This delightfully unique destination will take you by surprise – so rich in history and breathtakingly beautiful, Norfolk Island is as enchanting and quaint as its friendly locals who have lived on this tiny island for generations, many of whom are descendants of those famous Bounty Mutineers.
You’ll find it hard to believe, as you drive down quiet country roads or walk through the soaring trees of the national park, that this could ever have been the setting for such a checkered and at times gruesome past: firstly as the site of two penal colonies, then as a new home for descendants of the Bounty Mutineers.
Adventure tourism is still growing, but if you’re after a little excitement, you can opt for activities like sea-kayaking, mountain biking, big game fishing and horse trekking.
The subtropical temperature is the icing on the cake: average maximums range from 16˚C in winter to 24˚C in summer. Despite its compact size (total area is less than 35 square kilometres) Norfolk Island is the ‘Bounteous Isle’, in every way – just awaiting your exploration and discovery. Norfolk Island is truly a captivating experience.
Norfolk Island is for History Lovers
Norfolk Island was selected as an ideal penal colony thanks to its remoteness and economic potential. The first settlers arrived in 1788 and set about building a gaol and other town facilities. The gaol and several other buildings remain today and are often said to be the best examples of all Australia’s convict sites, so much so that it has won UNESCO World Heritage status. Kingston, situated on Slaughter Bay, is the island’s main town. Many of its buildings have been restored and now house museums and galleries documenting Norfolk Island’s storied past. A couple of history tours to take the fancy are the Convict Settlement Tour, where you’ll walk through the cemetery and hear the history of interesting convict and colonial headstones, listen to stories about the houses along Quality Row and walk through the ruins of the Gaol or Night as a Convict where you can dress as a convict and join in with the Commandant for an evening of gaiety, feasting, singing and dancing.