Norfolk Island presents fabulous adventure and relaxation, nature and outdoors, food and wine, historical and cultural, and community experiences.
Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia in the southwest Pacific Ocean and a popular holiday destination for Australians.
Air New Zealand operates regular weekly flights under 3 hours from Brisbane and Sydney to the Island. Cruise ships often include Norfolk Island for port visits on their Australian and international schedules.
Norfolk Island’s climate is sub-tropical with temperatures ranging from 19 to 28°C degrees in Summer and 12 to 21°C degrees in Winter. The water temperatures peak in the range of 23 to 26°C around February and are at their coldest in August in the range of 18 to 20°C. It is recommended that visitors wear comfortable and casual clothing on the island. Warmer clothes are recommended for evenings and during the winter months.
Remember a hat and sunscreen in the warmer months and a torch for evening walks.
For such a small island, there is a great range of accommodation to suit all ages and individual requirements. There are hotels, self-contained units, cottages, and holiday homes, starting from budget pricing to luxury. Most accommodation is situated in the Burnt Pine town centre or just out of town with ocean or valley views. A hire car is the most practical way to get around, and a current driver’s licence is required. General speed is 50 km/hr, reduced to 40 km/hr in Burnt Pine, or as signposted. Livestock has the right of way, and visitors are encouraged to participate in the ‘Norfolk Wave.’ There is one taxi service, and there are various places to hire mountain and electric bikes.
Nature is present within every Norfolk Island vista. Wherever one goes, the environment and the views are inspiring. The green rolling hills, lagoon-fringed shoreline, treasure-filled rock pool, soaring seabirds, and stately Norfolk Island pines are all part of the island’s backdrop, a lovely combination of country charm and seaside serenity. Experience incredible diving, swim from Emily Bay to Slaughter Bay, gaze at the night sky (Norfolk Island is a Gold Level Dark Sky Town), walk the loop track at Hundred Acres Reserve, wander through the National Parks and Botanical Gardens and discover the endemic plants and birds, arrange a casual gym membership, book a Glass Bottom Boat trip. There is so much to do on Norfolk Island.
Norfolk Island is a food-lovers destination. While there is no mass of available produce or grand selection of rare delicacies – Norfolk Island food has a magical ingredient that satisfies the fussiest foodie. When it comes to culinary matters, Norfolk Islanders bring forth generations of passion and resourcefulness. From recipes of ancient Polynesia to influences of American Whalers, the food of Norfolk Island reflects an eclectic blend of cultures and a love of sharing nature’s bounty. Norfolk’s homegrown produce accounts for 99% of all fresh food consumed on the island, produce is grown locally and seasonally, allowing for the freshness and taste that people expect and love.
Visitors to Norfolk feel the relaxed vibe the moment they step from the plane. Met with locals’ unreserved smiles, heartened by a friendly joke or two, the instant impression of Norfolk Island is one of unaffected simplicity. No lines of traffic, no parking meters, no queues, no hawking, no worries. People wave at each car as they pass, a gesture that soon becomes second nature to visitors. The island is a perfect location for a retreat to rest and recover, reconnect to nature and self. Norfolk Island is the perfect escape from a demanding world. The delightful switch into ‘Norfolk Time’ allows the internal clock to release the passing of each hour and frees the mind from expectation.
On Norfolk Island today, the past is palpable. Witness the smooth worked edge of an ancient Polynesian adze, stand next to the massive HMS Sirius anchor and hear of its recovery, run a hand along with the calcarenite stone hand-quarried by convicts, see legendary Bounty artefacts, listen to whaling stories – and that’s just within the seaside town of Kingston. The entire island hums with history, for the past is a significant component of the island’s present and future. The many layers of Norfolk’s history combine to create a tale unlike any other. Visitors to Norfolk soon realise that the island buzzes with a living breathing culture – one of the world’s most intriguing of the past two centuries. The great local pride in custom and tradition is shared in earnest with the island’s visitors, with numerous opportunities to experience the weaving, cooking, language, and lifestyle of Norfolk.
At just about any time of the year, Norfolk Island has a special event or festival planned, with many of the island’s visitors timing their holiday with an occasion.
The popular music events such as the end of year Norfolk Island Jazzes It Up and the mid-year Norfolk Island Country Music festival fit around the cultural and special interest events such as the annual Bounty Day and Foundation Day celebrations, the Food Festival, Quilting Exhibition, Christmas in July and so much more. There is an occasion to interest all, particularly in the sporting area, for Norfolk Island is the perfect location for athletic pursuits to convene and double up as holiday. Each year people from Australia, New Zealand, and beyond travel to Norfolk for tournaments of golf, squash, tennis, rugby, clay target shooting, archery, lawn bowls, ballroom dancing, and most recently the Norfolk Ocean Challenge.
Norfolk’s beautiful shores have conjured a range of human emotions throughout the island’s history. Arriving by Polynesian canoe around 400AD, the island’s earliest known settlers found relief from a vast blue ocean. Fast-forward to the year 1788, and a small band of settlers on board HMS Supply looked to the uninhabited island with great determination and promise. Several decades later, and hardened convicts would view Norfolk’s foreshore with impending doom. In 1856, a new chapter in the island’s history began with the hope and faith of entire settlers, their first sighting of Norfolk Island signified new beginnings and home.