West Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands

West Island (Malay: Pulau Panjang, Cocos Islands Malay: Pulu Panjang), part of the South Keeling Islands, is the capital of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian external territory in the Indian Ocean. The population is roughly 120, making it the third smallest capital in the world, and consists mainly of Europeans. It is less populous than Home Island, the only other inhabited island.

West Island
Native name:
Malay: Pulau Panjang
Cocos Malay: Pulu Panjang
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, showing West Island
West Island is located in Cocos (Keeling) Islands
West Island
West Island
West Island in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Geography
LocationIndian Ocean
Coordinates12°11′13″S 96°49′42″E / 12.18694°S 96.82833°E / -12.18694; 96.82833
ArchipelagoCocos (Keeling) Islands
Area6.23 km2 (2.41 sq mi)
Administration
Australia
External territory of AustraliaAustralian Indian Ocean Territories
TerritoryCocos (Keeling) Islands
Capital cityCanberra
Demographics
Population120
Languages
Additional information
Time zone

West Island was part of the Clunies-Ross plantation and an airstrip was built here during World War II. As well as all the government buildings, it contains the airport, a general store and tourist accommodation. In November 2013 it was revealed that the Australian Signals Directorate operates a listening station on West Island.[1]

Education edit

Cocos Islands District High School operates a primary and secondary campus on West Island. Most of the students of that campus originate from the Australian continent.[2]

Heritage listings edit

West Island contains a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Climate edit

West Island experiences a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen: Af, Trewartha: Aral), with hot and humid conditions experiences year round. The islands experience two seasons that often overlap: the trade wind season from May/June to September/October, and the calmer doldrum season from November through to May.[13] Precipitation is moderate to high year round, thanks to its position at the southern edge of the equatorial low pressure belt. North-west monsoons deliver rain during the doldrum, while the southeastern trade winds also give rain for much of the year.[14] Cyclones have the potential to seriously effect the flora and fauna on the island. The 1989-90 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season caused damage to the islands, with Tropical Cyclone Walter hitting the island around the 13th of March 1990.[15] Extreme temperatures, however, are subdued by the influence of the Indian Ocean. Extremes only range from 32.8 °C (91.0 °F) on 23 February 2017 to 20.4 °C (68.7 °F) on 27 December 2018.

Climate data for Cocos Island Airport (1991-2020 normals, extremes 1998-present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 32.2
(90.0)
32.8
(91.0)
32.7
(90.9)
32.8
(91.0)
31.6
(88.9)
30.9
(87.6)
30.3
(86.5)
30.6
(87.1)
30.1
(86.2)
31.0
(87.8)
31.1
(88.0)
31.6
(88.9)
32.8
(91.0)
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 30.1
(86.2)
30.2
(86.4)
30.2
(86.4)
30.0
(86.0)
29.5
(85.1)
28.8
(83.8)
28.3
(82.9)
28.1
(82.6)
28.3
(82.9)
28.8
(83.8)
29.2
(84.6)
29.5
(85.1)
29.2
(84.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) 27.7
(81.9)
27.8
(82.0)
27.9
(82.2)
27.9
(82.2)
27.5
(81.5)
26.9
(80.4)
26.4
(79.5)
26.2
(79.2)
26.3
(79.3)
26.7
(80.1)
27.1
(80.8)
27.2
(81.0)
27.1
(80.8)
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 25.2
(77.4)
25.4
(77.7)
25.5
(77.9)
25.7
(78.3)
25.5
(77.9)
25.0
(77.0)
24.4
(75.9)
24.3
(75.7)
24.4
(75.9)
24.6
(76.3)
24.9
(76.8)
24.9
(76.8)
25.0
(77.0)
Record low °C (°F) 21.0
(69.8)
21.8
(71.2)
21.8
(71.2)
21.9
(71.4)
21.2
(70.2)
22.2
(72.0)
20.6
(69.1)
20.9
(69.6)
20.9
(69.6)
21.2
(70.2)
21.6
(70.9)
20.4
(68.7)
20.4
(68.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 151.7
(5.97)
207.1
(8.15)
239.4
(9.43)
249.3
(9.81)
187.7
(7.39)
187.3
(7.37)
180.9
(7.12)
102.4
(4.03)
86.2
(3.39)
84.8
(3.34)
89.7
(3.53)
121.4
(4.78)
1,886.6
(74.28)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 10.2 12.2 15.4 14.1 13.9 13.9 14.7 11.1 8.4 6.2 6.3 8.6 135.0
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[16]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Dorling, Philip (1 November 2013). "Listening post revealed on Cocos Islands". Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
  2. ^ Home. Cocos Islands District High School. Retrieved on 8 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Administration Building Forecourt (Place ID 105356)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Direction Island (DI) Houses (Place ID 105358)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Government House (Place ID 105360)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Qantas Huts (former) (Place ID 105354)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  7. ^ "RAAF Memorial (Place ID 105353)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Type 2 Residences (Place ID 105357)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Type T Houses Precinct (Place ID 105408)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  10. ^ "West Island Elevated Houses (Place ID 105359)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  11. ^ "West Island Housing Precinct (Place ID 105223)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  12. ^ "West Island Mosque (Place ID 105219)". Australian Heritage Database. Australian Government. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Weather & Tides | Cocos Keeling Islands". www.cocoskeelingislands.com.au. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Climate - DAWE". www.awe.gov.au. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Tropical Cyclone WALTER". australiasevereweather.com. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Cocos Island Airport Climate". Australian Bureau of Meteorology.