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What Everyone's Buying on Christmas Island: Cheap Liquor and Special Stamps

April 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM | by | ()

Welcome to "What Everyone's Buying," a new series on souvenirs, wherein we investigate what tourist trinkets are the hottest selling in hotspots around the world.

As you may have already gathered from our previous posts, Christmas Island has a good lot to offer when it comes to nature, beaches, diving, and endemic species. When it comes to souvenirs, however, the island runs a bit dry unless you're looking for crab toys, crab t-shirts or books about crabs. So the majority of visitors, both long- and short-term, opt to head to the island's supermarket and its duty-free liquor variety.

The selection is excellent, including even "traveler edition" flavors of Absolut, and prices are half that of mainland Australia, so wine and liquor is a huge score for those wanting to imbibe without breaking the bank.

You see, taxes drive up the price of booze in Australia, but those taxes don't reach out to this little territory. Another advantage of buying on the island is that you don't technically need to wait until the airport to max out your allowances, since the duty-free grocery store sells to locals and visitors at cheap prices for consumption both at home and away.

Where to buy: The Christmas Island Metro Supermarket in the town of Settlement, just across from the Tourist Information house. Acting as a general store with plenty of food, sundries and supplies, the market also boasts a considerable liquor section with everything from vodkas to whiskeys and tequilas to dessert liqueurs.

As a point of reference, a one liter bottle of Absolut vodka goes for about $60 AUD anywhere on the mainland, whereas we forked over a measly $25 for a bottle on Christmas Island. At these prices, you wont mind wrapping your beach wear around a few bottles, just make sure you declare anything over the 2250ml limit.

As for the stamps...

Not much of a drinker? Christmas Island is also known for its colorful stamp collections. Operating within the Australia Post system, the island has regular mail service, but the freedom to produce special-edition stamps. Head to the single post office on the island (in Flying Fish Cove) and ask nicely to have a look through the postmaster's box of philatelic delights. We mix and matched designs to total the postage needed to send our postcards.

[Photos: Rayme Gorniak & Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]

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