Discover Norfolk Island - South Pacific’s Tranquil Paradise
NorfolkIsland is unique amongst Pacific Islands because of its terrain, history and people.
The shoreline is rocky and rugged with ocean rollers pounding the cliffs, and its rolling green hills are reminiscent of England.
Several sandy beaches offer access to the surf, and there’s a romantic lagoon with a coral reef that offers excellent diving.
Located about 1,610 kilometers East-Northeast (ENE) of Sydney, Norfolk Island is volcanic in nature and has a total area of 3,455 hectares, one-third of which is national parks and reserves.
There are two smaller islands lying to the south of Norfolk: Nepean and Phillip, both of which are uninhabited.
The small township of Norfolk has a population of some 2,000 permanent residents made up of:
- New Zealanders
- descendants of the Pitcairn Islanders
However, there can be up to a thousand visitors in Norfolk Island even though government legislation had set a limit to a number allowed at any one time.
Most of the residents of Norfolk Island are descendants of English sailor Fletcher Christian (1764-1793) and the Bounty mutineers, a unique mix of English and Tahitians.
English is the official language but the locals also speak Norfolk, a mixture of 18th century west country English, with a dash of Tahitian and Gaelic, developed on Pitcairn Island.
Discovered by British explorer Captain James Cook (1728-1779) in 1774, he liked it so much he named the island in honor of Mary Howard (1701/2-1773), the 9th Duchess of Norfolk.
With the foundation of Sydney Cove in 1788, Norfolk became the second oldest British settlement and was set up as a penal colony.
By 1810, more than a quarter of the island had been cleared, but because it lacked a suitable safe harbor, it was abandoned in 1814, and its convicts sent to Van Diemen’s Land (now the island of Tasmania).
In 1825, Norfolk Island was resettled as a penal colony and became renowned for its brutality.
Labored to establish the colony, building the prison, military barracks, boat sheds, crank mill, salt house, and official residences, which still stand today, were beautifully restored. This settlement was finally closed in 1856.
The current community is made up of descendants of the Bounty who petitioned Queen Victoria (1819-1901) when Pitcairn became too small to hold their growing numbers.
In 1914, the island was placed under the authority of Australia, and in 1979, it was empowered to elect its own parliament.
Home of the Norfolk pine, the largest of these magnificent trees is 57 meters tall and has a girth of 11 meters.
There is a prolific bird life. In the lagoon and open reefs, there are more than 100 varieties of hard and soft corals.
One-third of Norfolk Island’s land mass is:
- national parks
There’s a specially designed waste disposal area so no harm is done to the ecosystem.
Nearby at Phillip and Nepean islands are large bird sanctuaries that have been left untouched.
Aside from the historical Kingston and the historical chapel of St. Barnabas, you can also visit:
- Emily Bay
- Mt. Bates
- Mt. Pitt
- the tombstones in Kingston’s cemetery
There is horse-riding and bushwalking along rugged cliff tops, trails where lemons and mandarins grow wild.
Explore Norfolk Island on a 4-wheel-drive tour and fish in waters off Phillip Island, where people have been known to catch four fish on one line.
Clear night skies are a stargazer’s delight.
There are 56 accommodation houses in Norfolk Island.
They range from small, intimate guesthouses to medium resort-style hotels.
There are also serviced and self-serviced self-contained apartments and cottages.
Norfolk Island has no public transport.
Car hire is reasonable and motor scooters and bush bikes are also available here.
Taxis are limited.
There are no nightclubs in Norfolk Island.
However, some of the hotels have live bands and there are numerous theme nights. There are more than 20 restaurants and nine take-away bars.
Norfolk is a sporting paradise, so there is golf, bowls, tennis, swimming, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, horse-riding, bushwalking, and windsurfing.
You can also play target shooting.
Local importers pay a low import duty on goods and there is no sales tax.
You can pick up bargains in Norfolk Island on cigarettes, alcohol, jewelry, porcelain, perfume, cameras, cosmetics, knitwear, shoes, electronics, and other luxury goods.
Despite its colorful and even blood thirsty history, Norfolk Island is now a tranquil haven for diving visitors.
Bounty Divers operate out of Kingston to the semi tropical reefs and bays found around the island. Rocky reefs, caves, and arches complement hard coral reefs and walls.
Sydney Bay is a short stroll from Kingston, with ample opportunities to snorkel or dive with the myriad colorful reef fish flitting about the vibrant coral gardens.
Boat dives to the offshore reefs and rocky outcrops reward the scuba diver with convoluted reefs coated with hard corals and swirling schools of reef fish.
Huge grouper, masses of schooling kingfish, molten flows of silver trevally and curtains of big eyes filling every cave are all common sights around historic Norfolk Island.
- Climate:Subtropical. Winter averages 19 degrees Celsius. Summer averages 24 degrees Celsius.
- Clothing:Casual clothing, good walking shoes. Warmer clothes are needed for winter evenings.
- Electricity:240 volts AC 60 cycles
- Time Zone:GMT +11.5 hours or AEST + 1.5 hours
- Currency:Australian Dollars
- Tipping:Not customary
Visas And Health:
- A 30-day permit is granted on arrival.
- A 25-dollar departure fee is payable upon leaving Norfolk Island. Children under 16 years of age are exempted.
- International businesses need multiple Australian visa.
- Australian visitors require either a valid passport or a certificate of identity.
- Norfolk Jet Express from Sydney and Brisbane, flight west from Brisbane and Sydney.
- Air New Zealand from Auckland
The Colonial is a charming resort featuring, as its name suggests, colonial architecture and décor.
Nestled in beautifully landscaped grounds, handy to Norfolk Island’s tax-free shopping center, it’s the perfect place to stay during your sojourn to this unique part of the South Pacific.
Accommodation at The Colonial is in a range of rooms, all of which have modern conveniences, including ceiling fans, color TV, direct dial telephone, clock/radio, refrigerator and coffee/tea making facility.
Children up to 12 years of age stay free and there’s a guest laundry.
The Colonial of Norfolk is home to one of the island’s finest restaurants, Annabelles. It also has a cocktail bar and a coffee shop for light snacks.
Regular theme nights offer varied cuisine, and the hotel’s conference and function facilities can cater to up to 150 guests.
Other amenities that will enhance your stay on Norfolk Island include the swimming pool, barbecue areas, tour information, a lobby shop, postal service, and more.
The Colonial of Norfolk provides all the little comforts of home, leaving you free to enjoy the traditions and hospitality of this historic piece of the Pacific.
The gorgeous Norfolk Island is waiting for you.