Work and Travel in Christmas Island

work and travel in christmas island
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VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN CHRISTMAS ISLAND FOR TRAVELLERS

Contrary to popular belief, Christmas Island isn’t the place where it’s always Christmas. It gets its name because it was discovered on Christmas Day. This is a territory owned by Australia in a remote part of the Indian Ocean. With only 4,000 people living on the island, this is a poor territory with a unique ecosystem.

If you want to work and travel on Christmas Island you’ll be visiting one of the most remote regions of the world. Our travel guide to Christmas Island (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/christmas-island) is going to reveal everything you need to know about this island.

1. Conserve the Flora and Fauna of Christmas Island

Much of the work on Christmas Island revolves around the flora and fauna. The majority of the territory is covered by national park areas. Its location means that it’s become something of a hub for scientists and nature lovers across the globe.

You can play a part in this magical natural landscape when you travel to Christmas Island. Volunteer as a conservationist and you’ll be studying the plants, taking records, and performing general maintenance.

VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR CHRISTMAS ISLAND

Christmas Island operates using the same visa policy as for Australia itself. The only difference is that if you travel to Christmas Island from mainland Australia you don’t need to carry a passport.

Australia has a complex visa system. The eVisa system (https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1/651-) is aimed at the European countries. It’s free to apply online and 90% applications are accepted. It entitles visitors to stay on Australian territory for 90 days. You can also apply for the one-year work visa, if you come from New Zealand, the UK, and Canada.

Bear in mind that Kiwi citizens can travel in Australia without a visa under the Trans-Tasman Agreement.

The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas) is the visa for North Americans, the Japanese, and South Koreans. This is free of charge, except when applied for online. It allows for unlimited visits to Australia for up to 12 months for both work and leisure purposes.

Other nationalities, such as Russians and South Africans, have to apply for an Australian visa to work and travel on Christmas Island from an embassy (https://www.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas/short-term-visas).

SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN CHRISTMAS ISLAND

SPRING WORK

For most of the spring season, you’ll see drier weather. The beginning of spring sees the end of north-west monsoons. We recommend that you arrive after April to avoid the worst of the weather.

To begin the spring season, we recommend that you participate in some of the community development projects on show. With only a single high school on the island, education levels are low. Australia supports Christmas Island through aid packages.

Join a charity and help with developing communities through education and bringing people together. For example, you could teach basic mathematics to young kids or work on Christmas Island in one of the sports camps there.

SUMMER JOBS

For most of the spring season, you’ll see drier weather. The beginning of spring sees the end of north-west monsoons. We recommend that you arrive after April to avoid the worst of the weather.

To begin the spring season, we recommend that you participate in some of the community development projects on show. With only a single high school on the island, education levels are low. Australia supports Christmas Island through aid packages.

Join a charity and help with developing communities through education and bringing people together. For example, you could teach basic mathematics to young kids or work on Christmas Island in one of the sports camps there.

AUTUMN

The autumn season is the best time of year to work in conservation. Work and travel on Christmas Island in autumn and you’ll see the big crab migration.

Hundreds of thousands of red crabs migrate to the beach to lay their eggs in the ocean. You can help to protect them during October and November.

It does help if you have some industry experience, but unskilled volunteers will surely find a role with various groups. It’s one of the most stunning parts of backpacking Christmas Island.

WINTER

Winter is the worst time of year to visit Christmas Island because of the monsoons that begin in November. We don’t recommend travel on Christmas Island during this part of the year.

But if you do decide to come here in winter you should limit yourself to Flying Fish Cove and various education projects there. Refer back to the earlier parts of this travel guide to find out more about that.

ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN CHRISTMAS ISLAND

There are plenty of volunteering opportunities on Christmas Island for travellers who don’t mind working hard. They mainly revolve around conservation projects, and limited roles in the tourist industry.

Just remember that this Australian territory is nothing like the rest of Australia. Be aware that these are poorer people who don’t have many opportunities at home. This should influence whether you decide to work on Christmas Island in unskilled roles.

If you think you have what it takes to work and travel on Christmas Island, what are you waiting for?

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