"Not your standard South Pacific Island" Top 5 Page for this destination Norfolk Island by al2401

Norfolk Island Travel Guide: 91 reviews and 264 photos


The first thing I noticed about Norfolk Island was its size - or lack of it. You can drive from one side of the island along winding roads in about 5 minutes. It has an area of 34.6 kmĀ² and is home to just over 2,000.

The next is that the tallest building is three stories. The third and most important to me is that you have landed in photographer's paradise. There are numerous bays from which to take in the blue Pacific, colonial architecture and ruins and if you are there to coincide with the arrival of 'the ship' you will understand how almost everything on the island is brought ashore and why the basics are expensive.

Duty Free and 'Luxury' shopping is great on Norfolk Island - although an external territory of Australia there are no taxes.


Norfolk Island was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774 and he named it after the Duchess of Norfolk. It was only settled in 1788 when the Governor of New South Wales sent a party to investigate the use of the tall straight Norfolk Pine as ships masts. The party, under Lt. Philip Gidley King R.N., consisted of convicts and guards. The project was a failure and the settlement of Kingston was abandoned in 1814. This was the second ecorded settlement of the island as there had been an earlier inhabitation by Polynesians.

The third period of Norfolk Island history, between 1826 and 1856 saw one of the worst examples of man's inhumanity to his fellow man. Kingston was re-established as a penal colony for viscious criminals and repeat offenders from New South Wales and Tasmania.

The penal colony was abandoned in 1856 and shortly after the island was made an independant settlement for the descendants of the Bounty mutineers whose island home of Pitcairn was unable to support the growing population. These settlers form the core of Norfolk society today.

Light to the Pacific

From 1867 to 1920 the Melanesian Mission operated from Norfolk Island and in 1880 the chapel of St Barnabas was dedicated to the then bishop of Melanesia, Bishop Patterson.

The church is made from rough-hewn stone and massive dark timbers. It is decorated inside with pearl shell mosaics and carvings done by the Solomon Islanders. The ceiling was made by boatbuilders and can be seen to be designed as an upturned boat.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A great range of activities are available given its size
  • Cons:7 days will be enough
  • In a nutshell:A great short restful holiday.
  • Last visit to Norfolk Island: Jun 2014
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (7)

  • GrantBoone's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    Reminds me of Cornwall!!!!!

  • Lunaina's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    nice pictures, I often dream of going to Norfolk Island, ever since I saw the islanders compete at the Commonwealth Games... hope to be able to visit one day!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Fine photos of this lovely little island. I never knew that any of the Bounty descendants had left Pitcairn Island and settled on Norfolk Island instead.

  • picek's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    I'd love to visit that cemetery and stroke those cows. I am sure their milk must be great in such a wonderful and quiet place :) lovely photos.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Great tips!

  • lindyz's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Great page Al - some very beautiful pics, especially the cemetary and the bay ones. So is there an actual swimming beach on the Island or is it all rugged coastline?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 28, 2010 at 3:41 AM

    G'day, Alison! Thanx for your great page, mate! ><><

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