Norfolk time’ moves to a unique cadence; a steady soothing rhythm that’s neither fast nor slow, but it is in sync with the natural order of life. It encourages re-connection to the things we know should be priorities, and surprisingly the gentler pace of life leaves more time for just about everything.
Norfolk Island is the perfect escape from a demanding world. The relaxing vibe is felt the moment you step from the plane. Met with the unreserved smiles of locals, heartened by a friendly joke or two, the instant impression of Norfolk Island is one of unaffected simplicity. No lines of traffic, no parking meters, no queues, no hawking, no worries. People wave to each car as they pass, a gesture that soon becomes second nature to visitors – even the obliging roadside cattle get the occasional greeting.
The Norfolk way of life is appealing and at times nostalgic, for the Island reflects a trusting community where keys are for opening, not hiding; where energy is not wasted on fearing for belongings, but spent welcoming and sharing a strong sense of community. The pleasant year-round temperature and the great variety of events, activities and social gatherings keep everyone, local and visitor alike, content and entertained.
There is an ease to everything on here; a short hop to the beach, a skip to some of the world’s most scenic picnic spots, a jump to all recreational activities from golf to bike riding and pilates. From a cruisy café lunch to a snorkel in Emily Bay’s lagoon – all the Island asks is that you enjoy its offerings.
Measuring only 8km x 5km, Norfolk Island is surrounded by crystal clear, sapphire-coloured ocean that frames dramatic cliff tops, green rolling hills, lagoon-fringed shorelines, treasure-filled rock pools and stately Norfolk Island pines. They are all part of the Island’s backdrop; a lovely combination of country charm and seaside serenity.
As well as a confronting beauty, Norfolk Island buzzes with a living, breathing culture and history. Archaeological evidence from Emily Bay indicates that the area was a Polynesian settlement between c.1150CE and c.1450CE. The First Colonial Settlement was established as an agricultural penal settlement between 1788 and 1814. The Second Settlement between 1825 and 1855 made the Island noriously harsh penal colony – a place of secondary punishment for convicts who reoffended and those convicted of crimes in New South Wales and other British colonies. The Third, and current Settlement, is that of the Pitcairn Islanders who arrived in 1856 and whose descendents remain today. They created a peaceful community in a new place, though the historic site of previous Settlements is integral to modern island-life. Inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2010, Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area is one of 11 historic sites that form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.
Norfolk may not be the location of theme parks and mega-malls, though visitors unanimously agree that Norfolk Island’s wide variety of entertainment, adventure, sporting, cultural and culinary activities can leave little time to spare. Everywhere you look there is something to explore. Every local you talk to has an interesting story, and every artefact in the museums speaks of a past long gone, yet pivotal in the tale of a fascinating island. Whether the urge is to climb, ride, play, run, explore, discover, listen, learn, admire or relax – Norfolk Island has it covered.
Norfolk Island brings out the curious inner child of young and old, in a pristine environment, ideal climate and gorgeous setting, naturally free from distractions and stress; a place where the easy-going lifestyle and close convenience of all activities allow for more quality time to connect. The people of Norfolk Island are guardians of a lifestyle that’s disappearing from the world.
The Island’s clean air feeds all living things, and the waters that fall from the heavens and roll in with the tides are pristine and refreshing. Mother nature is present within every Norfolk Island vista as the Island moves to its own organic rhythm, regardless of its human observers.
“Yorlyi kam lukorn” – Come and have a look.
Image Credit: Robin Nisbet
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