Everyone has valid inquiries about their holiday destination. Cocos Dive have collated a number of frequently asked questions with their responses to assist with making your diving holiday one to remember. Cocos Dive would appreciate you contacting them if they have omitted questions that you feel are important and should be added to assist other divers visiting Cocos.
Q: I am an Australian citizen. Do I need a passport to visit Cocos and / or Christmas Islands?
A: A passport is not necessary – it is advisable. However you MUST carry some form of photographic identification.
Q: I am not an Australian citizen. What documents do I need to visit the Islands?
A: You definitely need a passport and any documentation / visas proving legal entry / residency into Australia.
Q: I am an overseas visitor, what do I need?.
A: Normal Australian visa requirements apply for persons wishing to visit Cocos from overseas.
Q: What am I permitted to bring to Cocos?
A: Most food, fresh fruit & vegetables purchased in Perth from supermarkets are permitted. They must be declared and maybe inspected. If found to be diseased or invested with insects then they will be seized. Fresh food from Christmas Island is prohibited.
Q: Are there weight restrictions when travelling to Cocos with Virgin Australia.
A: Normal conditions / restrictions as per Virgin Australia’s conditions. CLICK HERE to visit Virgin Australia
Q: What am I permitted to take from Cocos to the mainland?
A: Full Customs & Quarantine arrival procedures apply just like if you were returning from any overseas country.
NB: The selling or purchase of shells or coral is prohibited without a permit. Beach collected (dead) shells are also prohibited, however they may be permitted entry if declared and found to be odour and insect free. For more information re Customs, Quarantine or Immigration issues contact Cocos Islands Australian Federal Police: +61 8 9162 6600
Q: Is there a doctor or health service available on the island?
A: Yes. Both Home Island & West Island have a clinic. A doctor is based on Home Island and visits West Island twice a week. On call nurses are available 24 hours a day for emergencies.
Q: In the case of a diving emergency, is there a hyperbaric chamber on the island?
A: Should anyone have the misfortune to suffer a diving incident and require recompression, the closest chamber is either Perth or Singapore. For this reason Cocos Dive insists on safe and responsible diving practices. We recommend you take out a comprehensive travel insurance as well as DAN cover. Medicare does provide cover for Australian citizens and residents of countries that have recipricol cover with Australia.
Q: Is the Islands’ water safe to drink?
A: Yes. The fresh water lens filters through the sand and then gathered via a reverse type soaker. It is then collected and pumped into the town’s storage tanks where it receives mild chlorination.
Q: Do I need to bring cash or are there EFTPOS facilities?
A: Most of the smaller traders have EFTPOS or major credit cards facilities (except Diners & AMEX), including the Cocos Club, Tropika Restaurant and West Island Supermarket. This is an ATM located in the Community Resource Centre with limited funds so it is advisable to carry a small amount of cash. Currency is Australian dollars. Small notes and $1 & $2 coins are always welcome.
Q: Is there a mobile phone service on Cocos?
A: Cocos has its own unique mobile service. Not all phones will connect to our system. Contact the CIIA office in the Admin building.
Q: Is there an internet service available:
A: Yes, Cocos is serviced by a local internet provider, CIIA. The Community Resource Centre, located in the Administration building on West Island provides a public internet service.
Q: What power supply is available?
A: Cocos has a continuous power supply that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Standard Australian 3-pin plug is used on all outlets. Current is 240v 50Hz.
Q: Is there a time difference?
A: Yes. Cocos (Keeling) Islands is GMT +6.5 hours and 1.5 hours behind Perth, 0.5 hours behind Christmas Island and 3.5 hours behind the eastern states of Australia. Remember to add an extra hour during Australian daylight saving periods. Cocos (Keeling) Islands does not use daylight saving.
Q: Do Western Australia’s road rules apply to Cocos?
A: YES. Seatbelts must be worn at all times, as do motor cycle and push bike helmets. Failure to do so will incur a fine and loss of points. The speed limit through town is 30km and on the “highway” 50km.