Norfolk – Norfolk Island in the Pacific Ocean

Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is a small inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean, located between Australia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand. It has an area of 34.6 km². Together with two nearby islets, Norfolk forms one of Australia’s Outer Territories. The island is self-governing under an Act of 1979, passed by the Australian Parliament. Norfolk has its own flag, coat of arms, motto and anthem. Norfolk is considered the second official language, in addition to English.

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Video: Norfolk Island

History

The island was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774 during his voyage across the Southwest Pacific.

Norfolk was uninhabited until the establishment of the British penal colony here in 1788. British authorities used Norfolk as a place of exile for convicts from 1788 to 1813 and from 1825 to 1855. The colony became famous as one of the most brutal in British history.

In 1856 part of the inhabitants of Pitcairn Island were relocated to Norfolk. A local government was established on the island, under the control of the governor of the British colony of New South Wales. In 1913 Norfolk became an Australian Outer Territory and was administered by an administrator appointed by the Australian government.

Attractions

As the island covers a small area and is remote from the main shipping lanes, it is little known to the general tourist masses. Lost in the ocean and lacking the reputation of a paradise like other islands in Oceania, Norfolk, at first glance, may not offer the tourist anything supernatural. But that’s not quite the case.

The island as if “frozen” at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries, having acquired, however, all the attributes of modern technological civilization in the form of modern means of communication and communication, and quite developed for the islands of Oceania industrial sphere. Norfolk has no cities or large settlements – people live here in free-standing farms and small cozy villages scattered throughout the island.

Kingston

Kingston is home to virtually all of the island’s administrative offices – the governor’s residence, the island’s administration building, the government hall, the courthouse, and others. They all occupy the town’s historic buildings – old soldier barracks, commissariat and other structures from the British colonial era. The once-famous Norfolk jail has been demolished and only the walls remain, but they are a popular local landmark as well. Where the prison walls end at Slaughter Bay, there is a plaque commemorating the wreck of the ship Sirius. If you walk past Salt Mill to Point Hunter Cape (named for the captain of the Sirius), you can explore one of the prettiest bays on this planet, Emily Bay. Here, at the base of the peninsula, lie the courses of the Norfolk Golf Club, one of the most picturesque on the planet. The golf courses themselves are small (just 9 holes), but surrounded by such stunning panoramas, gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, Philip Island, historic Kingston buildings and mighty Norfolk pines, that this alone attracts many visitors from around the world.

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The Norfolk Island Museum is located in the old Pier Store building. On the first floor is the history of Her Majesty’s flagship Sirius and its significant role in the development of the British Navy (the ship was wrecked in Slaughter Bay, so the collection is based on items that were raised from the bottom of the sea). On the second floor there is an exhibit on the history of the so-called Third Settlement (1856), telling the story of the tragedy of the mutiny Bounty, the arrival of the Pitcairners to Norfolk, the history of the Melanesian Christian mission. There is also a small exhibit telling the story of industrial development of Norfolk, its culture and major historical events.

The Commissary Warehouse is located on the first floor of the building now known as All Saints Church. The Warehouse exhibit recounts the island’s fascinating history, reconstructed from archaeological excavations at the site of four settlements. Unique objects such as fragments of a Polynesian hearth, glass beads from the time of the so-called First Settlement, rods widely used during the Third Settlement, and pottery with original signatures of Pitcairnians are on display. Nearby stands the complex of Old and New War Barracks, whose massive walls and fortress-like towers were specially built to withstand any rebellion.

The Office of the Royal Engineer and the Guard House were built in the Second Settlement era next to the famous Kingston Pier. The former now offers books on Norfolk history and a cup of tea or coffee, while the Guard House is used as a themed library, which also features a collection of photographs and other documents relating to the island’s history. Nearby lies an old cemetery that is utterly peaceful, with vaults and half-grass-covered headstones contrasting sharply with the thick pines and the ocean waves crashing just beyond the low fence.

Nearby is another local landmark: the 1844 Gregorian-style Number 10 House on Qualiti Row. When Pitcairn natives moved to the island in 1856, a Cristian couple and their 15 children settled here. The house was inhabited until 1988, then restored in the spirit of its first owner, Thomas Sellers, and turned into a museum of the early settlers’ life.

To the east on Qualiti Road, where the road passes over the ravine that runs down to Semeter Bay, is one of the most colorful local landmarks, the beautiful little Bloody Bridge. It got its name after the convicts, who were worn out by disease and the taunts of the overseers, literally revolted and overpowered the guards by immolating the body of the chief overseer in the fabric of the bridge. When a noon shift of overseers came to replace their hapless predecessors and inquired where they had gone, the deadly tired but almost happy convicts replied, “Oh! They went for a swim in the bay. We think they must have drowned.

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The islanders also believe in the existence of a whole host of ghosts in Norfolk. Given the island’s “convict” past, this is not at all surprising – the remains of dozens of prisoners are thought to lie beneath the base of the local prison alone, not to mention such “romantic” places as the Bloody Bridge or the old cemetery. For this reason, locals are happy to organize tours of some of Norfolk’s most “mysterious” sites, accompanied by an assortment of legends and rumors about spirits seen or even photographed, the changing places of letters on gravestones, or other manifestations of the local “otherworldly” world.

Burnt Pine

The business and geographical center of the island is the town of Burnt Pine. It is quite a modern settlement – there are few houses, but it is here where many travel companies and banks, there are the offices of the information center, post office, the police station, as well as the airport (south-west of the city limits), the best stores, cafes and restaurants. Apart from these, perhaps one of the main museums on the island is the Middlegate Road Museum, owned by Norfolk College on the southeast side of Burnt Pine. Collecting virtually all material about the history of the island since 1790, the museum has an extensive collection of exhibits about the first human settlements on Norfolk, the exploits of the islanders in the service of Her Majesty’s armed forces in all the wars of the 20th century, old photographs (the earliest dating back to 1867), genealogical material, exhibits of Norfolk life and an extensive collection of sea creatures. There are also regular Film Evenings, which combine three tours of the museum with historical miniatures in video format. It should be noted that such a serious approach to its own history on a tiny island is a great surprise to many tourists.

The island’s churches are for the most part rather modest and unassuming. The only truly beautiful place of worship in the area is the Church of Chent Barnabas Chapel on the corner of Douglas Drive, owned by the Anglican diaspora (open 24 hours a day, as well as other churches on the island). The colorful little church is considered one of the most beautiful in the Pacific, and these days its services are enjoyed by all comers – baptisms, weddings, funerals for almost all faiths are held here, and there’s even a working organ.

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The Norfolk Island Botanic Gardens were created in 1986 by the island and Commonwealth governments as a place where rare examples of Norfolk’s unique flora are protected. It is the only corner of the unique Norfolk forest preserved intact. The park covers just 5.5 hectares, but the layout and composition of the exhibits are so well designed that all the plants are easily accessible and fit perfectly into the park’s overall interior – a testament to the years of experience of British landscape designers.

The flora of Norfolk deserves special attention – because of its remoteness from large land masses, by the time Europeans first settled here in 1788, there were only 178 “native” varieties of plants. Considering that in the same area of land in coastal Australia there are about 400 species, this is not much. But all of them are rare or have a number of features that distinguish them from their “relatives” growing in other parts of the world. Norfolk is home to the majestic Norfolk pine, whose seeds are one of the island’s important export products, and the pine itself is depicted on the local coat of arms and flag. The tropical forest, a slice of which is preserved in the Botanical Gardens, is covered in wiry vines. The ground is also covered with a thick carpet of creeping “crawlers” and other climbing plants, which have become rare everywhere on the island because cattle grazing has led to their elimination. The wattles of ‘bludwood’ (or ‘bloodwood,’ Baloghia inophylla) and ‘iron vines’ (Pouteria costata) beautifully cover the park’s right-of-way and middle floors of the forest. During the hot summer months, the fruits of the “bloody tree” literally explode from maturity and heat, scattering their seeds far around and filling the air with intoxicating aromas. The shark tree (Dysoxylum patersonii) has a strong and pungent scent, especially during the flowering period (May-June) and after the rain. The small 5-petaled, creamy yellow flowers are usually located at the top of its crown and are a favorite subject for photographs.

The botanical garden is literally full of a variety of birds. There’s even an aviary for green parrots, so you can hear their calls “peck-peck-peck” all the time in the park. In the lower tier of the forest lives “tamey” or “golden whistler,” which is not afraid of people and can fly very close to tourists, demonstrating the origin of its local name. Its melodious whistle, “whoosh whoosh whoosh whoosh whoop,” is one of the most beautiful bird voices in the Norfolk woods. The most common bird in the park is the fantail, which literally follows tourists around, searching for insects dug up by people’s soles (its song is an energetic “sweet chatter”), and the most colorful is the seemingly unassuming ghost bird.

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In the northernmost part of the island, at the foot of Mount Bates, there’s a memorial to Captain Cook, with hiking trails running up the slopes of the local mountains. And the ruins of a World War II radar installation can be found atop Mount Bates.

Phillip Island

A walk on what was once green Phillip Island, a few kilometers south of the main island, is on almost every visit to Norfolk as an example of man’s irresponsible attitude toward wildlife. The endemic rain forest of this small patch of land was once completely exterminated by the goats, rabbits and pigs raised there, and a thin layer of soil has been almost completely washed away by rain, so now the island itself resembles a waterless mass of volcanic rock rising out of the lead-blue waters of the ocean. The Australian Wildlife Conservation Society is now working with local enthusiasts to restore flora to the island, and it has been placed under the management of the Norfolk National Parks Office. Despite the tiny size of this uninhabited island, some rare bird species nest here, and the island itself resembles a fantasy landscape from an alien planet – its volcanic slopes carry all shades of red, literally shimmering against the blue ocean and blue skies.

Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is a small inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. The island was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774 during his voyage to the Southwest Pacific. Together with two nearby islets, it forms one of Australia’s outer territories.

For a long time Norfolk Island was a penal colony for criminals brought there from England and Australia, known as one of the cruelest penal colonies in English history.

Contents

Geography

Norfolk Island is located in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia. Norfolk is the main island of the group of islands that make up the Outer Territory. The coordinates of the island are -29.033333 , 167.95 29°02′ S 167°57′ E / 29.033333° S 167.95° E (G) . The area is 34.6 km², the coastline is about 32 km long. The highest point of the island is Mount Baites (319 m), located in the northwest of the island. Much of the island is covered by arable land and pasture. Australian possession of Outer Territory status since 1913.

Phillip Island is the second largest island of the territory, located a few kilometers south of Norfolk, coordinates -29.116667 , 167.95 29°07′ S 167°57′ E / 29.116667° S 167.95° E (G) .

Territory map

The shores of Norfolk Island are high and precipitous. The shores are mostly flat and low only in Sydney Harbor and Emily’s Bay. There are no coves on the island that are safe from storms and hurricanes. The only more or less safe bay is Emily Bay, partially protected from the ocean by a coral reef.

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The climate is subtropical, with little seasonal variation.

The islands are also located Norfolk Island National Park, which occupies about 10% of Norfolk Island and the entire island of Nepean and Phillip. The park contains unique subtropical rain forests, including the famous Norfolk pine, a symbol of the territory.

Although the center of the territory is the town of Kingston, the largest and most significant settlement on the island is the town of Burnt Pine, located in the center of the island. It contains the main shopping center, post office, telephone exchange, liquor store, and other important facilities.

History

The island was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774. From 1788 the island began to be used as a place of exile for prisoners from England. In 1814 the colony was abandoned as costly, but in 1825 the prison was rebuilt, and various criminals – dangerous criminal, political and many others – were imprisoned for even the smallest offenses and taken away from their distant homelands. The island that might have been a peaceful Pacific paradise was turned into a strict regime colony for 30 years, until the prison was finally closed in 1854. In 1856 some Pitcairn Islanders were relocated to Norfolk and a local government was established on the island, under the control of the Governor of the British colony of New South Wales. In 1913 Norfolk became an Australian “Outer Territory” and was administered by an administrator appointed by the Australian government.

Demographics

Norfolk’s population is 2,100 (July 2009 estimate).

20.2% of the population is under the age of 14, 63.9% between the ages of 15 and 64, and 15.9% over the age of 65.

About half of the island’s residents are descendants of settlers from Pitcairn Island, Anglo-Polynesian mestizos. The rest are white Australians, New Zealanders, English, and Polynesians.

Religions: Anglicans 31.8%, Catholics 11.5%, United Church of Australia 10.6%, Seventh-day Adventists 3.2%, other Christians 5.6%, atheists 19.9%, undecided 16.6% (2006 census).

Islanders mostly speak English as well as the Creole language known as Norfolk, formed in the 1700s as a mixture of English and Tahitian. Norfolk was made the official language of Norfolk in 2005.

Economy

The economy of Norfolk is based on serving tourists. In addition, the island’s postage stamps and the sale of Norfolk pine and kentia palm seeds generate income. Norfolk agriculture practically meets the needs of residents.

Transportation

There are no railroads, highways, ports or harbors on the island. “Norfolk Island Airport” is the only airport on the island. Paved roads are about 80 km long.

Links

“Wikipedia has a section in Norfolk called “Mien_Paij”

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