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Norfolk Island is a small island territory located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. The people there are a unique mix of the British Bounty Mutineers and their Polynesian families. If one would like to visit other remote islands in the region, consider visiting the tropical and forgotten paradise of New Caledonia. Alternatively, go to New Zealand's Chatham Islands for another South Pacific experience.

Norfolk Island is not a place one hears about very much - but it has a unique and interesting history. It is an external territory of Australia (sort of like what Guam is in the USA). It has a population of just over two thousand and breathtaking scenery and landscapes that few get to see.

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The Convict & Mutiny On The Bounty Heritage Of Norfolk

The first known people to reach Norfolk Island were Polynesians. But the Polynesians had left by the time the British arrived and settled it. The British established a convict penal colony on the island between 1788 and 1855 (although it was abandoned for 11 years between 1814 and 1825).

  • Capital: Kingston
  • Population: 2,200

The first permanent civilians came to the island in 1856 with the descendants of the Bounty mutineers. The Mutiny on the Bounty is one of the strangest stories and is a story one just can't make up. The crew on the Bounty mutinied so that they could go back to the girls on Tahiti.

Some mutineers then fled, fearing the return of the Royal Navy with the women from Tahiti, found remote Pitcairn Island and settled there. When the British finally found them, there was only one original survivor left, and it was only their descendants on the island.

In 1856 the descendants of the Bounty mutineers were relocated from the overcrowded Pitcairn Island to Norfolk Island.

Related: Isolated Pitcairn Island: Home To The Most Remote Airbnb?

Norfolk Island - The Forgotten South Pacific Paradise

Today the island is home to the Norfolk Island National Park and is home to unique flora and fauna. It is surreal to explore the island with stunning clifftop views.

Take in stunning clifftop views and bushwalks through pristine subtropical forests filled with birds found nowhere else on earth. The island offers some of the best of the South Pacific, including clear waters sheltered by teeming coral reefs.

Besides the beaches, there are also moody cliffs with waterfalls tumbling into the sea. It is home to the tallest fern trees in the world. There are plenty of water-based activities as well, like boat tours, scuba diving, and more.

Tours Of Norfolk Island

There are a number of tours offered on the island. One of the main tour companies is Pinetree Tours which has been the Norfolk Island tour and entertainment specialist for the last 35 years. They work to bring the history of the island to life and to contrast them with life on the island today.

Their tours cover everything, including Island homes, historic sites, convict buildings, shows & entertainment activities, and more.

Convict Settlement Tour:

One example of a tour is their Convict Settlement Tour. The tour delves into the World Heritage Listed Georgian settlement of Kingston. Learn about the Polynesian, convict, and Pitcairn Islander history and see the ruins of the convict colony.

  • Price: $55 AUD ($37 USD) Per Person
  • Days: Tuesday & Friday
  • Time: 1:00pm

Visitors see the ruins of the New Gaol, see the Pier Store, Boat Shed, and the Crank Mill.

Other tours include their Breakfast Bushwalk & Clifftop Barbecue, Over the Cattlestops, Green Fingers Tour, and their nighttime tours.

Related: 10 Islands That Are So Remote They're Almost Impossible To Reach

Getting To Norfolk Island

Flying From New Zealand:

There are flights from both Australia and New Zealand to Norfolk Island. Air Chathams operates direct flights from Auckland - as Norfolk is Australia, people on the flight need to bring a passport. People without an Australian or New Zealand passport may need to an Australian Visitor Visa to enter Norfolk Island.

  • From Auckland: 2 Hours and 45 Minutes

Flying From Australia:

From Australia, there are flights operated by Qantas from Brisbane and Sydney. While it is a domestic flight, the flights depart from the international terminals of the airports.

  • From Brisbane: 2 Hours
  • From Sydney: 2 Hours and 30 Minutes

Australian residents coming from Australia do not need a visa or passport to go to Norfolk Island.