The people of the Cocos Islands have striven towards developing their tourism industry as the main fuel for their economy. Drifting languidly on the Indian Ocean, the Territory of the Cocos Islands can be halfway between Sri Lanka and Australia. It is composed of two breathtaking atolls and 27 coral islets. Among the islets, two are inhabited namely the West Island and Pulu Selma. The Keeling Islands, another name for the territory, consists mainly of two prominent atolls in the north and south. Generally, the land is filled with lush vegetation and palm trees suited for the marine tropical climate of the islands. Without any lakes or rivers, Cocos Islands have limited freshwater sources. The northern atoll of the territory resembles a horseshoe as it is an incomplete coral ring with only a tiny opening into the lagoon. The southern atoll has more scattered islets, 24 tiny landmass, bearing both Home Island and West Island.
First of the known destinations in Cocos Islands is Pulu Luar or Horsburgh Island which is landmarked by a tiny lagoon in the north-east part, almost to the center of the islet. A population of deer has actually been taken care of in the past for hunting. Additionally, many migratory birds nest on its shores thus a lot of tourists come here for bird-watching.
One of the two inhabited islands to which contain a population of approximately 500 Malays is Home Island or Pulu Selma. The central region of this land is the village of Bantam. A tour around the lagoon will give you a glimpse of the clear, turquoise waters that displays the complex coral reef formations. With only about 500 people, the island is generally unspoiled so there is much to discover in this paradise. Kite-surfing and sunbathing along the white sandy beaches gives you a true holiday relaxation that you’ve been looking for. There are also regions in the island that is vegetated and relatively elevated to give you a clear panoramic view of the ocean. The pristine waters, coral complexities, and the friendly people is an experience to look forward to in Home Island.
Despite being the capital of the territory of the Cocos Island, West Island only contains approximately 100 residents. The island has been made to attract and welcome curious tourists with the construction of airports and tourist accommodation. There’s a contrast between heavy rains and drought experienced by the island because of its marine climate. Because of being a relatively unspoiled area, snorkeling and strolling around the small island is in store for a usual holiday. Sunrise and sunsets, snorkeling and a look around the territory are a good start for a West Island tour.
The most protected area in the territory of the Cocos Islands is the North Keeling Island with its almost C-shaped figure for an atoll and the many natural structures it has to offer. This is because the wildlife and vegetation in the island is highly sensitive to any kind of human disturbances. It is the most important region in terms of biodiversity since it contains the extremely endangered Cocos Buff-banded Rail which can only survive in the environment offered by Pulu Keeling. Moreover, significant populations of birds breed on the shores of this island. These two populations of wildlife are prone to hunting which has made this North Keeling Island a valuable treasure of Cocos Islands.
The 24 coral islets of South Island have much to offer with the variety of land features and natural sites it contains. Containing numerous lagoons, bays and shores as well as wide coastlines and the coral formations within the 24 islets is a real natural exploration.