How to get there
Option 1: Fly non-stop from Perth, Australia
Average price: $1200 AUD round-trip from Perth
Virgin Australia is the only airline with regularly scheduled service to the island, and only from Perth, so naturally the monopoly on the route jacks up the prices for the 4-hour flight into the Indian Ocean. Flights depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, so you'll need to plan accordingly. Most days are serviced with an Embraer 190 jet, but the Thursday flights score a slightly more comfy Boeing 737-800.
[Note: these flights can be easily booked online at Virgin Australia's website, but we also booked through a travel agentDown Under Answersfor greater trip protection and itinerary assistance]
Option 2: Charter flight from Jakarta
Average price: $1100
Charter flights are available from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to the small island, operated by Christmas Island Air. Since it's just under 60 minutes flying time from the city, it's a nice getaway for nature-loving Indonesians who can afford the airfare. Coincidentally, during the 1980s-90s, the only resort on the island was built to attract high-rolling Indonesians to the sole casino on the island. These flights are organized through Travel Exchange.
Although the island is quite difficult to reach, the result of the journey is a tropical hideaway complete with palm trees, exotic flora, unique fauna, and a distinct feeling of being removed from the regular pulse of the world. This also means that the island is not over-run with tourists seeking Starbucks or a frozen daiquiri (note: neither of these exist on Christmas Island). So, if you have your heart set on checking out giant land crabs or swimming in a secret cave pool, we say go for it (as we did ourselves last week!).
Banish all thought of visiting by ship, as Christmas Island lacks a large natural harbor. Instead, Flying Fish Cove's ship visits are mostly limited to cargo and military.
[Photos: Rayme Gorniak & Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]