The capital of Christmas Island is known as "The Settlement". For many island residents, life centres around Flying Fish Cove, its port, jetty and the towering presence of the loading dock and buildings owned by Christmas Island Phosphates.
Christmas Island is very much an Australasian nation. It may be governed by Australia, but it's roots lie in the short but eventful years of colonial rule. To really see each of the town and their inherent cultural differences and similarities, take time to explore. If you can, walking tours will give the best opportunities to see all the sites of historical importance.
Christmas Island is made up of a cluster of small communities, influenced equally by the past and the potential future.
Despite a background typical of European discovery and colonisation, this tiny island is possibly one of the worlds' most multicultural. People have come from Singapore, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and India. Indigenous Cocos Malays cover over in the early days of colonisation and in recent years, people have come from England, Wales, Italy and Switzerland. There's even a few Australians thrown in for good measure. This is a very thorough melting pot.
For visitors, its both a surprise and an absolute pleasure to see so many ethnic groups co-existing peacefully. There is a level of tolerance and co-operation between these groups that you see rarely, if at all, in the world.
The mixture also makes for an interesting holiday. Although the ethnic groups tend to cluster into one town or another, this is more of a habitual stance than a political one. You can see this on festival days when all the island's residents are happy to share an enjoy each others cultures. Whenever a holiday comes around - and there is virtually one every month - almost everyone takes part. Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Christmas Day are events that give equal cause for celebration.