Norfolk Island, a small and picturesque island located in the South Pacific, is a treasure trove of history and heritage. With its intriguing past as a penal colony, the arrival of the famous Pitcairn Islanders, and its role during World War II, the island offers a wealth of captivating stories waiting to be explored. For those seeking a deep dive into Norfolk Island’s rich history, we have curated a list of the six best historic day tours.
From exploring the ruins of the Kingston Convict Settlement to discovering the unique culture of the Pitcairn Settlers, Norfolk Island travel provides an immersive experience, allowing you to step back in time and unravel the island’s intriguing past. Join us as we take you on a journey through the highlights of Norfolk Island’s historical gems.
Kingston Convict Settlement Tour
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kingston area, which was once a brutal penal colony. Visit the ruins of the prison barracks, the cemetery, and learn about the island’s convict past.
Kingston was established as a penal settlement in 1788 and remained in operation until 1855. The tour takes you through the well-preserved ruins of the penal colony, including the prison barracks, the gaol, and the cemetery. You’ll learn about the harsh conditions endured by the convicts and the fascinating stories of their lives on the island.
Pitcairn Settlers Village Tour
Discover the descendants of the famous Bounty mutineers who settled on Norfolk Island. Visit the Pitcairn Settlers Village, where you can learn about their unique culture, traditions, and the challenges they faced.
The descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions resettled on Norfolk Island in 1856. The Pitcairn Settlers Village offers a glimpse into their unique way of life. You can explore replica houses, learn about their traditional crafts, and engage with the friendly locals. The Norfolk Island tours provide insight into the history, culture, and heritage of these resilient Pitcairn Islanders.
Norfolk Island Museum
Take a tour of the Norfolk Island Museum, located in Kingston. It showcases the island’s history, from its Polynesian roots to its convict era and the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders.
Housed in the former convict barracks of Quality Row in Kingston, the Norfolk Island Museum offers a comprehensive overview of the island’s history. The exhibits cover various aspects, including the island’s Polynesian heritage, the convict era, the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders, and the island’s role during World War II. The museum displays artifacts, documents, and interactive displays that bring the history of Norfolk Island to life.
World War II Historic Sites Tour
Norfolk Island played a crucial role during World War II as a military base. Explore the island’s wartime history by visiting sites like the underground tunnels, gun emplacements, and the military museum.
During World War II, Norfolk Island served as an important military base for Allied forces. The tour takes you to significant sites such as the underground tunnels, which were used as an operations centre, as well as the gun emplacements that defended the island. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Norfolk Island Military Museum, which houses a collection of war memorabilia and provides insights into the island’s wartime experiences.
Emily Bay and First Settlement Tour
Visit Emily Bay, a beautiful bay surrounded by coral reef, and learn about the first European settlement on Norfolk Island. Explore the ruins of the original settlement and hear stories of the early settlers.
Emily Bay is a picturesque bay with crystal-clear waters and a pristine sandy beach. It holds historical significance as the landing place of the first European settlers on Norfolk Island. The tour explores the ruins of the original settlement, including the remnants of the first buildings and the cemetery. Along the way, you’ll hear stories about the challenges faced by the early settlers and the island’s colonial history.
Colleen McCullough Home Tour
Take a tour of the late author Colleen McCullough’s home, Out Yenna. McCullough, known for her novel “The Thorn Birds,” lived on Norfolk Island and left behind an impressive estate showcasing her love for the island.
Colleen McCullough was an internationally acclaimed author who called Norfolk Island her home for many years. The tour takes you to her former residence, Out Yenna, which is set amidst beautiful gardens and offers panoramic views. You’ll learn about McCullough’s life, her connection to Norfolk Island, and get a glimpse into her private world through the preserved rooms and displays of her personal belongings.
Visiting Norfolk Island
Whether you’re fascinated by the hardships endured by convicts, the resilience of the Pitcairn settlers, or the wartime experiences, these six tours provide a unique opportunity to delve into the island’s past. So, when you find yourself on Norfolk Island, don’t miss the chance to embark on these immersive journeys, stepping back in time and gaining a deeper appreciation for the island’s remarkable history and heritage.