Cossie’s Beach was named Australia’s best beach in 2016!
The locals of West Island truly make the experience special. They can never do enough to help, offering kayaks and snorkelling equipment as needed.
We were lucky enough to assist Ash and Kylie rebuild a shade area which was destroyed in a bad storm, and in true Coco’s Island style, half the township turned out for the working bee and we enjoyed a BBQ banquet and beers on the beach watching the sunset once we’d finished for the day.
West Island is also the only place in the world where you can play golf on an international runway! No photos allowed, however the runway goes right through the Golf Course, where a game of scrounges is played every Thursday for locals and visitors alike. Everyone tee’s off at the same time and no matter your skill level you are guaranteed sore cheeks from laughter after the 9 holes.
I can’t recommend Cocos enough, where shoes aren’t required, the most dangerous thing on the island is falling coconuts and you’ll meet people with absolutely incredible backgrounds and feel at home instantly.
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