We leave Lombok and sail west across the Indian Ocean to Christmas Island, 625nm away. We will have a short stay on the island, but there is still much to uncover in this place full of natural wonders: from endemic species of birdlife, deserted beaches, varied marine fish and the unique annual red crab migration, and all against an impressive rainforest backdrop.
From Christmas Island we make our way to the Cocos Keeling Islands, 525nm away.
The sublime Cocos Keeling Islands are an unspoiled exotic paradise, made up of 27 islands that are all palm-fringed with white sand beaches. The islands are in an almost perfect circle and only two of the islands are inhabited. There are phenomenal coral reefs for diving and snorkelling or enjoy the flat waters which make it a perfect kiteboarding spot.
You can also visit Home Island where a small indigenous population of about 450 Cocos Malay people live. Originally brought to the Cocos Keeling Islands as slaves and members of the harem of Alexander Hare, an early 19th century English explorer, it has understandably created quite a unique culture.
Sailing from Cocos Keeling Islands to Mauritius, where this leg ends, is around 2350nm and should take around 17 days.
Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation is known for its clear blue waters, beautiful beaches and lagoons, but it’s also the kind of place that rewards you if you push the boundaries of your exploration. There is hiking in the mountainous interior in the Black River Gorges National Park, excellent diving and snorkelling, stunning botanical gardens and historic colonial plantation houses to explore.
Experience some of the finest snorkelling and diving amongst dazzling coral reefs, swim alongside sea turtles, bumphead, parrotfish, rays and reef sharks in the waters surrounding Lombok and the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Alternatively surf amongst Lombok’s many bays or enjoy the islands stunningly spectacular scenery.
This remote island territory, known as Australia’s ‘Galapagos’ is blessed with beautiful landscapes amazing coral reefs, rainforests, marine life and friendly locals. The island is ideal for swimming, scuba-diving, fishing, birdwatching, and photography. Highlights include Flying Fish cove which provides some of the most protected ocean swimming on the island. Other must see attractions worthy of note are the Tai Jin House which houses the Christmas Island Historical Exhibition which tells the Christmas Island story, the Grotto A mini cave with mix of sea and fresh water pool, spectacular blowholes which spray sea water high into the air.
The waters surrounding the Cocos Keeling Islands are ideal for both kite surfers and windsurfers alike, with lots of space, ideal conditions and uncrowded. The waters are waist deep, warm, crystal clear, calm, and safe so are ideal for inexperienced kite surfers or for learning and for spotting schools of fish, turtles, and black-tip reef sharks. Cocos also have a fabulous selection of sea food restaurants all serving fresh local produce.
Mauritius is well known for its beeches, lagoon, and reefs and for its national park, mountainous interior, botanical gardens, waterfalls, and wildlife. The islands boast over 150km of pristine beaches around its coastline. Whilst on the island a visit to the capital Port Louis is a must, with its selection of shops, cultural attractions, and museums. While away evenings sampling the cuisine of Mauritius which is a fusion of French, Chinese, European, Indian and the local seafood.