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Norfolk Island Travel Profile

Norfolk Island is an island in the South Pacific Ocean, administered as part of New South Wales in Australia. It is 1600 km (1000 mi.) east of Sydney and Brisbane and 1000 km (620 mi.) northwest of Auckland.

Towns

Norfolk Island regions map.png
There are two settlements on the island:

Kingston - de facto capital and site of historic buildings
Burnt Pine - the commercial centre

Understand

Norfolk Island was a penal colony for the British colony of New South Wales during the periods 1788–1814 and 1825–1855. In 1856 it was settled by former inhabitants of the second largest of the Pitcairn Islands. The Pitcairn Islanders were descendants of Fletcher Christian and Bounty mutineers, together with Tahitian women. Pitcairn Island was unable to support 200 inhabitants, and Queen Victoria offered them land grants equivalent to less than a third of the the available land on Norfolk Island.

Permanent residents of Norfolk Island are approximately a third of descendants of these Pitcairn Islanders; with the remaining residents split between people from Australia and New Zealand. The permanent population of the island is about 1300 people.

Talk

The official language of Norfolk Island is English and all the islanders speak it. However, among themselves they often use Norfuk, a language derived from the English spoken by the Bounty Mutineers and the Tahitian spoken by their wives. Norfuk is not readily comprehensible by speakers of any variety of English, including Australian or British English — though it's similar to (and, in fact, sometimes considered to be the same language as) Pitkern, spoken on the Pitcairn Islands by fellow descendants of the Bounty Mutineers.

See

Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area
The Australian convict sites are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The major attraction of Kingston is the ruins, predominantly dating from the penal settlement and often functioning as semi-museums with plaques giving a brief explanation of what the building was used for. The old salt house is a particularly picturesque sight and appears on many postcards, however it is far from the only attraction in Kingston.

The other part of Kingston is the houses of Quality Row. These were built for use by the military officers of the penal settlement, and were then used as residences by the Pitcairn settlers after the closure of the penal settlement. Most of these old houses are restored to some degree, with one even functioning as a church with regular worship services.

1 Anson Bay. Short but steep walk down to the beach.
2 Captain Cook's Monument. Nice views of a few small uninhabited islets. This is where the Bridle track starts.
3 Government House, Kingston. 13:00-15:30 (one Wednesday per month). Once a month, the Government House is open to the public. All proceeds go to local charities. 15 AUD.
4 Pier Store, Kingston. 11:00-15:00 Monday to Sunday. History of the Bounty and the mutiny on the lower floor. European settlement of Norfolk on the upper floor. 10 AUD.
5 HMS Sirius Museum, Kingston. 11:00-15:00 Monday to Saturday. Artifacts from the wreck of the HMS Sirius. 10 AUD.
6 House Museum (No. 10 Quality Row), 10 Quality Row, Kingston. 11:00-15:00 Monday to Saturday. Restored house 10 AUD.
7 Commissariat Store, Kingston (Basement of the All Saints church.). 11:00-15:00 Monday to Saturday. Archeological artefacts from the four settlements. 10 AUD.

Do

Kingston is also the site of Emily Bay, the only safe swimming beach on the island. Protected from the Pacific surf by a natural coral reef, Emily Bay is a social location for locals, as well as home to the competing Glass Bottom Boat companies. A trip on one of these boats is highly recommended. Alternatively, snorkelling at low tide is a great way to look at a lot of very colourful fish. Kingston also boasts the oldest cricket pitch in the Southern Hemisphere - and one which is still used regularly by the islanders. There is also a cemetery with graves dating back to the earliest penal times, right through to more recent deaths.

1 National Park. Many walks of various difficulty are available. The Bridle Track is especially beautiful.
2 Bumbora Reserve walk. Easy boardwalk leading to a beautiful bay. (updated May 2015 | edit)
3 Hundred Acres walk.
4 Botanic garden.
5 Phillip Island. Call Dave Bigg to make a booking as soon as you arrive since it depends on weather. $160 per person (4 people minimum).
Norfolk Island Golf Club, Kingston. With a clubhouse housed in a converted Quality Row house, this 9-hole course is famous for having the largest water hazard on earth - the Pacific Ocean, a real risk of taking any balls sliced off the fourth tee. There are frequent competitions for locals and tourists alike, and players of all abilities are welcome to pay the nominal fees to hire clubs and have a social round.