Norfolk Island

Environment:

Norfolk Island is in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia. It is volcanic in formation with mostly rolling plains. The highest point is Mount Bates at 319 meters (1,047 feet). Most of the 32 kilometer (20 mile) coastline consists of almost inaccessible cliffs; but, the land slopes down to the sea in one small southern area on Sydney Bay, where the capital of Kingston is situated.

According to the Environmental Education And The Norfolk Island Waste And Resource Recovery Education Strategic Plan 2008–2013, solid waste management and recycling are the biggest environmental issues. Renewable energy is an additional concern; since, electricity is generated with diesel fuel. Both waste and energy invoke tourism carrying capacity issues for small island destinations.

Norfolk Island National Park is managed by Parks Australia, and includes nearby Phillip Island. Norfolk Island is famous for the endemic conifer, commonly known as Norfolk Island Pine. EcoNorfolk Foundation is the local environmental NGO, closely associated with the Norfolk Womens Forum.

Culture:

Polynesians were known to have settled Norfolk Island, but were gone well before the first penal colony was established in the 18th century. In the mid 19th century the descendants the HMS Bounty mutineers were resettled from Pitcairn Islands to Norfolk Island. After the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, Norfolk Island was placed under the new government as an external territory. During WWII, the island was used as a key airbase. Norfolk Island was granted limited self-government in 1979, and are not represented in the Parliament of Australia. Bounty Day serves as the “national holiday” of Norfolk Island, celebrated every June, in honor of the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders.

The tourism industry on Norfolk Island started as a fledgling industry in the 1930’s and supported other, larger island industries. By the 1980’s tourism had outgrown the other industries. More recently, tourism makes up almost half the gross island product. Three quarters of Norfolk businesses are strongly associated with servicing the visitor industry. The majority of private sector employment is in the visitor industry, including accommodation, pubs and restaurants. However, in 2012 it was widely reported in the press that the Norfolk Island economy was severely suffering from the worldwide economic downturn. To boost Norfolk tourism, Air New Zealand added flights from Sydney and Brisbane in 2012, to complement those from Auckland.

Norfolk Island Tourism and the Visitor Information Centre in the island’s commercial center of Burnt Pine are operated by the Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau. Norfolk Island Museum serves as the “national museum”. Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area forms World Heritage Norfolk Island, officially part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage. The Norfolk Island wreck of the HMS Sirius was elevated to Australian National and Commonwealth Heritage status in 2011. Major events include Norfolk Island Country Music Festival and the Association of Norfolk Island Archers championships. Norfolk Island Travel Centre is the island’s main travel agency. Rick Kleiner offers Rick’s Personal Island Tours. Tintoela Homestead is Norfolk Island’s boutique luxury retreat.

References:

  • In deep water: diving site names on Norfolk Island by J Nash & T Chuk, 2012
  • Rebranding Norfolk Island–is it enough to rebuild visitor numbers? by B Prideaux & T Watson, 2012
  • Cultural and Environmental Protection in a Remote Tourist Destination: The Norfolk Island Experience by I Kelly, 2010
  • Reducing waste in timber procurement is critical to replacement of original wooden shingle roofs on heritage buildings at Norfolk Island by J Cokley, 2009
  • An Uneasy Relationship: Norfolk Island and the Commonwealth of Australia by M O’Collins, 2008
  • Sustainable island businesses: a case study of Norfolk Island by M Lenzen, 2008
  • Environmental Education And The Norfolk Island Waste And Resource Recovery Education Strategic Plan 2008 – 2013 by A King, 2008
  • Norfolk Island: Thanatourism, history and visitor emotions by M Best, 2007
  • The value of visitor surveys: The case of Norfolk Island by B Prideaux & M Crosswell, 2006
  • A time of generational change: will Norfolk Island’s tourism industry be ready? by B Prideaux, 2004
  • Profiling Australian visitors to Norfolk Island by M Crosswell & B Prideaux, 2004
  • Social and technical barriers and options for renewable energy on remote developed islands. Case study: Norfolk Island by D Barton, 2003
  • The prospects for rural development in Norfolk island by RF Woodcock, 1978