Cocos (Keeling) Islands

 
Category:   World Travel Directory  :  Asia  :  Cocos Islands
 
The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, also called Cocos Islands and Keeling Islands, is a territory of Australia. There are two atolls and twenty-seven coral islands in the group. The islands are located in the Indian Ocean, about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands consist of two flat, low-lying coral atolls with an area of 14.2 square kilometres (5.5 sq mi), 2.6 kilometres (1.6 mi) of coastline, a highest elevation of 5 metres (16 ft) and thickly covered with coconut palms and other vegetation.

In 1609 Captain William Keeling was the first European to see the islands, but they remained uninhabited until the nineteenth century, when they became a possession of the Clunies-Ross Family.

In 2007, there are an estimated 596 inhabitants of the islands. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island (est. pop. 120) and the ethnic Malays on Home Island (est. pop. 500). A Cocos dialect of Malay and English are the main languages spoken and 80% of Cocos Islanders are Sunni Muslim.
The capital of the Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands is West Island while the largest settlement is the village of Bantam (Home Island). Governance of the islands is based on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955 and depends heavily on the laws of Australia.  Source


Cocos Island Facts

Population: 6 hundred

Capital: West Island

Currency: Australian dollar

Area: 14 km2

Language: English

Main Religion: Muslim

Calling Code: +61

Time Zone: GMT + 12

Main Cities: Bantam Village, West Island