“Wataweih yoryle?” this is Norfolk for “hello, how are you?”.
Norfolk is approximately a 5km x 8km dot in the ocean, situated in the South Pacific below New Caledonia, to the north of New Zealand and to the far east of Australia. Norfolk and its two uninhabited islands (Nepean Island and Phillip Island) are a group of unique islands within the ancient geographic region of Zealandia. Norfolk is well known for its endemic and native plant life including the famous Norfolk Island pine and the tallest species of tree fern in the world.
Norfolk Island has a diverse and interesting history; the most well-known are from its early British colonial and penal settlements to its third and longest settlement – that being the homeland of the descendants of the Bounty Mutineers and Pitcairn Islanders (Pitcairn Island is another South Pacific island located on the opposite end of the South Pacific Ocean). Norfolk is also part of the Polynesian triangle, and long before the British came across the island there was an early Polynesian people who lived and migrated through here.
The descendants of the Bounty mutineers (Pitcairn Islanders) were granted Norfolk Island by Order in Council of her Majesty Queen Victoria when Pitcairn Island became over-populated. In 1856, the entire population of Pitcairn relocated to Norfolk to resettle and make it their new home. They arrived here on 8 June 1856. However not all families stayed. Because of home sickness two separate but small groups returned to Pitcairn, and this is why, even today, there is a familiar language and culture and a strong link between Norfolk Island and Pitcairn Island still exists.
Even though Norfolk is small there is much to do, especially if you enjoy clean fresh air, clear sparkling water and plenty of quietude and space. Furthermore, Norfolk has magnificent dark skies at night and given that light pollution is one of the fastest growing forms of pollution this again makes Norfolk a very special place to visit.
Located in Kingston is the Kingston & Arthurs Vale Historical Area (KAVHA), which is a living World Heritage site. This area remains culturally significant to the families and Norfolk Islanders who have the Bounty mutiny lineage, as this is where they celebrate the day of the Pitcairn people arriving on Norfolk.
Norfolk has a large and beautiful sub-tropical National Park and many public reserves where you can roam easily to observe its natural flora and fauna. There is also a large swimming lagoon with an abundance of tropical fish and coral life, and its main beach (Emily Bay) is never overcrowded. The waters surrounding Norfolk are always enticing and deep-sea fishing is a must for any person keen on casting a line or two. Norfolk’s restaurants and cafes serve an assortment of delicious and locally grown food, and retail shops have a variety of goods for sale.