Oceania House is the most important heritage building in the Indian Ocean Territories of Australia - if not the whole of the Indian Ocean.
The majestic two-storey house was built in 1887 by George Clunies-Ross, the third generation of the Clunies-Ross family to administer the island and estate. George was a remarkable man with a huge imagination and ability to carry out his plans. After attending Edinburgh University, George returned to Cocos Island with plans to upgrade production methods within the copra industry and with a plan to build a home which would be the ancestral home to his family for generations to come. Shiploads of bricks were brought from Glasgow in Scotland and 3 tons of enormous teak timbers were purchased from Singapore and brought on to Cocos in his small sailing schooners. The finished project was and is an absolute credit to this dynamic man, George Clunies-Ross.
Unfortunately, between the 1960s and the 1980s the outside of the house was modified considerably, but luckily much of the integrity of the house is still intact today. Inside, the house maintains much of its original character and charm. The large, spacious, timber-panelled rooms cross the boundaries of time, back to the late 19th Century.
Oceania House is now one of the premium accommodation packages available to visitors to Cocos Island. Experience the charm of yesterday in one of our beautifully decorated Victorian Bedrooms, dine in style with other guests and your hosts, Lloyd and Avril for your evening meals, take breakfast on the Terrace overlooking the lagoon waters and start your day with a fresh swim just meters from your doorstep.
Experience the luxury of this grand mansion. Do not miss this opportunity if you are visiting the Cocos Islands.
Cocos Island - A Tropicl Paradise
Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located just 12 degrees south of the equator and directly in the path of the South East Trade Winds. Located as they are, they benefit from the beautiful, cooling trade winds for most of the year - and bask in a temperature between 24 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius - making it dream conditions most of the time.
The lagoon literally teems with multi-coloured tropical fish swimming amongst some of the most beautiful coral outcrops in the world and put this together with the crystal-clear waters, makes Cocos Island an ideal place for snorkelling or diving - both of which are easily accessible within the lagoon itself.
Cocos Island is a fisherman/woman's dream. A large variety of fish are easily caught from the ocean shore or from the edge of the lagoon itself, or one of the locals will take you out in a boat to the deeper and exclusive 'blue holes'. If you love fish, but aren't much into catching and cleaning them, then fresh fish is available for sale from the locals as well.
Days spent exploring other smaller islands can be accessed by a luxurious motorised canoe trip complete with a champagne breakfast or our local fishing guide will take you to the favourite feeding spot of the turtles in the lagoon. During his trip around the lagoon, you can fish, swim or snorkel amongst the turtles. What's more, you can keep any fish you catch.
Kite-surfing in the season as well as trips in a traditional Jukon (sailing boat) or catamaraning are also popular activities.
History at your Fingertips
Although such a tiny place, literally not more than a rock and a coconut, Cocos Island has a colourful, romantic and sometimes tragic history. Oceania House is located on Home Island, slightly set apart from the local village (Kampong).
The local Cocos Malay people are a unique blend of traditional Malay and Javenese people who for near 200 years existed in isolation from the rest of the world. Not until the 1970s did the people have the ability to go to and fro from their island home and experience life in the wider world. This background forged a people whose family life and traditions are closely knitted together, a people holding on to their culture whilst at the same time, making inroads into the fast-lane of the 21st Century world of today.
Visitors to Oceania House have the unique opportunity of getting to know the Cocos Malay people, sharing their food and history and enjoying their hospitality.
Learning about the history of the islands, the early days, the Cable Station on Direction Island, Cocos' important role in 2 world wars and the transition of their people into the modern world makes fascinating and interesting exploration.