Title: Territory of Christmas Island


Population: 1,843

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Christian Population: 0

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Introduction: Christmas Island is an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean lying south of Java Indonesia. A national park covers most of the 135-sq-km island offering rainforest hikes to wetlands and waterfalls like Hugh's Dale. Native wildlife includes nesting seabirds and the red crab a land species known for its late-fall migration to the sea. The island is ringed with snorkelling and diving reefs.


Overview: Named in 1643 for the day of its discovery the island was annexed and settlement began by the UK in 1888 with the discovery of the island's phosphate deposits. Following the Second World War Christmas Island came under the jurisdiction of the new British Colony of Singapore. The island existed as a separate Crown colony from 1 January 1958 to 1 October 1958 when its transfer to Australian jurisdiction was finalized. That date is still celebrated on the first Monday in October as Territory Day. Almost two-thirds of the island has been declared a national park.

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