Cocos (Keeling) Islands
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a water-lovers paradise. It boasts some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. The pristine coral gardens of over 100 different species of hard and soft corals are host to a myriad of marine life. Beautiful parrotfish, wrasse, butterflyfish, angelfish, gobies and garden eels are just some of the species that you will encounter. Endemic to Cocos & Christmas Islands is the small angelfish, Centropyge joculator - the Cocos Pygmy Angelfish. Fish surveys carried out by James Cook University have found interesting hybridisation between many of the parrotfish, wrasse & surgeonfish, making the Cocos (Keeling) Islands a haven for marine studies.
Whilst diving or snorkelling you may also be paid a visit by our gentle dolphins, turtles or majestic manta rays, or even our illusive, lone Dugong, affectionately known as Kat. These beautiful marine creatures are here all year round.
Located at the southern tip of Direction Island is The Rip, a marine park set aside for snorkellers to enjoy the diverse and amazing marine life in relatively shallow waters. The creatures, including shells, are protected and must not be removed.
The Cocos Lagoon also holds hidden historical treasures from yesteryear. In the near future an underwater historical trail will be available linking the wreckage of the Catalina JX435 to the wreck of the Phaeton, a sister ship of the Cutty Sark, an 18th century barque, a 19th century American whaler, a WWII barge and several cannons. The trail will be accessible for snorkellers, divers and for the non-snorkellers, through Geof's glass-bottom boat. To protect the Catalina JX435 wreckage, Parks Australia have installed two moorings.