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Leave the Real World Behind on Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island
South Pacific
South Pacific

Leave the Real World Behind on Norfolk Island

story by: House of Travel

Norfolk Island is no more than a tiny dot stranded way out in the South Pacific Ocean, its nearest neighbour, New Caledonia, sitting over 900 kilometres away (we're not counting the uninhabited Phillip and Napean islands). If there were an award for remote paradises it's hard to think of many places that would challenge Norfolk Island for the top spot.

The whole island measures only 8 kilometres by 5 kilometres and its glorious white-sand beaches, imperious cliffs, and crystal clear waters make it as close to a postcard image of paradise as you'll get. ​You'll wonder how they ever convince anyone to get back onto the return flight.

A brief history of Norfolk Island
Captain James Cook is credited with discovering the island in 1774 and Lieutenant Philip Gidley King is said to have been the first settler, in 1788. Although this pair get the credit, the island had been inhabited by Polynesians many centuries before these two gents ever set food on its soft beaches. Throughout the following centuries the island was used as a penal colony, for which it earned the title, 'hell in the Pacific,' and then later as a settlement for Pitcairn and Tahitian populations.
Nowadays the island boasts a small population of just over 2,300 people and the Polynesian heritage features heavily in its culture. 

Built by Mother Nature ... and convicts
The main reason most people visit Norfolk Island is to lose all semblance of reality and experience pure paradise. Everything here moves at a completely different pace to the rest of the world – the speed limit for drivers is only 50 kilometres per hour – and the relaxed atmosphere and chilled out vibe are a real refresher for the soul.

Exploring nature, both above and below the water, is what you'll spend most of your time doing here (when you've found the motivation to stop lounging around, that is). Most of the northern part of the island is encompassed in the Norfolk Island National Park. The abundant wildlife and aroma of pine in the air will energise you as you wander around its green hills. Take a break at the peaks of Mount Pitt and Mount Bates to take in the glorious views across both island and ocean.

The violently-named Slaughter Bay is the busiest of Norfolk Island's beaches, but all three of its main bays – Emily, Slaughter and Anson – are ideal spots for swimming in the crystal clear waters. If you enjoy exotic and colourful underwater life, then snorkelling along the coral at Slaughter Bay is a must, while surfers will enjoy the stronger swells at Anson bay. It can be a bit tricky to reach, with a steep cliff leading down to it, but it's worth the journey.

Kingston, situated on Slaughter Bay, is the island's main town. It was built by convicts from one of the island's penal colonies and many of its buildings have been restored and now house museums and galleries documenting Norfolk Island's storied past.

If that isn't enough to keep you busy you'll also find a wide choice of wildlife, birdwatching, fishing, local farming and nature tours at various locations around the island.

Indulge yourself in local cuisine
Being so far from civilisation means Norfolk Island has had to make good use of its own resources. Luckily, there is an abundance of flavourful fruit and vegetables and, as you'd expect, no shortage of fresh fish.
For a true local experience, head along to one of the 'Fish Fries,' held twice a week at Puppy's Point. With a beautifully scenic backdrop, generous helpings of fresh fried fish, salads, homemade bread and desserts, and a rollicking selection of local entertainment, it's the perfect end to a long, hard day spent lazing on the beach.

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