Located in the Indian Ocean some 2,600 kilometres northwest of Perth, Christmas Island is the sole peak of an underwater mountain range rising above the ocean’s surface.

The island came under Australian control in 1958, but Australia Post has produced its stamps only since 1993. Over recent years, the Christmas Island Christmas issue has taken a humorous approach to linking the festive theme to the island’s name.

Red Crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) are a familiar sight on Christmas Island, and they make a strong appearance in this Christmas stamp issue. Like dexterous circus performers mimicking a human pyramid, they stack themselves into a Christmas tree in the island’s forested interior. Atop the crab-tree an Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis) is poised, with a string of tinsel in its beak.

In the $1.80 stamp, the comical Red Crabs hail the presence of a tropical, if not also oxymoronic, snowman, this northern hemisphere symbol having been transported to the isle of the sunny south. In creating his tropical snowman, illustrator Stuart McLachlan has enlisted the aid of a Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), upon which a coconut delicately balances, with a Red Crab atop of that.

The other presence in this cast of local characters is the Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi), as seen in the minisheet, its distinctive gular sac inflated and tied with a bow. The Christmas Island stamps were illustrated by NSW-based Stuart McLachlan and comprise one domestic Christmas-rate (65 cent) and one international-rate ($1.80) stamp.

Other associated products include a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, postal numismatic cover, sheetlet of 5 x $1.80 stamps and a foiled sheetlet pack of 10 x 65c self-adhesive stamps.

The 2015 Christmas Island stamp issue is available online (while stocks last) and also at participating Post Offices and via mail order on 1800 331 794.


Stuart McLachlan

Technical specifications

Issue date
30 October 2015
Issue withdrawal date
30 April 2016
1 x 65c, 1 x $1.80
Stamp design
Stuart McLachlan
Product design
Sonia Young, Australia Post Design Studio
Printer - gummed
Tullis Russell
Paper - gummed
RA Print
Paper - self-adhesive
Printing process
Stamp size
26mm x 37.5mm
Minisheet size
135mm x 80mm
14.6 x 13.86
Sheet layout
Module of 50
FDI postmark
Christmas Island, WA 6798
FDI withdrawal date
28 November 2015

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.