In 2001 Governor’s Lodge was opened to the public on Norfolk Island and a new era of resort style accommodation began. The property offers a 55 unit self-contained style accommodation option located in a lush resort setting, conveniently situated in the heart of Norfolk Island.
However, Governor’s Lodge has a unique history that dates far beyond the turn of the century, but fortunately it is a history that is beautifully preserved in the resort that you encounter today. The property was built on land that was originally part of a 50-acre grant to James Dawe, a free settler and flour miller who arrived not long after the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856. The land stretched all the way along Queen Elizabeth Avenue from Taylors Road to the Middlegate area.
When James Dawe decided to leave Norfolk Island the property was purchased by Charles Christian, grandson of Fletcher Christian, leader of the infamous Bounty mutineers. The land was later passed to Emily, one of Charles’ sixteen children, and she made it her home when she married George Bailey, a blacksmith who came to Norfolk Island to work for the Melanesian Mission.
Emily and George had six children and the property was divided. The portion, now home to Governor’s Lodge, is where Emily and George’s son Herbert built a family home for himself, his wife Clara, and their family. The home was named ‘Elouera‘ and it was completed in 1901 and remained in the Bailey family until the 1980s when their son Dave Bailey passed away. The property was sold and years later became the site of Governor’s Lodge
as we know it today.
Governor’s Lodge has changed hands once or twice since the early 2000s but it’s the property’s new owner that is most notable. In 2020 Mathew Christian-Bailey purchased Governor’s Lodge. Mathew is a direct descendent of Fletcher Christian and the great nephew of Herbert and Clara Bailey’s son, Dave Bailey. As a child Mathew recalls fond memories of visiting ‘Uncle Dave’ at Elouera and is proud the land and property have now come full-circle and are back in the family name. Through his direction the property can continue its legacy for years to come.
Mathew is no stranger to providing holiday and accommodation options on Norfolk Island and indeed throughout the Pacific. Mathew is the owner of Wave Hospitality Group that owns and operates Omniche Holidays and Spacifica Travel among other tour and accommodation interests, and he and his teams are specialists in package and touring holidays. Whether you are planning a trip or are simply on-island looking for dining options, it’s fair to say that at Governor’s Lodge you are in very safe hands.
The Bailey home Elouera remains the centrepiece of Governor’s Lodge, though it has been known for many years as ‘The Old Bailey Homestead’. As part of the original construction of Governor’s Lodge at the turn of the century, the homestead was converted from a family dwelling into what is now known as ‘Bailey’s Restaurant’. The skilful conversion was sensitive to the history of the home and made sure to preserve all of its beautiful period features and retain the essence of what was a warm and inviting home. Penal-era flagstones still pave the way around the building’s wide verandahs and pit-sawn timber is still evident on the walls and ceiling, yet the restaurant and your dining options are modern and sophisticated, and the feeling is one of warmth, comfort and relaxation.Travel and accommodation
When you visit Norfolk Island, you’ll quickly find that history is all around you – from the azure lagoon in the World Heritage listed Kingston Area that was home to Polynesian seafarers centuries ago, to the Island’s lush rainforests and outer-lying areas there is a constant mix of history, culture and beauty. At Governor’s Lodge, the history is blended with comfort and style, and whether you are dining for the evening or staying for a holiday, you’ll feel completely at home.
Image Credit: Governor’s Lodge