Skip to main content
Blog PostIslandsWestern Australia

Guide To Direction Island while visiting The Cocos Islands

By March 21, 2023May 25th, 2023No Comments
Direction Island is everything you imagined a tropical island would be.


Merely a speck in the Indian Ocean, doing its best to stay hidden between Australia and Sri Lanka are the Cocos Keeling Islands.

 A group of 27 breathtaking islands, of which one, in particular, takes your breath, and leaves your photos to do the talking.

Coconut palms fringe its exquisitely picturesque beach with turquoise waters so vivid your memory will be flush with the vision.  An uninhabited island that once visited will inhabit your memory forever, its Direction Island and it’s magnificent.

How To Get There

The Rumah Baru Jetty, located on West Island is the departure point for the ferry which will take you across to Direction Island.

All aboard next stop, Direction Island.


Shuttle buses depart the main settlement on West Island regularly, dropping you at the jetty. The fare for the ferry passage to Direction Island is five dollars per adult return, payable in cash once on board, children under 13 years travel free.

Travel time for the voyage across the lagoon is 30min, which can take longer, should the weather be rough.

Planning Your Day
Securing Your Ideal Spot

Disembark the ferry and stroll the jetty to its end, the view will captivate you. Once off the jetty, you will be facing a small rotunda veer right, following the walking trail.

It’s ‘Wow’ from the moment you step off the ferry.

The view as you walk down the jetty

View from the rotunda back at the jetty


Cozzies Beach named after Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove will be on your right as you walk, it was bestowed the honour of Australia’s best beach in 2017, Cozzies beach fringes the Cocos lagoon.

Along the beachfront are seven highly sort after rotundas. All have picnic tables, and places to string hammocks and some have fire pits all boasting incredible views.

Every swing has an incredible view.

Delightfully perfect.


The first two are prominent and cater for large groups they are close to BBQs and toilets. Further along, the offerings become smaller but no less fantastic. The last couple being closet to The Rip and very secluded.

Securing one of these rotundas makes a great day perfect.

Things To Do
Snorkelling The Rip-Finding The Rip

Upon reaching the end of the jetty, wander right walking all the way to the end of the island,  follow the track all the way to the end you’ll come to a viewing platform.

Splendid views are had, however, for easier access to the water veer off to the beach at the last picnic table. Walking the remainder of the way along the coast will give you easier access to the water at The Rip.

Every picnic table has a view.


What is The Rip

The Rip is a passage of water that passes through a narrow channel between two islands. Water from the open ocean pushes between the end of Direction Island and nearby Prison Island emptying into Cocos Lagoon.


The Rip at high tide. The little patch of sand top right is Prison Island, much more visible on low tide. 


Being a drift snorkel, The Rip has a fast current, it does all the work for you once you’re in the water.

One just floats along enjoying the show that unfolds under the water beneath you. How fast or slow the water is moving depends on what stage the tide is at.

At high tide, the drift will be much faster than at low tide.

Deciding if I should go into The Rip

The tide should be a major consideration when deciding if you will give it a go.

Experienced snorkelers/divers and strong swimmers will find it fun regardless of the tide.

Low tide is the better option for weaker swimmers or those who would intend to spend more time exploring.  Free-diving down to the depths is easier when you spend less time fighting the flow of water.

Diving on coral bommies in The Rip

Take a break, quick breath

Pristine clear water, excellent visibility

Those intending to simply drift along enjoying the view then getting out, you won’t need fins, reef shoes will do. However, should you plan to explore, free-diving down fins will be essential.

What will you see

Boasting pristinely clear water, corals so vibrant and a breathtaking array of fish there is much to enjoy.  Reef sharks and Turtles are regularly seen adding to the anticipation.

Vibrant colours flash past

White Tipped Reef Sharks always exciting

Always a thrill to see a Turtle
Black Tipped Reef Sharks cruise by


Swimming with turtles is special

Huge Wrasse just captivate

Huge schools of fish abound
Be Aware

When swimming in the rip never fight it, you’ll get tired before it will.

Don’t panic about the speed you might find yourself moving,  go with the flow. Once in the lagoon the flow of water slows and it’s an easy swim in calm water back to the beach.

At which point you can call it a day satisfied you have done it once or jump in and do it again.

Cozzies Beach

To look up the word idyllic you would simply find Cozzies Beach.

Simply stunning and incredibly beautiful this stretch of remote Indian Ocean Atoll is perfect, then some.

Cozzies Beach DI is as idyllic & beautiful as a beach gets.  

You could decide to lounge on the beach in the shade of a palm. Or wallow in the crystal-clear water gazing back at the palms. Either way, the vistas will be permanently etched in your memory.

The Heritage Trail

The Cocos Keeling Islands are small, appearing insignificant. However, during both World Wars that couldn’t have been further from the truth or the reality of what played out.

The islands were of strategic importance as they lie halfway between Australia & the sub-continental countries of India and Sri Lanka.

Navel battles were fought around the islands, in addition, the undersea telegraph line which linked Australia with Asia and Europe dissected the islands.

Invest a little time in history, and enjoy a walk around the island. The 3.5km heritage trail which includes informative plaques explaining the role Direction Island played during the war years is excellent.


Designated areas of the atoll are protected and off-limits to fishing. Anywhere east of the jetty, including The Rip along Cozzie’s beach, is protected space. West of the jetty along the beach and on the seaward side of the atoll you’ll be fine.

Hot Tip

The return ferry arrives at 2 pm. Be on the jetty ready or you’ll be staying the night.

What To Take


There are no shops or vending machines on the island. You must bring everything with you and take all your rubbish home afterwards.

A backpack complete with swimming and snorkelling gear, hats, suncream, insect repellents and a camera are all essential. In addition to all this fun stuff, you will need to consider your provisions for the day.

Drinking water is essential there is none on the island. Other refreshments if required, an esky with ice? perhaps ice bricks to keep them cool.

Lunch and snacks, it’s a long day without anything to eat,  things that don’t need to be kept chilled are easiest.


Rarely a country’s best beach is such a well-kept secret. Direction Island is the epitome of a tropical island, fringed with coconut palms wildly remote where sky and water merge into a mirage of paradise.

Can you see yourself taking a break on that sandbar?


Uninhabited, azure waters lap pearlescent white sand beaches, and palm trees placed so perfectly you wouldn’t imagine a more tropical island, this is Direction Island a place you can do as much or as little as you wish and still have a great day regardless.


You May Also Enjoy Reading