Cocos (Keeling) Islands Surf Trip Vacation Destinations
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located in the middle of the Indian Ocean some 2750km north-west of Perth, and 900km west south-west of Christmas Island, its closest neighbour. Cocos lies approximately 12° south and 96.5° east, locating the islands in the humid tropical zone.
Almost all isolated oceanic islands sit atop the remains of ancient volcanoes. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are two coral atolls which have developed on top of old volcanic seamounts, rising from the depth of 5000 metres in the north east Indian Ocean.
The islands' foundations are two of a series of undersea features known as the Vening Meinisz Seamounts. This undersea range of mountains also includes Christmas Island and extends in a north north-easterly direction from a prominent Indian Ocean sea floor feature known as the Ninetyeast Ridge. The Cocos atolls are two peaks in a section of the range known as the Cocos Rise and are connected by a narrow underwater bank at a depth of 700-800 metres.
Atolls are more or less circular coral reefs enclosing a lagoon, but without any land inside. On large atolls, parts of the reef have been built up by wave action and wind to form low island chains connected by the reef. The environmental aspects of atoll islands are unique in some respects. For example there is no rock other than coral limestone composed of calcium carbonate. This means that plants requiring other minerals such as silica, can not be cultivated without the aid of fertilisers or some outside source of rock from a larger island composed of volcanic or other igneous rock. The palm tree is native to atoll islands because it thrives on brackish water and the seed, or nut, is distributed widely by floating from one island to another.
Flights depart from Perth International Airport on Monday and Friday. Australian citizens do not need a passport, but must carry some form of photographic identification.
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