A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Nifty Norfolk Island is just off the northern New South Wales coast, a 2.5 hour flight from Sydney. This remaining ancient volcanic rim that defiantly juts up into the Pacific Ocean is part-paradise-part-lost-world. Its countryside is majestic and visually stunning, and the culture is baked in history. But it's not for everyone. Here are a few good reasons you shouldn't go:-
1. Don't go if you like big shopping malls - because there aren't any. But the main street, Burnt Pine, does have everything you need including gifts and souvenirs, fashion and clothing, supermarket, jewellers, chemist, mechanic and petrol station, op shop, beauty salon, shoe shop, and a plethora of art galleries. Potters workshops are dotted around the island and every Saturday at 7.30am - 11am there are farmer's markets. See here.
Lots of bargains to be found in "Edge of the World", Norfolk's best Op Shop
2. Don't go if you hate history - the place is full of it. One of the most impressive examples is the panoramic painting in Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama. Interactive displays tell the history of the Bounty escapades, and clever artwork has created a 3D effect that makes you feel like you're standing there on the bow of the ship. There's also the Bounty Folk Museum, Pitcairn Settlers Village, and the World Heritage site of Kingston.
Part of Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama Painting, web image
3. Don't go if you like fresh air - there's no avoiding it; there are no factories, big industry or heavy traffic, so the ocean breezes keep your oxygen intake the best it's probably been in a while.
4. Don't go if you like walking through pristine landscapes - that's all there is here, just beautiful verdant rolling hills, tropical gullies and forests to get lost in. You will need a car to get to most places, and remember that on all roads cows have right-of-way. That's okay, you soon get used to it because, while they're strolling down the road you can pull over and take off for an amble through their paddocks.
6. Don't go if you like balmy temperature - summer days of 24 - 28 degrees, and nights around 20 degrees makes packing for your holiday really easy. Winter is not that different, with nights around 12 degrees and 20 degrees during the day.
7. Don't go if you don't like the colour green - everything is green. You're surrounded by it, forests, palm groves, and I think Kermit was wrong, I find it easy being (in) green.
8. Don't go if you like quirky and interesting events - they try to cover something for everyone. For example, on 21 January, 2017, is an evening of Wearable Art Extravaganza where local designers get to display their unique creations; from 26 Feb - 3 March, 2017 The Norfolk Line Dancing Festival will have you jigging as soon as you step off the plane; from 5 - 10 February, 2017, Norfolk Island Clay Target Association holds their 4-day Championships at Anson Bay. For more details on any of these events plus a whole lot more click here.
9. Don't go if you like fresh food - all the fruit and vegetables you will eat is grown on the island, picked and enjoyed in season. Plus there are local farmers providing free-range beef and pork, producers of local honey, cheese and coffee, and they have an annual Food Festival late in the year, so check out their website here.
10. Don't go if you want to use your passport and spend lots of money - the flight is technically a domestic one so you won't need your passport, although still slip it in as it's a handy means of identification if you're hiring a car or if you just want to get that 'overseas trip' hit. Like all overseas travel, declare any fresh food, plants and animal products. The currency is the Australian dollar, and Westpac and Commonwealth Bank have branches there. Air New Zealand flies into Norfolk five days a week, and there are several car hire companies.
Norfolk Island is one of those unusual places that's not everyone's cup of tea, and that's what makes it special. Accommodation options range from self-contained apartments, secluded cottages with pretty hibiscus by the front door, bigger lodges to fit an extended-family group, or the classic Governors Lodge Resort Hotel, which is handy to the shops. For more information click here. It's right on our doorstop and just a delight.
I would love to visit Norfolk Island and looked at it a couple of years ago but found it a little pricey and wnet to Uluru and Alice Springs instead. None the less it is still very much on my wish list.