Get Inspired / Pacific Islands / Norfolk Island Norfolk Island: Simple Pleasures, Stunning Scenery and Stirring History Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / Pacific Islands / Norfolk Island Norfolk Island: Simple Pleasures, Stunning Scenery and Stirring History story by: Inspire South Pacific "This is an island paradise” - Captain James Cook, 1774 Imagine a castaway island moored in the South Pacific, ringed with reefs and capped with dark forests of soaring native pine. An island that, over a century ago, attracted the intrepid descendants of the Bounty mutiny. Every Sunday morning you can hop on a flight from Auckland that, after less than two hours, will deliver you to a tiny green speck in the Pacific Ocean, Norfolk Island. With a total area of less than 35 square kilometres, it takes about an hour to drive around the entire island –if you don’t meet any cows along the way, who, naturally, have right of way. The coastline is a dramatic mix of soaring sea cliffs and inviting beaches, the water is clear and warm and the people so friendly that it’s almost spooky at first. Don’t worry though: before long, you too will be waving at everyone you meet. Norfolk Island: 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 chequered and at times gruesome past: firstly as the site of two penal colonies, then as a new home for descendants of the Bounty mutineers. The islanders celebrate Bounty Day on June 8th when history is vividly brought back to life, and celebrated by people who cherish the uniqueness of their origins. History surrounds you on Norfolk Island, from the settlement at Kingston built by the convicts of the second penal colony to the beautiful island homes. Listen to the islanders and hear them speak their unique language, such as words like “Watawieh” (how are you) and the response “Kushu” (good thank you). 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. And there are all the old favourites: the “Night as a Convict” dinner; the island fish fry at beautiful Puppy’s Point. The subtropical temperature is the icing on the cake: average maximums range from 18C in winter to 24C in summer. In fact, there’s so much on offer, it’s a wonder it’s not completely overrun with tourists... but that’s just another of this island’s many charms. In the heart of Norfolk Island you will find Burnt Pine, a mecca for tax-free shopping. The shops and boutiques are crammed full of surprises including English china, Scottish knitwear, European footwear, electronic goods, perfumes and more. Dining out is another memorable experience - an Island Fish Fry or a cliff-top BBQ are a must. A progressive dinner will enlighten you on local history; themed dinners include dressing up as a convict. Norfolk Island offers you an ideal climate to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, breathe in the invigorating fresh air and walk through sub-tropical gardens and native forests of Norfolk Pine and Kentia Palms. Relax on the sandy beaches or discover the exotic world of corals and tropical fish at picturesque Emily Bay, drive through the tapestry of farmlands with their meandering cows. Picnic on cliff-tops and watch the sun bleed into the sea, enjoy tranquil valley and rural views whilst relaxing on your balcony. If activity is beckoning you get down to the local sports club and participate with the locals. So, if you’re looking for a holiday with stunning scenery, warmth, barefoot manners, a stirring history, a dash of style and a taste of the simple pleasures of life, Norfolk Island is just the place for you. 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