Norfolk Island

Main attractions

Grove of Norfolk Pine, Norfolk Island
Grove of Norfolk Pine, Norfolk Island / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The small, remote Norfolk Island contains several exciting and even unique landmarks.

Most outstanding landmark is Norfolk Island subtropical rainforest located in the northern part of island. This is the last remnant (5 km²) of the unique Norfolk Island rainforest, protected by a national park. Here grow many unique endemic plants including the tallest tree fern of the world (Cyathea brownii, up to 20 m tall), Norfolk island palm (Rhopalostylis baueri), endemic orchid and last natural stands of Norfolk pine (Araucaria heterophylla). Here lives also endemic Norfolk Parakeet (Cyanoramphus cookii), Norfolk Gerygone (Gerygone modesta), slender-billed White-eye (Zosterops tenuirostris), endemic land snails and others - in total some 50 endemic species of animals and plants.

In national park there is located Hollow Pine. This is the largest tree on island, a legendary Araucaria heterophylla endemic to this island. Circumference of trunk - 9 m (other information - 11 m), height - 57 m. In this or another similar tree for seven years was hiding Barney Duffy - fugitive prisoner.

Darkest chapter in the history of Norfolk Island is linked to the penitive colony. Norfolk prisoner cemetery in the southern part of island is a reminder to these events. Here are buried numerous convicts which were exiled to this remote island in the 19th century and often tormented to death or insanity. Many locals tell ghost stories about the spirits of dead still heard and even seen in the night.

Tombstones in Kingston Graveyard, Norfolk Island
Tombstones in Kingston Graveyard, Norfolk Island / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cascade Creek Waterfalls in the north-east part of island are most prominent waterfalls. These are two cascades on a small creek, each approximately 10 m tall, falling over basalt rock. There are more waterfalls on island, but mostly seen during the rain.

At the rugged shores of island are several interesting rock formations. There are standing cliffs with natural bridges - such as Elephant Rock, The Arch, Cooks Arch and others in the north-eastern part of island. Elephant rock reminds an elephant standing in water, with snout lowered in water. The Arch is connected to the mainland, it is especially impressive but can be appreciated only from the sea level. There are other interesting rock formations around the island - holes in the rocks, pinnacles.

Fish Rock Cave is an underwater cave, 120 m long. This is beautiful monument of nature, school of grey nurse sharks. In late summer it is filled with young sharks and numerous other sea animals.

List of described attractions

ArrowNorfolk Island subtropical rainforestEcosystems

Map of Norfolk Island

Featured: Norfolk Island subtropical rainforest

Subtropical forest in Norfolk Island, Backhouse 1843
Lowland subtropical forest in Norfolk Island before human disturbance / Drawing from Backhouse, 1843.

When Captain Cook discovered Norfolk Island in 1774, it was covered with lush subtropical forest. Nowadays only small part of it remains and many of the unique plants and animals are extinct. Nevertheless the remaining 500 ha of Norfolk Island subtropical rainforest contain numerous endemic species including the tallest fern of the world and the beautiful Norfolk Pine.

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