Christmas Island Diving and crabs

Few places in the world can offer something as truly spectacular and surreal as Christmas Island with diving and crabs. Christmas Island is probably best known for its 50-70 million red crabs that only live here.
Christmas Island, a small island in the Indian Ocean, it is with extremely high hopes that I go here again. To experience something that few people can understand. One of or perhaps even the biggest and most fantastic spectacle nature can present today. Christmas Island crabbing and diving is an adventure and experience that can hardly be described.

Experience Christmas Island crabbing and diving and do so as the red crabs migrate towards the sea to breed and release their eggs. To then also be able to meet the large plankton eaters who then come to fill their bellies with crab eggs and small crabs. The island also offers a rich bird life and a tranquility that is rarely experienced nowadays.

After a nice relaxing night in Jakarta at one of the nearby airport hotels, it's off to the airport. Time to check in to Christmas Island. The queue is short, there are only two counters open and at the front there is a guy ticking us off a list. It's quite full on the flight today.... Or full and full... everything is relative as they say. Today the plane is half full, i.e. about 50 passengers against normally about 20-30 people and there is probably room for 70-80……

Fly to Christmas Island

The flight to Christmas Island is quick, it's just under an hour there and so much easier now than last time when I flew from Perth in South West Australia for four and a half hours back from where I came. Now with the new charter flight that is offered once a week, it is suddenly very easy and smooth. New Terminal Three in Jakarta is also a joy to be in compared to the old terminals they had before


Once there, it's immigration with, as usual, impeccably polite Australian government officials laughing and greeting us. We collect the luggage ourselves from the luggage carts and then it's off to pick up our rental cars. It starts like that, one car has a puncture, another can't open and close the back door and some have problems with the windows that can't be closed but it's just to laugh and enjoy the situation anyway, we're here.

Arrived at the accommodation

We arrive at our accommodation, the Sunset, and Angela receives and very shortly after that we have our rooms. No paperwork, no hassle. Not much to fuss about, she says; - Here is the key, you live in room number 1. Thank you haha!!

Dinner at "the Bosun", our almost home base although we find "several" - (I think it was three more) alternative places to eat over the next two weeks. The food is generally good on the island but not very cheap, but it is clear that eating at a restaurant every day in Sweden is not cheap either. Some days we heat micro food for lunch in the room and it actually works almost as well.

The diving center and diving

The diving takes place with Extra Divers. The diving center is a couple of hundred meters away from where we live. Here we get a good and informative briefing on the first day.

Sandy greets us and goes through the setup. A little different as we do two dives in the morning every other day and then two afternoon dives every other day but it turned out to be very nice actually and really relaxing with time to rest, have a real vacation and go out on the island on our own when we are free.
Rarely have I felt so rested after a diving holiday actually.
The boats we go out with are solid steel boats and we easily get to many different places around the island.

It is mixed reef diving with gently sloping reefs and then walls that really go vertically into the sea. Good dive briefings and easy to follow the plans that are made and even if it is busy some dives, it always feels like everything is under control. When you dive on Christmas Island you are in the middle of nowhere, to the north is Indonesia and Java - an hour's flight north, to the east is Australia - two hours' flight away, to the west is far away........ possibly India northwest but there is the many hours of flight. To the south lies Antarctica…. Drifting here is simply not an option but everyone who travels here is an experienced diver and takes safety seriously.

Plenty of big fish

During our days we dive and see lots of beautiful hard corals, also soft corals and sponges. It is not as colorful as in Indonesia, it is not the same diversity, but the visibility of often 40-70 meters offers something you rarely experience, the feeling of clean sea with almost endless visibility. Some days we see turtles, other days shoals of barracuda, eagle rays, mobula, silky sharks, various reef sharks, hammerhead sharks and then the real giants of the sea, whale sharks on a few occasions. A feeling that is hard to describe when they come and it just happens. It simply has to be experienced and the whale sharks are really here this time of year. They are waiting for something yummy – crab fry and crab eggs.

The crab migration

When the rains start in October/November each year, the world's largest migration of animals begins and it is crabs that migrate. The red crabs that live on land in the forest for the rest of the year go down to the sea to reproduce and then the females lay eggs when it is the right day in relation to the moon.

WE have timed our trip perfectly. The crabs have started to migrate just as we arrive and the first few days there are so many crabs everywhere in some places that you just stand and gape. It is truly surreal and something that every human being should get to experience but very few are blessed with. It can't really be described no matter how many pictures you take, it's only on the spot that you understand and still you don't understand.

Absolutely crazy surrealistic

Regardless, it's a lot of fun and the cameras are rolling and you have to try to get the memory of this total madness with you.
We meet the rangers who are out and happy to tell us tourists about the life of the crabs. We meet nurses who, according to tradition, go out to look at the bridge crossing where the crabs have to climb 5,5 meters up a bridge to get across the road. The nurses are all wearing crab lice and cheering on the crabs.

ALL roads are closed

Almost ALL roads on the island are closed for some crazy days and driving here requires attention. Almost 10% of the time you drive on the wrong side of the road just to give way to these red invaders. They are everywhere and I mean everywhere, the golf course, cemeteries, inside restaurants, etc., etc.


Christmas Island is magical. For those who like nature and animals and to get to a place that is not particularly developed as a tourist destination yet. For those who like diving in warm seas with wrecks, caves, reefs, walls, large and small animals, this is an absolutely magical destination. The crabs are the big deal but the diving really isn't far behind. It is not only the red crabs that are found here, but also the world's largest land-living crab, the Coco crab or the palm thief. Here is the world's largest population of this large arthropod that can weigh up to 4 kg!!!

The diving is really sharp and almost anything can turn up here with a bit of luck. Just when the crabs are migrating, the chances are very good for the large plankton eaters. In addition, Christmas Island is a very beautiful island with the possibility of long walks and discoveries in the jungle. For those of you who like birds, there is also a rich bird life here.
Some of the days it was a little too windy and we waited for land, but it didn't really matter. There is so much to do in any case and experiencing the island on land is probably almost more rewarding than the diving. Although the diving is really really lovely and good.


I have now had the privilege of experiencing this twice, I will be going back. I will try to book the next trip for November 2023 – what do you say, will you go with me??
More surreal than this is hard to experience, crabs in the room…….. what??? Hahaha!!!

Pure magic, a trip that should be on everyone's bucket list!! Do you want to go on an adventure to Christmas Island and experience diving and crabbing? so email us for interest list. Individual trips can also be put together, but the most fun is sharing the experience.