The British hydrographer, James Horsburgh, in
his 1805 compiled sailing directory for this region of the Indian Ocean,
called them the Cocos-Keeling islands, naming one of the islands
Horsburgh Island, after himself. It wasnt until 1826 before they were
inhabited by Englishman Alexander Hare, who established a settlement on
the main atoll. The next year a Scottish seaman and former employee of
Hare, Captain John Clunies-Ross, settled on another island of the atoll.
The early inhabitants called them the Borneo Coral Reefs after the
supply vessel the Borneo, owned by John and Joseph Hare and Co, and
captained by John Clunies-Ross. Also known as the Keeling-Cocos Islands
until 1955, when they officially became the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Many of the islands are prefixed with Pulu, the Cocos-Malay word for
In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local
tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local
maps and other information.