Norfolk Island – Be Surprised

2098 norfolk island   golf
2098 norfolk island golf

The best thing about Norfolk Island is there is so much more than you ever expected.

The compact sub-tropical island just an hour and 40 minutes north-west of Auckland punches way above its weight when it comes to things to do, places to go and people to see.

Even better, for Kiwis the island is a haven of Australasian normality packaged in historical pageantry, a myriad of appealing tours, delicious island food, sublime scenery and activities to stimulate both body and soul.

And with winter day-time temperatures hovering around the low 20s, comfort is assured – pretty good for Grown Ups really.

Steeped in a history that is both unique and fascinating, Norfolk Island proudly celebrates its 19th century heritage. But the 40 sq kms island is not a one-dimensional destination – it also embraces modern tourism.

The selection of activities on Norfolk Island has flourished and ranges from half-day bus tours, self-guiding tours, soft adventure activities, theme dinners to sunset fish fries.

For the more active, the water beckons with sea kayaking, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling or swimming and glass bottom boat tours in crystal clear waters.

If land-based exercise is more in tune with your lifestyle, try out trekking, 4WD tours, mountain bike riding, and golf, tennis, bowls and squash.

Mind and body are catered for with yoga and meditation on the beach, weekly tai chi and a great range of beauty treatments and massages.

Shopping is excellent too. There are more than 70 main-street shops all offering low tax products ranging from diamonds and gold, perfumes and cosmetics, to European shoes and locally-made arts and crafts.

Fine dining restaurants and sports clubs make up the 30 or so eating out choices and tour companies offer theme dinners such as Night as a Convict, Progressive dinners to island homes, and sunset fish fries.

In 1774, discoverer Captain James Cook called Norfolk paradise but within 14 years, paradise had been turned into a grim and grisly convict settlement.

Many early convict buildings remain today, with the handsome penal compound at Kingston described as the oldest and best-preserved collection of Georgian buildings in the Southern Hemisphere.

And in 1856, descendants of the famous Bounty mutiny were granted permission to settle on Norfolk Island.

For history buffs, there is the magnificent Government House, built in 1829 and now handsomely restored and the clubhouse at the beautifully manicured Norfolk Island Golf Club.

The island’s several museums resonate with convict and Bounty history, while the Sound and Light Show and the Trial of 15 historical play bring the times gone by to life. For those who are spiritually minded the Ghostly Walks and Talks themed dinner delivers tales from the island’s grisly past.

Norfolk boasts an exciting annual calendar of events and festivals which include the Country Music festival, Jazz in the Pines, Opera in the Ruins, rock’n’roll festival, line-dancing and sporting tournaments. For full details, check out

Air New Zealand Boeing 737s fly to and from Norfolk Island twice a week – on Wednesdays and Sundays – so you have the choice of a four-day or week-long sojourn.