A Quick Guide to Norfolk Island: What to See, Do, Eat & Enjoy!

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I’m sure every definition of paradise is subjective, but for me a small island in the South Pacific characterised by sunshine, lush greenery and a dramatic coastline is about as close to paradise as one could get.

I didn’t know much (at all) about Norfolk Island before visiting, even though it is an outlying territory of Australia and just a two hour flight from Sydney. And yet the island turned out to be one of the most beautiful destinations I have visited in the entire South Pacific – so beautiful that I’m already planning a return trip with my family some time within the next year. So if you want to discover this incredible hidden gem before the crowds start flocking by the masses, here’s everything you need to know to have a great time in Norfolk Island!


Norfolk Island

Located in the South Pacific just a two hour flight from Sydney is one of the best kept secrets of the entire region: Norfolk Island. Although geographically closer to New Zealand, for historical reasons Norfolk is an Australian territory and closely linked with the mainland of Australia, with the official currency being Australian dollars and everything down to powerpoint adaptors being Australian too.

However the island has a very strong community of locals (around 1500 inhabitants) who have held on to their culture and traditions, so the island has a very unique flair of its own that you won’t find back on mainland Australia or anywhere else for that matter!


How to Get Around

Although the island is small in size, you’ll need a car to get around if you want to see and do all Norfolk Island has to offer. For our stay we had a rental car, however one day in we noticed the Moke rentals on the main street and subsequently decided that we’d have to make the switch (who can resist a beach buggy as cute as this!?)

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Things to See

Where to begin!?

There really is so much to see on the island that we struggled to get through it all in our short weekend visit, however the standouts were:

  • Convict ruins in the UNESCO World Heritage area of Kingston
  • The 360 degree view from Mount Pitt
  • Morton Bay Fig Tree Avenue
  • Cockpit Waterfall
  • Crystal Pools
  • Stargazing

Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific

Things to Do

Again, there was so much to try and squeeze in to our four-day visit that we left wanting more time on the island. However if you too only have a few days, our standouts were:

  • Eating fresh farm-to-fork produce (everywhere you go! all of the produce is locally grown)
  • Take a hike on one of the (many) walking trails
  • Go on a guided kayak tour around the island
  • See what is in season at the Saturday Farmer’s Market
  • Shop for local handicrafts at the Sunday Craft Market
  • Drive your Moke around the island and take it all in!

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Where & What to Eat

One of my favourite aspects of Norfolk Island was the food. Being a self dubbed foodie of sorts, my favourite way to gauge a new destination is to see what is on offer by way of local cuisine and I can’t tell you how surprised I was by the produce here on the island! Nearly every item on your plate is grown on the island, so you can expect to eat seasonally and always get the best of what is on offer. Below are my favourite eating experiences from our time here:

The Olive Cafe – For breakfasts and quick lunches, you really can’t beat The Olive. We loved it so much that we ate here at least once every day and tried a handful of items on the menu! Highlights included the caramel thick shakes (yum!), eggs hollandaise, and the delicious vegetarian burger. There were also heaps of vegetarian and gluten free options if you’re travelling with food restrictions.

Joel’s Cafe – Another favourite cafe we found on the island was a little more gourmet and as such, a little more expensive. We loved their smoothies and my boyfriend tells me the spiced sauce inside the panini was magical!

Dino’s – By far the best formal dining experience was our first dinner on the island at Dino’s. This restaurant is located inside a family home and offers one of the most down to earth dining experiences you could imagine. The service was great and the ambience very cosy, but it was the food that stole the show! Don’t leave without trying the bannoffee pie – an indulgence worth every single calorie!

Hilli Restaurant – Coming in at a close second was our dinner at Hilli restaurant. The service was good, the ambience quite nice and the food was great but perhaps a little heavy. We rolled out of there regretting not sharing a dessert, but the sticky date pudding and snickers ice cream were too good to pass up!

Norfolk Island in the South Pacific

Where to Stay

The island has more than 60 accommodations on offer so you won’t struggle for choice. For our stay we checked in to the casual but comfortable Shearwater Scenic Villas, which offered a great view of the sunrise and was idyllically located next to the crystal pools.

Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk Island in the South Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific Norfolk_Island_South_Pacific

A warm thanks to Norfolk Island Tourism for arranging my visit to Norfolk Island! All opinions and oodles of photos are my own.

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    June 1, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    This place looks like my idea of heaven! Those tree roots <3

    tanzir tanz
    May 22, 2016 at 4:05 am

    I love Australia. The beaches, waterfalls, the people, the cuisine everything. It is really good to see you have a nice time in Australia. Well, you must visit India too. There are many beautiful places in India which are difficult to see in other countries. Thanks for the pictures. They are really amazing 🙂

    May 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    So beautiful, so close to home and never been. All Australian’s definitely need to go asap!

    May 18, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Oh my gosh, I need those cute little yellow beach buggies in my life!!!

    May 17, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I have never heard of Norfolk island, but it sure looks stunning!!

    May 17, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Looks like such a beautiful and unique place!!!

    Shelby @ The Fernweh Wolf
    May 16, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I’m so bad the first out of all these gorgeous photos my eyes went straight for the muffins haha. But the Island looks amazing too. Looks pretty unreal Brooke!

    May 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    This is such a beautiful place

    Margery Stehbens
    May 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you Brook for your very beautiful insight into Norfolk Island as a holiday destination 🙂 Next time I recommend you check out the wonderful quiches, croissants, jams and baked goods offered by Cheers at the Sunday market. Norfolk Island has somehting for everyone

    Mayra Orduno
    May 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Your Pics are incredible! your skills get better and better.

    May 16, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Such a hidden gem, right in our own backyard! Your photos are incredible, as always, Brooke!

    May 16, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this place before! What a little hidden gem!! x

    May 16, 2016 at 7:12 am

    The beach buggy looks super cute! Love your pictures 😀