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Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

Home> Countries> Australia/Oceania> Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Country Name

Cocos (Keeling) Islands, The Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

The territory's dual name reflects that the islands have historically been known as either Cocos Islands or the Keeling Islands.


Cocos Islands is an Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean, containing a small archipelago approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka and relatively close to the Indonesian island of Sumatra).

Cocos Islands are part of Southeast Asia and are in the Southern Hemisphere.

The territory consists of two atolls made up of 27 coral islands, of which only two West Island and Home Island are inhabited.


West Island.

Name Meaning

The islands have been called Cocos Islands (from 1622), the Keeling Islands (from 1703), the Cocos–Keeling Islands (since James Horsburgh in 1805), and the Keeling–Cocos Islands (19th century).

Cocos refers to the plentiful coconut trees, while Keeling is William Keeling, who discovered the islands in 1609.


The Cocos (Keeling) Islands flag was adopted on 6 April 2004.

It was designed by territory resident Mohammed Minkom, who won a design contest as a teenager.

The flag consists of a green field, with a palm tree on a gold disc in the canton, a gold crescent moon in the center of the flag, and a gold southern cross on the right side.

The palm tree represents the islands' tropical flora, the crescent represents Islam, the religion of the Cocos Malays who make up a majority of the islands' population; and the Southern Cross is a symbol of Australia and the Southern Hemisphere.


The two official languages in Cocos (Keeling) Islands are Australian English and Cocos Malay. The spoken & written languages are Malay & English.

The dialect spoken by the Cocos Malay people today is an oral language. It contains words that reflect their diverse origins and their history of irregular contact with outsiders. The modern version is given in Bahasa Indonesia/Malay with some adaptation to local usage.


The majority religion in Cocos (Keeling) Islands is Islam accounts for 75% of the population. The large Muslim population is due to the migration of laborers brought to Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island of ethnic Malay and Indonesian origin.

The remaining population considers themselves non-religious about 13.4% with small Christian including Anglican (3.5%) and Catholic (1.5%).


Australian dollar (AUD).

Time Zone

+06:30 GMT.

Government Regime

Directly administered dependency.


The climate of the Cocos (or Keeling) Islands, a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean located 12 degrees south of the Equator, is tropical, with a hotter period from January to April, during which the maximum temperature hovers around 30 °C (86 °F), and a relatively calm period from July to September, during which it drops to around 28 °C (82 °F).

The temperature is very stable, and it practically never gets either cold or very hot. There is a fair amount of sunshine hours even in the wettest months since the tropical rains mainly occur in the form of downpours or thunderstorms, so they usually do not last long. However, the sun shines more often in the driest season.

The best time to visit Cocos Islands corresponds to September and October, since they are, on average, the least rainy of the year. However, some showers should be taken into account also in this period. August is typically an acceptable month as well, although it's a bit rainier.

International Phone Code

+61 891

Internet Code


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