About Norfolk Island

Norfolk is a very small drop in the beautiful expanse of the Pacific Ocean, located less than 3 hours flying time from mainland Australia. Norfolk was discovered by Capt. James cook and then settled by the First Fleet Settlers as a potential food supply to the settlement of Sydney Cove and then later as a harsh penal settlement until the arrival of the descendants of the Bounty mutineers from Pitcairn Island.

Two small uninhabited islands, Nepean and Phillip, lie to Norfolk's south and can be accessed by visitors via a short boat trip and guided tour. The ocean is integral to fully experiencing Norfolk as a holiday destination with it's un-spoilt coral reefs teeming with colourful marine life. The ocean allows spectacular reef surfing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and pristine beaches with golden sands. Emily Bay in Norfolk's lagoon is considered one of the safest swimming beaches in the world!

Immediately you are immersed in an entirely different world, not only because of the density and diversity of experiences or the relaxing slow paced environment Norfolk offers, but because of the quaint nature of the place itself.

A third of Norfolk is covered by subtropical rainforest, bushwalking and mountain biking are popular past times or swap to a saddle and set off on horse back. There's a wide range of tours and world renowned outdoor activities which can introduce you to unique insights of island life. Norfolk will surpass your imagination and take your breathe away, you'll be surprised by the diversity of this hidden gem, come and discover "The World of Norfolk!"

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Popular Regions

This beautiful island with a total area of 3855ha is well inhabited, one third of the island remains as National Parks and is preserved for your clarity.

Kingston is the township founded on Norfolk by the First Settlers. Kingston is the main administrative centre and historical area, it was built on the only flat, sea-level land available on Norfolk. Today the main commercial centre is Burnt Pine.

There is no public transport, so a rental car is the most practical way to get around the island. We understand the need for independence while your holidaying on Norfolk so we include a hire car in our holiday packages unless otherwise stated, a daily insurance cost is payable direct to the hire car company ranging from $15 - $21 per day.

Observe a general speed limit of 50km/hr slowing to 30km/hr in the shopping centre, heritage area at Kingston as well as the School. Cows, geese and other livestock roaming the roads have right of way. Driving is on the left hand side of the road. Locals give a friendly 'Norfolk Wave' to all passing vehicles. We encourage you to do the same.

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People & Customs

Captain James Cook described Norfolk Island in his log book when he discovered the uninhabited island in 1774 simply as "Paradise". The later arrival of the Pitcairn people, descendants of the Bounty Mutineers and their Tahitian wives who settled Pitcairn Island in 1790, provided a fresh dimension to Norfolk Island. Laidback in nature and spontaneously generous when it comes to sharing with visitors whatever they have. Locals have maintained and cultivated their distinctive culture and language and preserved the rich history and natural magnificence of the Island for you to now enjoy and share.

This small but perfectly formed "World" is home to around only 1800 people. In peak tourist season though, the total can reach up to 2800. Sometimes, tourists combined with temporary residents can exceed the local permanent population, but there's plenty of wide open space for everybody to enjoy.

Locals all speak English, of course, you'll also often hear them speaking Norf'k, a unique language derived from the speech of the Bounty Mutineers and their Tahitian wives. It has a lilting quality, and we reckon it's very pleasant on the ear. The United Nations has added Norf'k to its list of endangered languages and this is now taught under the NSW Schooling Curriculum in the Norfolk Island Central School.

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Top Things To Do

Fishing - Let's get one thing straight... we don't bother with "fishing" rather, we call it "catching" The fish seem to leap towards your hook as you throw out a line. They also appear to be fattened for the dinner plate. What's more, you can reel in real delicacies, succulent Sweet Lip (Trumpeter), Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo and Great Southern Marlin, to name a few. No pesky bag limits either.

Golfing - And it's quite a golf course. No part of it is especially difficult, mind you, it is only 9 holes (18-tee PGA rating) and isn't a long walk around. The main challenge is not being distracted by the views from our fairways fringed by azure sapphire seas. Not long ago we were voted as having one of the most spectacular holes in the South Pacific". At the end you'll appreciate the watering hole in the historic Georgian clubhouse.

Snorkeling & Scuba Diving - Norfolks coral reefs are remarkably beautiful and unharmed. They're also remarkably little-known. You'll feel like a pioneering undersea explorer as you weave your way amongst the natural wonders. Not totally confident? Then come along on a guided snorkeling tour with one of our local experts. You'll be exposed to a myriad of stunning fish in the world's clearest waters. Or if you'd prefer staying completely dry, explore from a glass-bottomed boat instead.

Our lagoons and coral reefs are home to over a hundred species of hard and soft coral, submerged in a pristine marine environment. So even if you're just a beginner, immerse yourself in one of the world's most spectacular diving experiences. You'll marvel at the massive schools of fish and sheer rocky walls clad in coral. With dozens of sites and no crowds... often you and your fellow divers will have it all to yourselves!

Sea Kayaking - French explorer La Perouse arrived off Norfolk in 1788 and described it as fit only for angels and eagles, so rugged was the coastline. Our home is a place of dramatic coastal vistas and secret bays, all of which are either a gentle or a tough paddle away. With off-shore islands and haunting rock formations the waters of our world are a sea kayakers' paradise.

Mountain Biking & family Bike Rides - Whether your riding style is extreme or casual you'll find plenty to enjoy on Norfolk terrain. Everything from gentle slopes to heart-in-mouth downhill runs. But wherever you go, you'll find yourself breathless just at the sheer beauty of our panoramic vistas. No need to bring a bike as you can rent good ones at reasonable rates or join a guided tour over the mountain through the National Parks.

Bushwalking - It is a fact that nearly one third of Norfolk is comprised of reserves and parks. You can enjoy a variety of well-signposted walks at your own leisure and pace. You'll see plants and birds you've never seen before. You'll be awed by spectacular panoramas and refreshed by the bracing sea air. It's truly a tonic for the soul. Walks vary in degree of difficulty.

Philip Island Trekking - The boat departs Kingston Jetty at 7.30am taking approximately 15 minutes to reach Phillip Island. Look at as much of the coast as conditions allow, usually a full circumnavigation, and includes highlights such as shear cliffs rising hundreds of meters above the sea and sea caves. Your guide then accompanies you on an informative trek to numerous points of interest on the island before returning to the landing point at Kingston Jetty by lunch. Your fitness levels do have to be up for this challenge.

Bird Watching - Birds are our specialty... Before European settlement, Norfolk was like one big bird sanctuary. Today each Spring, we welcome migratory terns, frigate birds, mutton birds, shearwaters and boobies. Year round, you'll encounter red breasted robin, green parrot, the Nuffka and Boobook Owl. Your eyes and ears will be delighted by many others too.

Museums & History - Incredible museums are housed in buildings constructed by the convicts. They form undoubtedly the finest collection of restored Georgian architecture in the southern hemisphere. You'll marvel at artifacts from HMS Sirius (flagship of the First Fleet, wrecked on Norfolk's reef), which tell the story of the various Norfolk settlements. There's also a fascinating house museum, restored to how it was in 1844.

Gardening - Know those tomatoes you buy, the ones that taste of...nothing at all? Norfolk's are like the ones your grandfather used to grow... Rich, firm, plump, natural like all other produce. For this thank a pristine environment and the skills of Norfolk's farmers of the land. Learn from and be inspired by those on the vanguard of permaculture, exploring the most natural ways to grow food. Here, a 100% sustainable future is in the making!

Tour Package - if you want an experience Norfolk and have your itinerary already in place, a tour package is for you. Choose from dozens of tours with any tour company on Norfolk to pre arrange your perfect holiday. Tours range from dinners in island homes, cliff top sunset performances with island buffets, convict settlement tours, Mutiny on the Bounty reenactments, there's even a horse and carriage ride! Book one or book many the choice is all yours.

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Shopping

Whether you're seeking exquisite perfumes or quality wines, surf labels through to cashmere, frippery or the latest digital technology, world class fishing equipment and top quality knives and kitchen appliences, Norfolk has it all, prepare to max out those credit cards!

Norfolk shops specialise in quality European, Australian, New Zealand and American products that are often less than half mainland pricing, very enticing to visitors.

Not to be missed are the inspirational locally homemade Norfolk gifts. Support the locals and their creations in naturally grown fibre, island pottery, artworks, originally designed fabrics, home-baked cooking, fresh produce as well as unique collections of imported goods at low tax prices.

This all adds up to a fantastic shopping experience and it's all easily accessible at the centrally located Burnt Pine shopping area located at Norfolk's heart.

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When To Go

In a word "comfortable!". Norfolk enjoys the perfect tropical climate, just one of Norfolk's many blessings. Average maximums from 18C - 19C in Winter and 23C - 28C in Summer, cooler of an evening by only a slight breeze. The average rainfall is 1328mm per year, with average humidity in the 74% - 79% range. Wettest months for travel are May to August and the driest tend to fall between November to January... perfect for a day at the beach and under the shade of the famous Norfolk Pines.

Norfolk is 1 hours ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time. Through summertime it's an hour ahead of Sydney and 1 hour behind New Zealand. Daylight saving hasn't been introduced as time passes much more slowly on Norfolk so time doesn't need to be saved.

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What To Pack

Dress is always casual and comfortable you may like to bring some dressier but lightweight clothes for the evening if you are enjoying the local clubs and exceptional restaurants where you can chose to dine inside or outside in the lit gardens.

You will be able to travel light! That includes shirts with short sleeves, shorts, skirts, bathing suits, open-toed shoes, etc. Reef-walkers are great for protecting your feet if you are exploring exposed reefs at low tide. And don't forget a hat!

Year round some travelers can even feel a little cool in the evening, so a lightweight jacket or sweater is handy.

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General Health

Norfolk is free from malaria, yellow fever and major tropical diseases that are endemic to most tropical countries. There is no deadly or highly poisonous spiders, no snakes are to be found along with frogs and other pests. Norfolk Island Hospital provides a dental clinic, pharmacy and 24-hour emergency service. Australian Medicare services do not apply. Fresh drinking waters is readily available, Norfolk is home to fresh springs & unpolluted rainfall. Discuss risks with your doctors before travelling to Norfolk if you have any pre existing medical conditions before you go. Travel Insurance is highly recommended at all times when travelling to Norfolk Island.

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Grown Up Getaways

Ponderosa's Niau Executive Cottages are one bedroom fully self contained cottages and are one of our favourite!

Selwyn Cottage is exclusively yours for your entire stay, equip for adults only this one bedroom fully self contained, modern cottage is your home away from home,offering deluxe accommodation combining modern decor and facilities with soft leather lounges, antique rugs and furnishings with original artworks.

Christian's of Bucks Point, indulge in Norfolk Island's most sought after property which will be exclusively yours, perfect for a romantic escape for two.

Situated on over two acres of land overlooking Ball Bay and Phillip Island, this home awaits you with its warm and peaceful atmosphere, created over many years of island hospitality. Simply relax on the veranda with a bottle of complimentary champagne and enjoy the wonderful ocean view and charming secluded surrounds.

Tintoela's charming new luxury cottages offer the same breathtaking ocean views in more intimate surroundings providing breathtaking ocean views in more intimate surroundings.

Ideal for couples the one and two bedroom cottages feature spacious verandahs perfect for leisurely breakfasts or lazy afternoons. Gaze into the flames of your cozy fireplace or enjoy the seclusion of your private gardens.

ask about the honeymoon package and the following can be awaiting you on complimentary car, bottle of champagne on arrival, gift basket including local chocolates, liqueur & coffee, cheese, crackers, pate & in season fruit, three course dinner for two & a one hour massage for yourselves.

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Family Favourites

Norfolk Island is a secret well kept as "the destination for family friendly fun" because it offers the perfect combination of a tropical paradise, endless free outdoor activities and no large chain resorts.

Here are some of our favourites:

Hibiscus Island Aloha Resort, All 2 bedroom fully self contained apartments in the heart of Norfolk.

Kids will love: The Park with outdoor activities sets, being situated on Taylor's Road in the heart of the main township, the Hibiscus Island Aloha Resort can be great for teenagers, opposite the Norfolk Mall with Ice Cream Bar or the local Skate Park.

Adults will love: The outdoor barbeque area and close proximity to all cafes, restaurants, liquor store and general fashion label boutiques.

Norfolk Holiday Apartments - depending which direction you take there is ample things for your children to discover.

Kids will love: only a short walk away there's amble to do; DVD shop, Norfolk Mall with Ice Cream Bar, local skate and play park. Norfolk Island Central School is a social gathering for children at the Sweeties Lolly Shop and another ice cream bar. Local kids are very friendly and the children will become friends in an instant to join in their fun and games.

Adults will love: bowls, golf, tennis, swimming all close by. Just a short 5 minute drive to the beach and the historic World Heritage listed ruins which you can stroll through for free. Go fishing with a local charter boat and when you come back cook your catch in the great BBQ area.

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Got the info you need? Ready to relax in Norfolk Island?