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Holidays in Norfolk Island

Understanding Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island was a penal colony for the British colony of New South Wales during the periods 1788–1814 and 1825–1855 In 1856 it was settled by former inhabitants of the second largest of the Pitcairn Islands The Pitcairn Islanders were descendants of Fletcher Christian and Bounty mutineers, together with Tahitian women Pitcairn Island was unable to support 200 inhabitants, and Queen Victoria offered them Norfolk Island

Permanent residents of Norfolk Island are still almost entirely descendants of these Pitcairn Islanders; other Australian citizens cannot move to Norfolk Island freely The permanent population of the island is about 2000 people

Talking in Norfolk Island

The official language of Norfolk Island is English and all the islanders speak it However, among themselves they often use Norfolk, a language derived from the English spoken by the Bounty Mutineers and the Tahitian spoken by their wives Norfolk is not readily comprehensible by speakers of any variety of English, including Australian or British English

What to see in Norfolk Island

Niue is dotted with many caves and limestone arches There are alot of 'sea tracks' that lead from the road to the coast Wandering down one and seeing what you find at the end is a lot of fun

Dolphins and whales can be seen off the coast

  • Huvalu Forest Conservation Area is a huge pristine tropical rainforest that occupies 20% of Niue's land area! A major source of wildlife and traditional foods, and a major focus of our conservation efforts, especially from the adjoining village of Hakupu Teeming with diverse flora and fauna, there is nothing deadly, harmful or poisonous in our forests! While the terrain is largely flat it is very uneven and reflects its volcanic origin Please do not explore alone or you will get lost and there aren't enough people on Niue to come and look for you!
  • Matapa Chasm North of Makefu Fabulous swimming and snorkeling area, encased by steep 10 m cliffs that overhanging a deep long cool pool full of fish It is next to the sea, but isolated from its currents by large boulders at the ocean side The drumming noise from the ocean waves is quite a treat and can be deafening as you near its mouth Taking a refreshing dip here is rewarding after visiting the Talava Arches
  • Liku Sea Track and Cave Liku On Niue's East Coast, this sea track is about 500 metres from Liku Village Access is via large open cave and the view at dawn - as can be seen from the photo - is stunning Gaze east and reflect that there's hardly two grains of sand between you and Chile!

At low tide, the coastline around here is full of tiny little private 'beaches', little sandy coves varying from 5 to 15 metres long! Lie down and sunbathe, or explore the numerous reef pools Do be careful to leave well before the tide returns over the outer sea wall, and do take water, sturdy footwear, and some food

  • Talava Arches A massive rock archway noted by Captain Cook in the late 1700’s, and surrounded by a network of complex caves Difficult to get to without a guide, but well worth the effort Allow 30-45 minutes return and take plenty of water It's a hot and steamy walk; visit the Matapa Chasm afterward for a swim
  • Anapala Chasm Hakupu Adjacent to Hakupu Heritage Park, a deep sharp descent there are steps and a chain rail into the very cool depths reveals a fresh water spring Traditionally, very important for it gave access to the fresh water source beneath our island's land-mass; remember, '''''Niue has no rivers or lakes'''''
  • Avaiki Cave Makefu Limestone cave with excellent swimming options after a short walk through Swimming is prohibited on Sunday and during the koloama spawning season

What to do in Norfolk Island

There are many activities to do in Niue All you need to do is adventure out Have a keen and energetic attitude towards everything Be positive and able to try anything and everythin that comes to offer in Niue, so you are able to uncover the interesting facts and interest that Niue can offer

These are just some of the activities, as the rest you must uncover yourself as there is more to it, with self discovery Kayaking, fishing, diving Niue Dive offers PADI certified dives, golf, cycling, etc Niue is different to all the other Pacific islands in the sense that there are no beaches Go spelunking in one of the many caves around the island

If your wanting to play a bit of touch, what better way to do it, by versing the locals About every village has a green and most evenings the residents come out and play a friendly game of touch So if you feel like mingling and playing abit of sports, just ask around and Im sure you will find a game

  • Niue Dive PO Box 140, Alofi, Niue 683 4311 http://wwwdivenu Go on dives in many of the underwater "cathedrals" Niue has some of the world's best diving They run two-dive trips for $170 and a four-day open water course is roughly $650 Credit cards are accepted when the system isn't down but to be safe, bring enough cash for a dive An opportunity not to be missed! Note that there is no decompression chamber on Niue, so you'll need to schedule dives so that you're not diving the day before your flight

Snorkelling is an alternative to diving The Utuko Reef in Alofi and the reef pools at Hio Beach are excellent for beginners Further north from Hio there's a pair of giant natural pools at Matapa that are best at low tide Around the island there are places to snorkel outside the reef but should only be attempted by confident swimmers; in any case, seek local advice and check water conditions before venturing off on your own To be completely safe, go with a partner or take a tour Niue Dive operates snorkelling trips to sites around the island, including Snake Gully You can also snorkel and swim with spinner dolphins April to December and humpback whales June to October

Fishing trips are run by Nu Tours 4hr trips $280 for one or two people Fish with Fishaway Charters 4hr trips $250 and you can personally barbecue your catch at the Washaway Cafe Contact Willy Saniteli for info Of course it's also possible to fish on your own, but remember that fishing is prohibited on Sundays

Buying stuff in Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island's currency is the Australian dollar, and the currency symbol is $ Norfolk Island is not subject to Australian taxation

See Australia for more on the Australian dollar

As a result of the lack of many taxes and duties, Norfolk Island has acquired a reputation as a "shopper's paradise" The main and only street of Burnt Pine is lined on both sides with shops selling everything from clothes to toys to books, and shop assistants will always be forthcoming about exactly how much you stand to save over "mainland prices" both Australian and New Zealand prices

A number of shops are described as "department stores", which can seem rather quaint to visitors from big cities, as these shops are often no larger than the others The difference lies in the slightly wider range of merchandise available One of the true delights of shopping on Norfolk Island is that in many shops you simply have no idea what will be for sale

On Sunday mornings, an open-air market is held in the carpark of the post office Prices are comparable to those found in the shops, but some retailers choose only to sell at the market

Locally produced items are beginning to form a reasonable sector of Norfolk Island's retail market, with homemade preserves being a particular specialty Additionally, the ubiquitous Norfolk Island Pine not really a pine at all is to be found in keyrings, magnets and other trinkets Pine products are normally quite safe to import to Australia or New Zealand, but always make it known to the seller where you're intending to take the product you've just bought, since it never hurts to be sure

The distinctive Norfolk language is also the source of some retail value, with books being written on the structure and vocabulary, as well as audio CDs of songs written in Norfolk Many books are shamelessly pitched at the wide-eyed or wide-eared tourist, but the work containing the most scholarship on the language itself is Speak Norfolk Today, by Alice Inez Buffett

There is also a wide range of fictional and non-fictional books on Norfolk and the South Pacific in general available at most shops The island's bookshop is The Golden Orb, which contains a section devoted to Norfolk and South Pacific literature

Be aware that most shops are closed on Wednesday afternoons and also that those operated by Seventh Day Adventists are closed all day Saturday and Sunday

Food and eating in Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island, unsurprisingly, is famous for its seafood, which is generally caught fresh by most of the restaurants on the island The local trumpeter is a particular delicacy

There is a wide range of other food available on the island, including both Italian and Chinese cuisine with plans afoot for an Indian restaurant to open shortly

Local specialities also exist and are generally based on traditional Polynesian dishes While some of these are served in the restaurants, tourists are often recommended to try a local progressive dinner at the homes of various islanders in order to experience most of these dishes

Restaurant bookings can be made by telephone or by writing your name in the book generally located at the front door of the establishment

Be aware that most restaurants are closed at least one night per week

Special Dietary Requirements: Vegetarians can generally find palatable food at most restaurants, but are not specifically catered for anywhere Vegans are not catered for anywhere Kosher and Halal meals will be impossible to find, as there is no Jewish or Muslim presence on the island Travellers with food allergies may be catered for at some restaurants, but this is not guaranteed

  • Special Events Norfolk Island is the venue for a number of annual special events One of the most unique and successful Festival is 'OPERA in Paradise' which features a week of large-scale opera concerts, more intimate matinees,champagne afternoon concerts and a traditional Island banquet and launch Singers and classical musicians are brought in from Australia and New Zealand by boutique opera company, OPERATIF This festival attracts hundreds of patrons each February primarily from Australia and New Zealand, but also from the USA, UK and SE Asia


  • The Foodland shopping mall contains a supermarket and a bakery While many products are flown in from Australia or New Zealand, local produce sold here represents the cheapest self-catering option on the island
  • Ocean Blue, located at the Middlegate intersection, is a very cheap takeaway shop, offering solid hamburgers, chips and other staples of that ilk
  • Gilles Fish Shop is located opposite the tourist information centre and offers local fresh fish and chips


  • Barney Duffy's Charcoal Grill bills itself as "Norfolk's Best Steakhouse" While the competition for this title is not particularly strong, the steaks are of a very high standard indeed Fare here is of the steakhouse variety, with various fish dishes available as well The restaurant is named for the famous convict Barney Duffy and plays up on this link
  • Seaworld is Norfolk's fish restaurant and can be relied upon to serve good-quality fish dishes There is a weekly "fish fry" as well
  • Norfolk Pizza serves a variety of pizzas and some pasta dishes, with the pizzas at least being able to be taken away
  • Woodfired Pizza Pizza 6 offers a selection of gourmet woodfired pizzas and breads from around the world
  • Milligan's Cafe formerly known as Tropicana Cafe, is a great choice for all budgets offering everything from sandwiches to main meals, with excellent coffee It has recently been transformed into a tourist venu, the walls adorned with Norfolk's settlement history


  • Stefanos Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria 7 - located in Burnt Pine Specialising in modern Italian Cuisine, pasta, gourmet pizzas, seafood and steak Fresh salads and sauces prepared daily Award winning Gelato Desserts, Indoor and Outdoor dining Open for lunch and dinner
  • Dino's, located at Bumboras roughly the other side of the island from most accommodation is a high-quality Italian restaurant Book early, as it is not open every night of the week and the tables go very quickly
  • The Golden Orb - Located in Burnt Pine and hidden away from the road side by lush gardens, The Golden Orb is the perfect place to relax for breakfast, lunch or for a conversation over coffee or tea Open from 8 till 4, The Golden Orb offers indoor and outdoor dining with an ever changing range of specials as well as a classic menu Fresh salads, home made gourmet pies, sweets and a range of other meals including vegetarian can be found Bookings not required The Golden Orb also doubles as a book shop and wifi hotspot

Drinking in Norfolk Island

The local Distillery, Norfolk Island Liquors P/L, is found on Cascade Road and produces various liqueurs and spirits Free sampling is available Monday,Tuesday,Thursday and Friday from 200pm - 500pm Also on the same premises is Cascade Soft Drinks, who manufacture produce a range of traditional soft drinks with old fashioned flavours, ranging from orange and lime flavours to pineapple and plum cola varieties

There is also a Brewery on Norfolk Island which is located opposite the International Airport, where award winning beers are produced in a traditional way

Although there is a 'Winery' on the island, it is currently importing wines from New South Wales under the 'Two Chimney's wine'label whilst it is developing its vines for manufacture

Accommodation in Norfolk Island

As the island's economy is based around tourism, there are myriad options for accommodation, ranging from basic one- or two-person rooms through to resort-style establishments with restaurants attached hosting seafood buffets The commercial hub of the island, Burnt Pine, has a number of well-situated guesthouses central to most shops, while accommodation elsewhere is designed to capitalize on views and proximity to nature


  • Forrester Court Clifftop Cottages8 is Norfolk Island's only AAA 5 star rated property on Norfolk Island The flagship of accommodation on Norfolk Island For those seeking a secluded holiday
  • Cumberland Resort and Spa 9 - affordable 4-star hotel, central location in tranquil garden setting, within 2 minutes of cafes, restaurants and shops, and 5 minutes from the beach golf, national park and historical area Heated swim spa pool and sauna, free rental car, airport transfers, cable tv, tennis, etc Package deals including Norfolk Island airline and accommodation specials
  • Endeavour Lodge 10 - luxurious self-catering serviced apartments on Norfolk Island with Ocean views from all apartments Environmentally Friendly property AAA Tourism 4 Star & Green Star AAA rated
  • Poinciana Cottages
  • Shiralee Executive Cottages 11 - 4 1/2 star self contained cottages with the hire of convertibles included in the tariff
  • Fletcher Christian Apartments 12 - 3 1/2 star AAA rated Rooms serviced daily Centrally located in spacious, park-like grounds of subtropical landscaping Shops, cafes, restaurants, clubs and visitor facilities all within short walking distance

Working in Norfolk Island

It is relatively easy to live and work on Norfolk Island, although you do have to adhere to some strict entry guidelines 13

Cities in Norfolk Island

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