Norfolk Island has been described as the “most photogenic place in the world, with a picture around every corner”. For many, this is a gross understatement of the beauty of this island, which measures just eight kilometres long by five kilometres wide. Hoot Holidays’ Holiday Champion, shares his thoughts on why you should discover this little but lovely Pacific Island for yourself.
Norfolk Island is located just 1400 kilometres east of Australia and is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, which means that, for Australians, no passports are required as long as you are travelling with photo ID (although you can still take advantage of the duty-free shopping at Sydney and Brisbane airports).
As Australia’s second oldest settlement outside of Sydney Cove, the island is a source of fascination for anyone who’s interested in history – particularly in Australia’s convict past. The Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area was once the site of buildings such as military barracks, the officers’ quarter and two convict gaols, and many of the buildings are still standing in varying states of repair. The entire site has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well worth a visit to gain an insight into the brutal conditions that the convicts endured here.
The stunning crescent of white sand that surrounds neighbouring Emily Bay Lagoon has been rated one of the top twenty beaches of the world by Trip Adviser. Take a mask and snorkel with you and marvel at the magnificent coral and marine life which is just a few metres’ swim from the often-deserted beach.
Just a stone’s throw from Emily Bay, the Norfolk Island Golf Club has got to be one of the most picturesque in the South Pacific, with breath-taking views across the dark blue waters to Nepean and Phillip Islands. As if the view alone didn’t lend the Club enough prestige, how many other golf clubs in the world have had their visitor book signed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Lord Mountbatten and Princess Anne? And yet, green fees cost just $80 for a week’s play.
Meanwhile, up the hill in Burnt Pine, the Lawn Bowling Club’s claim to fame is that among its 40 members, they have one former world champion. Groups of bowlers from all over Australia converge on Norfolk Island every September to play in the club’s annual Pacific Triples Bowls Tournament. It’s also home to the Bowling Club Bistro, where you’ll find great value meals and a welcoming atmosphere.
If you’re still looking for more action and adventure, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Sea kayaking, horse riding, deep sea fishing, bushwalking, surfing, snorkelling… If you’re looking for some downtime, book yourself in for a massage or a yoga class, indulge in a little retail therapy or simply take your pick from one of the secluded beaches and chill out with a good book.
- Posted in Other destinations