Often mistakenly classified as a place for the most senior of citizens, Norfolk Island is in fact a destination with attractions and activities appealing to all ages. Outdoorsy people will love the purity of the island’s natural environment. The clean air, undulating terrain, and lack of vehicular traffic make Norfolk Island a scenic place for hiking and cycling, while the waters surrounding Norfolk wash up on pretty beaches and shelter coral reefs for snorkelling, complete with a famous shipwreck. Culture buffs will enjoy the manmade sights of the island, which provide options to suit a range of interests from history to philately.
The island’s colourful history is very much in evidence at the Kingston & Arthur’s Vale Historic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves the vitally important role played by Norfolk Island in the successful settlement of the Australian continent. Norfolk is still a colourful place; its vivid colours are seen today in the lush greenery of the famous Norfolk pines, huge tree ferns, kentia palms, and other abundant vegetation; in the astonishing colours of the sea, at once deep blue, aquamarine, and emerald green; and in the yellow sandstone of the Commissariat Store and other buildings that were part of the 19th-century convict settlement.
All the colours of the spectrum can be seen in an amazing artwork called Fletcher’s Mutiny Cyclorama, a circular painting presenting images of Norfolk Island’s origins as the destination for descendants of HMS Bounty mutineers resettling from Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island. The Cyclorama comes in at #5 on Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice list of the Top 10 landmarks in Australia. Entrance to the Cyclorama is via the Gallery Guava, where expectations of typical ‘souvenir art’ are surprised by impressive sculptures large and small, finely worked jewellery, and paintings of a high quality.
On Norfolk Island, the absence of colour also provides a beautiful spectacle. When another golden sunset has ended, Norfolk’s night sky, totally devoid of light pollution, gives visitors the primal pleasure of seeing a zillion bright white stars against an inky black sky.
A mini-rainbow of colours is seen in the cars parked at Tin Sheds, a three-unit complex of deluxe accommodation located in Burnt Pine, the island’s only town. With each unit comes the use of a Fiat 500 convertible to enjoy the island’s fresh air, abundant sunshine, and exhilarating fun in exploring the island. The colourful sights of Norfolk Island are detailed on the easy-to-navigate Norfolk Island Tourism website, which provides much valuable information in planning a visit to this Australian jewel in the South Pacific. Otherwise, leave the planning to Rick Kleiner, the island’s premier tourist guide and owner of Rick’s Personal Island Tours, who offers a series of excursions created to give an understanding of every aspect of the island from nature to human nature.
Norfolk Island is easily accessible in approximately two hours’ flying time with Air New Zealand‘s nonstop flights from Brisbane, Sydney, and Auckland.