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Norfolk Island

Visit Norfolk Island


Norfolk Island is a remote speck in the Tasman Sea, a place to which convicts were once sent and where descendants of Bounty mutineers settled. Forests of pine trees cover much of Norfolk Island, an even more distant outpost than Lord Howe Island, said to have the cleanest air anywhere on the planet other than Antarctica.

This external territory of Australia - in fact closer to New Zealand than Aussie shores - has had rather an eventful past since its discovery by Captain Cook in 1774. Elegant convict-built Georgian buildings, many still in use, are a reminder of the island's role during the 19th century as a penal colony, and the World Heritage-listed Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area is a good place to learn about this particular era.

Norfolk Island was later settled by 194 Pitcairn Islanders descended from Fletcher Christian and others involved in the mutiny on the Bounty, and the surname Christian remains one of the most common names on this slow-paced island today. A Pitcairn dialect, a mixture of old West Country English and Tahitian is still spoken by some islanders, while the chuckling of the endangered Norfolk Island green parrot is another local sound to listen out for.


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