Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.
— Thomas Fuller, 1608 - 1661

Cocos Islands


Cocos Islands

There are 27 coral islands in the group. Captain William KEELING discovered the islands in 1609, but they remained uninhabited until the 19th century. From the 1820s to 1978, members of the CLUNIE-ROSS family controlled the islands and the copra produced from local coconuts. Annexed by the UK in 1857, the Cocos Islands were transferred to the Australian Government in 1955. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island and the ethnic Malays on Home Island.


The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands (or simply Cocos Islands or Keeling Islands) is in the middle of the Indian Ocean some 2750km north-west of Perth, and 900km west south-west of Christmas Island.

For information on Cocos Island a nationally protected jungle-covered island and national park, 300m off the coast of Costa Rica. please see Cocos Island National Park.

Read more about Cocos Islands in our Cocos Islands travel guide »

Featured journals from

Cocos Islands

There's nothing here yet...

but you might be interested in journals from these countries:
Australia, Christmas Island, New Zealand, Norfolk Island

Cocos Islands

Full name
Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands
West Island

Southeastern Asia, group of islands in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Indonesia, about halfway from Australia to Sri Lanka

Geographic coordinates

12 30 S, 96 50 E

Area comparative

about 24 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC


26 km


tropical with high humidity, moderated by the southeast trade winds for about nine months of the year


flat, low-lying coral atolls

Lowest point

Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point

unnamed location 5 m

Natural resources



596 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Europeans, Cocos Malays


Sunni Muslim 80%, other 20% (2002 est.)


Malay (Cocos dialect), English

Government type



none (territory of Australia)

National holiday

Australia Day, 26 January (1788)

Chief of state

Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952); represented by the Australian governor general

Head of government

Administrator (nonresident) Brian LACY (since 5 October 2009)

Internet country code



1 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Port Refuge

Other countries in the region