Deserted beaches on tropical islands in the south seas? Might there still be?
Magnificent secluded beaches, picturesque and remote, actually on any given day on Christmas Island you could find yourself sitting on a patch of sand on your lonesome enjoying a beach with only Robber Crabs for company.
Are you looking for seclusion?
A diminutive rock amidst a vast Indian ocean, surrounded by a void of blue, Christmas Island guards her secrets closely, only those willing to explore will adore them.
Gorgeous beaches dazzling to glimpse, exciting to explore and idyllic to be around are a highlight of Christmas Island. You’ll be sure to fall in love with one or all of them.
Each beach will require a vehicle to reach. Should your accommodation is in the Settlement, The Cove is easily accessed by walking or bicycle.
Christmas Islands‘ beaches are named after female relations of early Europeans, Lilly, Ethel, Gretta and Dolly.
Flying Fish Cove
Flying Fish Cove is the most accessible and easiest beach to access, located in Kampong, close to the Settlement it is effortlessly found.
Intrigue and fascination will engulf those who stick their heads under the water. Flying Fish Cove is home to one of the best straight-off-the-beach snorkel/dive reefs you will find anywhere.
View over Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island
Beauty and excitement abound under the water, corals and fish so varied in size, shape and colour that your eyes will be enchanted and enthralled, it is sensory overload.
Fish hide amongst the corals
Bigger fish patrol the reef
Tressured memories, spotting a turtle
Large schools of colourful fish
What’s underwater awaits
Fish everywhere you look
Be awe-struck by the dramatics of the drop-off a perpendicular drop into the blue void that exists immediately beyond the protection of the reef, only a short swim from the end of the jetty, witnessed, it will stick in your memory for a long time.
Diving down towards the drop-off
Palm-fringed the grassed foreshore gives way to sections of sand and uncomplicated access to the water. The jetty provides a different perspective and view of the Cove while providing safe & easy entry into the water via a ramp leading to a platform at the water level. A unique feature for some is the fact you can enjoy the ocean and not get a grain of sand on your feet if you so choose.
Fishing from the jetty
Sunset from the end of the jetty.
Jetty jumping, kids living their best lives.
The Cove is super safe, families with kids will love it, appreciating its calmness. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are comfortably launched, and the jetty offers a safe place for kids to fish or take a leap of a lifetime into the warm waters of this wonderful user-friendly location.
Sunset at Flying Fish Cove
Dotted along the foreshore are BBQs and rotundas, plan a BBQ dinner and sunset drinks down by the Cove.
Eleven kilometres from the Settlement via Golf Course and Link Water Road is Lily Beach. Keyhole in appearance amidst cliffs on each side this hamlet is delightful to explore.
Lilly Beach, Christmas Island
Including a foreshore consisting of small shells rather than sandt allows for terrific foraging yet is still comfortable enough to sit on with a towel. Marvellous rockpools, shallow enough for kids to play in, and deep enough to explore with a mask and snorkel, will prove irresistible.
Snorkelling the rockpools of Lilly Beach.
Some rockpools are just made for sitting in.
Visit on a receding high tide or low tide, on a calm day. Should the ocean be rough or the tide incoming it’s a tricky location pick your day for this location, caution is required.
Big swells stir up a cranky ocean often waves are viewed thundering into the sea cliffs, scattering nesting sea birds to the sky, a spectacular sight.
EtheBeachch is next door to Lilly, they are linked by a boardwalk which runs along the cliff top. Strolling along it presents opportunities to spot Brown Booby birds, Robber/Coconut and Red Crabs and if you’re lucky the spray of a blowhole or two.
Additionally, EtheBeachch enjoys a reasonably long stretch of sand, long enough for a bit of a stroll and exploration.
Its craggy shoreline is overhung by pandanus, and on a calm day, Ethel Beach provides shallow water safe for kids to play in. It’s a good location for a snorkel or a spot of fishing.
Leading down to the beach is a staircase, gentle in gradient, however, it does get a little more vertical in the last section on and off the beach.
Both Lilly & Ethel beaches offer 2WD access and are close enough to visit on the same trip. There is a rotunda with seats and a table at LilBeachch. Enjoy Ethel first then backtrack to Lily and enjoy a picnic lunch exploring afterwards.
Overhanging pandanus a feature at Ethel Beach
Ethel Beach allows for a stroll
Ethel Beach has a nice sandy space.
Travelling along the north-south baseline road, 28km from the Settlement lands you at Greta Beach.
Greta Beach on Christmas Island
The track into Greta Beach is 4wd and has some steep sections, tricky if the road is wet after rain.
Unfortunately, Greta Beach sits on a confluence of ocean currents, leaving it defenceless against the constant depositing of rubbish and plastics, from far-off places that have been floating in the ocean for some time.
At the car park, before you start your short jungle walk to the top of the sea cliffs grab a couple of the provided bags. Take them down to the beach and spend a few moments filling them, many hands make light work, and the cleanup of Greta Beach is a constant and ongoing undertaking.
Turtles nest here all year round, Greta Beach is one of only a couple of locations the other being Dolly Beach where turtles venture ashore. Towering sea cliffs that surround Gretta support enormous numbers of Red Crabs during the annual migration, and many birds enjoy the wind-swept expanses.
Before descending the large, very steep staircase that hugs the edge of the sea cliff pause and admire the view, a sweeping panoramic vista of the beach and its fringing reef including the ocean beyond should be enjoyed.
Greta Beach from the top of the stairs.
The stairs that get you on and off Greta Beach.
Greta Beach is an appealing beach, especially so after a recent cleanup, it’s really unfortunate the problems it experiences through no fault of its own. With lots to explore, it’s a wonderful place to spend some time.
Enormous stand-alone rocks
Secluded rock pools
Gretta rockpools on low tide.
Visit on a low tide, wander right at the bottom of the stairs, walking to the end of the beach. Once there you will see a gap between the cliff and an enormous rock, walk through and enjoy a swim in a beautifully shaded pool. Remember this can only be enjoyed at low tide, if the tide turns while you are swimming it’s time to leave.
An additional 5km further along from the Gretta Beach car park is the alluring Dolly Beach. The track deteriorates substantially and 4wd is recommended especially if the ground is soft after recent rain. It’s approximately a 30-minute drive from the Settlement.
Dolly Beach is the prettiest of all the beaches, unquestionably my favourite. The adventure begins with a 45-minute jungle walk along a constructed boardwalk, walking through some of the island’s oldest and untouched sections of rainforest.
Dolly Beach adventure starts with a jungle walk
Boardwalk for the majority of the way
Almost there, Dolly Beach is close.
Strangler Figs soar above, and the artistic mess of Pandanus roots are ever present as giant Stags cling to towering trunks above. All the while a myriad of crabs scuttle on the forest floor, your senses heightened and you still haven’t reached the beach yet.
Strangler Figs are common.
The artistic mess of a clump of pandanus roots
Huge stags cling to the towering trunks
Emerging from the jungle a sandy beach fringed with overhanging Coconut Palms greets you. Shallow rockpools fringe the water’s edge, momentarily you’ll be caught in a pause of indecision as you process the beauty before you while trying to decide which comes first sitting under a palm or jumping in the water.
Secluded & Remote, Dolly Beach on Christmas Island.
Robber Crabs are easily spotted and observed, turtles nest year-round, keep a sharp eye out for tracks.
Robber or Coconut Crabs are regularly spotted.
Walking through the CoconuPalmsms to the beach.
Robber & Blue Crabs are easily spotted.
Dolly Beach is Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe and Castaway all rolled into one secluded and remote day at the beach.
One man’s rubbish is another boy’s treasure.
Shades of green at Dolly Beach.
Enjoying the simple pleasures.
Pressed for time you could easily complete Dolly & Greta in a day.
Alternatively, should you have the time, devote an entire day to Dolly Beach. Take a picnic lunch, snacks, towels and perhaps a hammock and don’t forget snorkelling gear. It’s time well spent and a wonderful day.
West White Beach
Pandanus is a feature along the beach
Lots of space to explore.
Cliff overhangs provide some welcome shade.
A white strip of coral beach, fringed by a wonderful coral reef awaits at West White Beach. To access this beach is all downhill, 1.5km meandering through a terraced rainforest. Adventure awaits with a rope and ladder section to be negotiated towards the end of the walk.
Ropes & ladders add adventure.
Ropes help get up & down tricky sections.
Boys own adventure.
West White lets you enjoy first and pay later, the return walk back to the car is in complete contrast to the walk-in to the beach, it is steep and at times shifting underfoot and will have your heart jumping out of your chest.
Before departing for this walk be sure of your ability to complete it. Despite the fact, this walk is on a 3 km return, the walk-in is all downhill and taxing on knees and hips. The walk-out is all uphill and makes your heart race, moderate upper body strength is needed to complete the rope and ladder section.
Travel via Murray Road, approximately 25 minutes/18km, a car park is situated just off the road with 2wd access, this is a great walk and day at the beach for those who enjoy a bit of adventure and a track without a boardwalk.
Wear shoes or a steady pair of outdoor adventure sandals on this walk, thongs will without a doubt make it difficult. Keep any gear you want to carry in a backpack and keep both hands free.
If you only experience one beach on Christmas Island unquestionably it has to be Flying Fish Cove, certainly not to be missed.
Furthermore, If you have a bit of time then venture out and see Lily, Ethel and Greta Beaches, stairs beyond you. It’s well worth the look from the top of the cliffs.
Searching for a more substantial experience, adventure awaits at Dolly or West White beaches. Whatever you choose or wherever you end up the beaches of Christmas Island will leave an indelible memory.
Flying Fish Cove is a great place to end the day.
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