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Explore Kiritimati-Christmas Island

Discover the Enchantment of Kiritimati. A captivating paradise, affectionately known as Christmas Island.

Kiritimati is a stunning coral island, nestled within the Northern Line Islands of the Pacific Ocean. It boosts the distinction of being the largest coral atoll in the world, with an expanse of approximately 388 square kilometres. Its expansive lagoon mirrors the island's land area, creating a paradise of azure waters that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Kiritimati, often referred to as Christmas Island, was discovered by British Captain James Cook on Christmas Eve in 1777, a moment that  forever linked its identity to the holiday season.

 

The name “Kiritimati” is a rather straightforward respelling of the English word “Christmas” in the Kiribati language, in which the combination ti is pronounced s, and the name is thus pronounced /kəˈrɪsməs/.

Kiritimati is one of the first inhabited places in the world to experience the dawn of a new year, as it has the world's farthest forward time zone, UTC+14, which is 20 hours ahead of Honolulu, and 2 hours ahead of Tarawa.

 

Travel and Practical Information*

Airports: Kiritimati Island (Cassidy International Airport); On Fanning the airport is located near Betania village. 
On Teraina the airport is located near Tangkore village. 


Airport Departure Tax (Domestics): $20 Airport tax per person collected at the airport at Fanning and 
Washington Islands before departing for Kiritimati Island. 


Bank & ATM: ANZ Bank of Kiribati is located at Ronton (London), Kiritimati Island. An ATM can also be accessed at 
the ANZ Bank in London or withdraw money using EFPOS at some supermarkets. There are no banks or ATMs 
available at Fanning and Teraina Island, however, EFTPOS is available at Fanning and Washington where you can 
withdraw cash, however, it is encouraged that you bring cash with you when travelling to Fanning and Teraina.


Biosecurity & Quarantine: Please declare upon arrival for inspection - all plants, fruits, vegetables, seeds, animal 
meats and poultry. A permit must be issued prior to the importation of live animals and meats/poultry with the 
Kiribati Agricultural Division. 


Business Hours: Government business hours are Mon to Fri, 0900-12:30 / 1330-1715, and are closed during 
national holidays. Shopping hours are generally Mon to Sun, 7 am to 8 pm. Half days or closed on Sundays. 


Country Code: (686)


Credit Cards: Major credit cards accepted are VISA, MasterCard, Union Pay, and JCB. 


Currency: Kiribati uses the Australian currency (AUD$). Notes: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, 
$1, $2. 


Currency Exchange: There are no currency exchange outlets in Kiritimati. ANZ ATM machines accept major 
international cards and allow for withdrawals in AUD$. Travellers wishing to exchange foreign currency into 
AUD$ must do so before arriving in Kiritimati. 


Customs & Duty-Free: Your personal concession: 2.25 L of portable spirits, 4L wine or beer, ale, stout; 200 
cigarettes or 250 grams of tobacco applies to 21yrs+ only. 


Climate: Loose cool clothing is encouraged to suit the hot climate; however it is important that you dress 
modestly in villages, religious and cultural areas. A sarong and local tailored blouse (Mauri wear) is the sort of 
wear popular among women in Kiribati. Women are advised not to wear bikinis or skimpy clothing in public or in the 
village. When visiting a village please cover up by putting on a t-shirt and a lavalava (sarong). Nude and topless 
swimming/sunbathing is not acceptable. 


Communications & Internet: Communication and Internet services are available but very limited. 2G/3G mobile 
network and sim card are available on Kiritimati Island with Vodafone and Ocean Link. Internet cafes are located at 
Ronton (London) at the Vodafone and Ocean Link in Tabwakea nearby the Kiritimati Urban Council. On Fanning 
and Teraina, the internet is available at the Island Council station and at some hotels. 


Currency: 
AUD$, Australian dollars is the main currency however USD$ is also accepted. 
 

Driving: Driving is on the left side, and it is advised to wear your seatbelt. Wearing a helmet is also required bylaw when driving a motorbike. Drinking alcohol while driving is illegal. 
 

Electricity: The electrical current in Kiribati is 240 volts, AC 50 Hz. Three-pin power outlets are commonly used. 
Getting Around: There is no public transport on the island, however, you need to rent either a car or motorbike or bicycle which can be arranged with the hotels. Rental cars are available on Kiritimati Island with rates between$70 to $100 per day depending on the size of the vehicle. On Fanning and Teraina motorbikes and bicycles are more popular of transportation. Motorbike rentals is $30 per day. 
 

Internet & Telecommunications: 2G/3G/4G mobile telecommunication network service is widely available in Kiritimati. For iPhone users, LTE connectivity is now available only to iPhones that are updated with ios16.4 or above. Data plans are available with Vodafone Kiribati, and it is encouraged that you acquire a SIM card upon arrival. Some hotels also provide WIFI internet on the premises. 
 

Phone Directory: www.vodafone.com.ki/Directory 
 

Local Government Offices & Authorities: 


Medical Information:
Medical facilities are limited on the islands, and it is strongly recommended that travelers must have emergency medical evacuation insurance. We also suggest that travellers bring their own medication for common ailments as well as any prescription medication needed. Operator (Emergency Dials &VHF): Police 192, Police VHF Ch.12, Hospital VHF Ch.10 
 

Shopping: Shopping is limited in the Northern Line Islands however you will find more variety and shops on Kiritimati Island. Popular shops on Kiritimati include JMB, Punjas Limited, San BJ Enterprises, Betty Trading, TaratiPlaza, and other convenient shops. 
 

VAT: Kiribati charges 12.5% goods & service tax. 
 

VISA & Travelling Requirements: Citizens from most from countries such as the USA, Australia, NZ, Canada,France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and UK can travel to Kiritimati Island without a VISA for a period of 30 days, except for nationals from other countries who are not listed in the Kiribati VISA-waiver list will require a visa to travel. For more Visa Information, visit: https://www.mfa.gov.ki/immigration/ 
 

Visitor Fees: US$50 per angler, payable at Cassidy Airport upon arrival at Kiritimati. US$50 per angler is also payable at the Island Council office in Fanning Island.

*Information kindly provided by the Tourism Authority of Kiribati

Discover Kiritimati - Christmas Island

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Things to do in Kiritimati

Today Kiritimati Island is a popular international tourism destination for world-class salt water fly fishing. Birdwatching, diving, surfing, and lagoon tours are also popular recreational activities for travellers visiting the atoll.

Fishing Paradise

Discover fishing nirvana on Kiritimati Island. From bonefish to giant trevally, this Pacific haven offers endless angling opportunities. Expert guides enhance the experience, while well-equipped gear and stunning landscapes ensure memorable fishing. Dive into the azure depths and wrestle with nature's finest. Plan your escape and cast your lines in Kiritimati's captivating waters.

Birdwatching

Kiritimati Island is a Pacific seabird sanctuary, houses 18 bird species, including the endemic Christmas Island Warbler. It shelters endangered Phoenix and White Throated Storm Petrels. With nine protected zones, Kiritimati prioritizes breeding and nesting. The Kiribati Ministry ensures undisturbed breeding grounds. Seabirds flourish year-round, peaking in June and December.

Surfing

Exclusivity is guaranteed. Kiritimati offers a 5km stretch of points, reefs, and channels for surfers between London village and Paris point. It features 24 waves, active from October to March. Swell arrives a day or two after Hawaii's, with a 6'-10' clean face following an 8'-12' swell at Sunset Beach. Two-thirds of breaks are user-friendly with deep channels and soft reef bottoms, while the rest are for experienced surfers due to rough coral

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is possible all year on Kiritimati Island, with optimal conditions from April to November. Explore untouched waters, vibrant coral ecosystems, and abundant marine life in the world's largest coral atoll. Diving options include shore diving and snorkeling, guided by staff to known and hidden spots, and boat diving & snorkeling on custom outrigger canoes. The reef is narrow from shore, leading to a wall with pelagic fish. &

Where to stay in Kiritimati

Kiritimati has a number of accommodation options.

Sunset Horizon Fishing Lodge

Beachfront location, ideal for business and leisure. Address: KPC Ronton Village, Kiritimati, Kiribati Phone: +68673091215, Email [email protected]

Lagoon View Resort


Family-run hotel by the lagoon, white sand, shaded lounging. Address: Tabwakea Village, Republic of Kiribati Phone: +686 63019466 Email: [email protected]

Adventure Dive and Fishing Lodge

Cozy family-run lodge, clean shared rooms, private bathrooms, near marina. Email: [email protected]

The Villages Hotel

Offers 10 air-conditioned bungalows on Discovery Beach, Tabakea Village. Overlooking the atoll's lagoon, it's perfect for fishing and scuba diving enthusiasts. Twin-bed setup, accommodating up to 16 guests. https://bit.ly/3OszI7Q

 

Ikari House

12 guest rooms, each with twin or king-size beds, air-conditioning, and ensuite bathrooms with hot & cold water. Address: Ronton, Kiritimati, Line Islands, Kiribati Phone: +68675381110, +68675125598

If you need any assistance with booking flights or have any questions, please call reservations +61 7 32296455 or email us at [email protected]

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