Australia’s remote Indian Ocean territories are as unique as they are spectacular. Birding Tours Australia are the leading experts in both of these locations, having discovered more rare vagrant species on these islands than anyone else.

Christmas Island and the Cocos Keeling Islands are two of Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories situated in the northern Indian Ocean. Birding Tours Australia has been to both islands over fifty times, guiding around 600 individual birders in search of the island’s endemics, specialties and vagrants. Our tours are designed to accommodate birders and their partners, twitchers, photographers or those just wanting to enjoy the island’s natural history.

White-tailed Tropicbird (golden morph)
White-tailed Tropicbird (golden morph)

Our tour dates are chosen to maximise our chance of finding the islands breeding specialties as well as rarities on both islands.

The tour includes, your three airfares ex Perth, car hire, ferry fares, introductory BBQ, airport transfers, fuel and Australia’s most experienced Cocos and Christmas birding guide, Richard Baxter.

Previous Trip Reports

Christmas Island is home to a number of resident species of birds including:

  • Christmas Island Frigatebird (The world’s rarest frigatebird)
  • Island Thrush
  • Christmas Island Swiftlet
  • Brown (Christmas Island) Goshawk
  • Christmas Boobook
  • Christmas Island White-eye
  • Christmas Island Imperial Pigeon
  • Abbotts Booby (The world’s largest and rarest booby)
  • Common Emerald Dove
  • Cocos specialties include:
  • Saunders’s Tern
  • Western Reef Egret
  • White Tern
  • Pin-tailed Snipe
  • Green Junglefowl
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Oriental Cuckoo
  • White-tailed Tropicbird (Golden morph)
  • Java Sparrow
  • Brown Booby
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Red-tailed Tropicbird
  • Red-footed Booby

In addition to these we’ve recorded over 100 further species, many being the vagrants that the islands are so well known for.

Tour Includes

  • Nesting Abbott’s Booby & Golden Morph White-tailed Tropicbirds
  • Ocean front Accommodation on Cocos
  • Countless photographic opportunities
  • Motorised outrigger trip to South Island to see Saunders’s Tern
  • Australia’s only Java Sparrows, Island Thrush and Green Junglefowl
  • Ferry trips to Home Island
  • CI Imperial Pigeon, Tree Sparrow and CI White-eye, Common Emerald Dove
  • Pin-tailed Snipe, White Tern, Red-tailed & White-tailed Tropicbirds
  • Complimentary lunch or breakfast on uninhabited Cocos tropical island
  • Outdoor oceanfront dining on Cocos & Clunies-Ross Mansion grounds
  • Close views of Christmas Island and Greater Frigatebirds.
  • Western Reef Egret, White-breasted Waterhen & 1000+ Red-footed Boobies.
  • Spot lighting trips for Christmas Boobook and Nightjars
  • Brown(Christmas Island) Goshawk and Christmas Island Swiftlet.
  • You might see one or two Red Crabs
  • Not Included‚Ķ Most meals and alcohol.

Tour dates are chosen to maximise our chance of finding rarities on both islands.

Costs and Pricing

Tour Price : From $5800pp AUD (Twin Share)

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To date we have recorded:

Our groups have seen all of the island endemics easily, leaving plenty of time to search the territory’s hotspots looking for rare vagrant species.

  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Savannah Nightjar
  • Asian House Martin
  • White Wagtail
  • Watercock
  • Oriental Honey Buzzard
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Malayan Night Heron
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Chinese Pond Heron
  • Silver-backed Needletail
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Eastern Yellow Wagtail
  • Red-collared Dove
  • Mossy-nest Swiftlet
  • Japanese Sparrowhawk
  • Von Schrenck’s Bittern
  • Edible-nest Swiftlet
  • House Swift
  • Grey Nightjar
  • Himalayan Swiftlet
  • Common Cuckoo
  • Eastern Yellow Wagtail (macronyx)
  • Blue & White Flycatcher
  • Lesser Noddy
  • Blue Rock Thrush
  • Asian Koel
  • Matsudaira‚Äôs Storm Petrel
  • Bulwer‚Äôs Petrel
  • Common Moorhen
  • Javan Pond Heron
  • Narcissus Flycatcher
  • Jouanin’s Petrel
  • Large Hawk Cuckoo
  • Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo
  • Chinese Sparrowhawk
  • Eurasian Teal
  • Yellow Bittern
  • Purple-backed Starling
  • Tiger Shrike
  • Mugimaki Flycatcher
  • Crow-billed Drongo

Touring the islands, we also often encounter:

  • Greater Frigatebird
  • Lesser Frigatebird
  • Common Noddy
  • Oriental Pratincole
  • Barn Swallow
  • Masked Booby
  • Buff-banded Rail (North Keeling ssp)
  • Grey Plover
  • Lesser Sand Plover
  • Greater Sand Plover
  • Sanderling
  • White-winged Black Tern
  • Dollarbird
  • Common Redshank