What Is the Capital of Cocos (Keeling) Island?

The flag of Cocos (Keeling) Island.
The flag of Cocos (Keeling) Island.

West Island is the capital of the Australian territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The territory constitutes two atolls in addition to 27 coral islands of which only two are inhabited namely Home Island and West Island. The term Cocos denotes the plentiful coconut trees which form a dense jungle in West Island as well as in some other islands. In November 2013, it became common knowledge that the Australian Signals Directorate has an operating listening station on the island.

History Of The Capital City Of Cocos Island

John Clunies-Ross sailed to the islands in 1825 via Borneo and named them the Borneo Coral Isles. The English merchant by the name of Alexander Hare was among the first Europeans to settle in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in 1826. The Clunies-Ross dynasty ruled the islands for decades and facilitated the coconut growing and processing industry. Cyclones regularly damaged the industry, and it ended in 1987. The plenty of coconut palms bear testament to the once thriving trade. West Island was included in the extensive Clunies-Ross plantation. The Islands were not spared of the two World Wars, and an airstrip was constructed in West Island during the 2nd World War. The inhabitants of the Cocos Islands voted to be part of Australia's territory in 1984.

Climate Of The Capital of Cocos Island

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands experiences a tropical monsoon climate as the archipelago is situated in the midway between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Equator. The wettest month is noted as April as precipitation reaches 9.84 inches (250.0 mm). The precipitation in October is 2.00 inches (50.9 mm) making it the driest month. In March, the average high temperature is recorded at 29.8 degrees Celsius making it the hottest month. The coolest month is August when the average low temperature is 23.6 degrees Celsius.

Demographics Of West Island

The capital city of Cocos Island, with an estimated population of 120, is the less populated of the two inhabited islands since Home Island has about 500 residents. Most of West Island’s residents are Australian expats who work in different sectors of the island. The inhabitants of West Island are mainly Europeans. A Cocos dialect of English and Malay is used while about 80% residents of the inhabitants of the Cocos Islands adhere to Sunni Islam.

Tourism In West Island

West Island is home to an airport which receives two flights from Perth of the Virgin Australia airline which enable tourists to get in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Tourists have an option of several activities to indulge in West Islands. One can, for example, rent a bike and ride through the paths running through the island's dense jungle of coconut plantations. A glass bottom boat will enable a tourist to sight colorful coral reefs, manta rays, sharks, and other sea creatures. Trannie Beach is among the island's most favored swimming beaches, and one can feed sharks and spot manta rays and turtles at the Old Jetty. The Trade Wind season between July and October attracts windsurfers and kitesurfers from various regions of the world. Hotels in West Island provide tourist accommodation while a general store stocks products for the inhabitants and visitors.


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