Cocos Keeling Island, Australia

Cocos Keeling Island is fast emerging as Australia’s most exciting fly fishing destination

Cocos Keeling Island is located just 4 1/2 hours from Perth where you can touch down on this amazing tropical atoll in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The atoll comprises approximately 14 square kilometres of lagoon to explore, so you won’t run out of options. ​​The main draw card for the Cocos Keeling Island are the massive bonefish to be found there. Fish in excess of 70 cm are a regular feature but don’t be surprised to have shots at much bigger models. Fish over a meter long are often sighted and are serious possibility.​ Bonefish are just the start though as it is also possible to target permit, triggerfish, milkfish, big giant trevally and many other species.

The bonefish of Cocos Island are big

Expect to find the bonefish average size fish in the 4 – 6 lbs class and don’t be surprised to see fish much bigger than that. Cocos Island offers a very real chance of encountering a monster bonefish. The fishery also offer three main species of trevally for the fly fisher. Up in the skinny water small golden trevally haunt the same grounds as bonefish. Out on the reefy edges bluefin trevally are common and can often be seen from a distance as their electric blue glow in the sunlight. Finally, big giant trevally can turn up anywhere, anytime. If you want the chance the wrestle with one of these Island brutes, we suggest you bring the heavy gear along.

There are several species of triggerfish here, but of most interest to the travelling fly fisher are the yellow margins and mighty titans. These fish inhabit the reefy edges and flats but will also occasionally sneak in over the sand for a feed. These fish are super shy, very fussy and once hooked, have a very bad attitude! Then there are the silver bullets. Take your average Silver biddy then jack him up on steroids and you have what the local’s fondly call the “silvery”. These fish inhabit and feed along the same flats as the bonefish and provide a welcome bend in the rod between the bonefish chaos. If you’re looking for some lightweight fun bring along the light gear and have a blast.


Permit also inhabit the lagoon in small schools and can occasionally be seen alongside bonefish whilst grazing over the grassy flats. Numbers of permit are not huge but strong enough to provide a very real chance at an encounter. You’ll never know what you will encounter on an unspoilt tropical paradise. Anything is possible, so be ready for some surprises.

Here’s a few you are likely to encounter:

Accommodation in a stunning colonial house

Accommodation for fisherman is on Home Island at the stunning Oceania House, one of the most important heritage buildings in the Indian Ocean territories. Built in 1887, to be the ancestral home of the Clunies-Ross family this magnificent house is located within the surrounds of a 12 acre botanical garden, only meters from the edge of the lagoon and a short walk from the  Cocos-Malay Kampgong. 

The typically colonial house is majestically finished in wood panelling and furnished with beautiful antiques that complement the building and complete the old-world, colonial setting. Oceania House offers a truly luxurious way to wind down a day on the flats. There are four bedrooms, each decorated with its own unique style.

Getting to Cocos Keeling Island

Situated 2,750 km northwest of Perth, Western Australia, the Cocos Keeling Islands are a group of coral islands that form two atolls. Only two of the 27 islands are inhabited – the rest are waiting for you to explore them.

There are regular flights on Virgin Australia from Perth, although the return leg stops at Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) on the return.

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