Stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for several million years, Norfolk Island, like many of the remote islands around the world, has developed its own unique flora and fauna, including the Norfolk Pine (which thanks to landscape gardens is no longer restricted to just this island), the Norfolk Tree Fern (the tallest in the world) and the Norfolk Green Parrot – one of the world’s rarest bird species, with only about 200 or so birds left in existence (but are none the less relatively easy to spot).
Norfolk Island suffered heavily under the early settlers, who not only felled the trees for fuel and building, but ate anything that moved (and lots of things that didn’t) in an effort to survive. Today however a portion of the island has been dedicated to a National Park, and is an excellent place to discover not only the island’ wild side, but is also home to some of the most stunning spots on the island.
Mount Pitt is at the centre of the park and is the highest point on the island you can reach by car (320m) and offers 360 degree views of the entire island- a tiny sphere of green disappearing into blue sea that stretches to the horizon in every direction. To reach the highest point on the island – Mt Bates (321m) (yes, that’s just one meter higher) it’s a short through the thick bush to the next summit.The peak also features remnants of buildings from WWII, that formed part of the defences of the Pacific Ocean.
The trail from the summit descends steeply to the sea cliffs and the spot where it’s believed Captain Cook came to shore. The monument that now bares his name is situated in one of the most stunning stretches of coastline of the entire island. Just off shore are dozens of tiny islands and rocky outcrops that dot the sea, and at the mercy of the crashing waves. Many of the larger islands and many of the cliffs faces are home to a variety of sea birds that are heard crying overhead. The water is so clear that even from dozens of meters above, sea turtles are easily seen swimming in the strong currents.
There’s no better way to end the day on Norfolk (or perhaps anywhere) than watch the sun set over the ocean. Fortunately here it doesn’t take much to reach a great view point- whether it’s one build specially for the purpose, or just a turn in the road that offers views down to the sea. If you miss the sunset, just wait an hour or two until the stars light up overhead – both events, so vivid, that they easily rival those seen in the outback.
If you are looking to travel to Norfolk Island we have packages that take in the Island with a departure in November of 2018. You can enquire here