Norfolk Island customs and immigration requirements are unique to Norfolk Island. You should speak with your travel agent or consult the Norfolk Island Customs website to determine your passport and visa requirements.
Australia's Norfolk Island Act prohibits the Norfolk Island Government from issuing its own currency. Australian notes and coins are the legal tender of the island; however New Zealand currency is accepted at a number of places. The two banks on the island (Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia) can convert currency for you. Major credit cards are also widely accepted.
Norfolk's climate is subtropical. Summer temperatures (December-March) average about 75F (25C) and winter temperatures (June-September) average about 65F (18C). Yearly rainfall is approximately 50 inches (1200mm), most of which falls in the winter.
The Norfolk Island Government Tourist Bureau is located in Burnt Pine, near the Post Office. They are most happy to answer any questions you might have about the island or activities on it. They can be contacted by post at:
English is the common language on Norfolk Island though the Pitcairners have their own language (a mixture of platt Deutsch, Old English and Tahitian).
The Post Office in Burnt Pine is open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday. Norfolk issues its own postal stamps and operates its own postal service. Rates are charged at about the same levels as those in Australia.
The telephone system is a modern subscriber exchange, and direct local and international calls are available 24 hours. Local calls are free of charge. Norfolk Island's country code is 6723. To call overseas from Norfolk, prefix the number with 00. The Communication Centre on New Cascade Road in Burnt Pine has public telephones available 24 hours.
Norfolk Island is eleven and a half hours ahead of GMT and does not adopt a "summertime". "Norfolk time", however, is an expression meaning give or take a few hours.
Norfolk Island's business hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Some shops close between 12.30 and 1.30pm for lunch. Some shops are also open weekends for a period. Norfolk Mall is open 7 days 8am-7pm. Most shops close on Wednesday afternoons after 1pm.
There are three kinds of accommodation on Norfolk Island: apartments, guest lodges and hotels.
Apartments are fully self-contained accommodations whereby you do as much or as little cooking and cleaning as you please. It is the most inexpensive type of accommodation on Norfolk with tariffs around US$40.
The Fletcher Christian Holiday Apartments are owned and operated by a great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian. They are on a secluded six-acre estate overlooking a tranquil valley and hillside wooded by Norfolk Island pines. The complex also features a swimming pool and BBQ area. The Fletcher Christian Apartments can be contacted on +6723 22169 (phone) or +6723 23178 (fax).
The Ponderosa Apartments are set in peaceful gardens on a quiet road at Longridge, feature sea views and a saltwater pool. The Ponderosa Apartments are also owned and operated by a Pitcairner, and can be contacted on +6723 22466 (phone) or +6723 23336 (fax).
H Martin Estates operate the Cascade, Central and Panorama Garden Apartments. Each offer a variety of views - spectacular sea views, lush garden and valley views - from one and two bedroom apartments. Mera Martin (nee Christian) was born and raised on the Island and is a great, great, great granddaughter of Fletcher Christian. Brett Martin, her son, can be contacted on +6723 22625 (phone) or +6723 22785 (fax).
Guest lodges are the equivalent of the European "pension". You have your own private sleeping area, but share living and dining areas. Guest lodges are usually run by Norfolk families, and it's a great way to get to experience some Norfolk culture.
The Highlands Lodge is adjacent to the National Park, set in 60 acres of predominantly subtropical vegetation. Fresh home-grown fruit and vegetables are very much a feature of Highlands dining. Tariffs and the Highlands Lodge range from US$40 to US$60 per person. Features include a tennis court, swimming pool and fully licenced restaurant as well as beautifully appointed suites. The lodge is operated by H Martin Estates, and Brett Martin can be contacted on +6723 22625 (phone) or +6723 22785 (fax).
Hotels make up about a third of the island's visitor beds. They have dining and bar areas that are frequented by locals and guests, and some provide a 3 star level of facilities.
The Paradise Hotel & Resort offers Garden, Superior and Executive style rooms and is nestled in 11 acres of landscaped sub-tropical gardens. The resort features a licensed restaurant called La Perouse with an adjoining cocktail bar, coffee lounge, in-ground swimming pool, guest parking, laundry, postal service and tour information. Conference and function facilities for up to 150 delegates are also available. The Paradise Hotel & Resort can be contacted on +6723 22177 (phone) or +6723 22831 (fax).
The Castaway Hotel is operated by H Martin Estates and features standard, superior and self-contained apartments with tariffs ranging from US$30 to $US45 per person. Castaway is a lovely family-run hotel which boasts of being the home to 5 generations of decendants of the Christian family. All rooms and apartments have at least a 3 star grading. Brett Martin can be contacted on +6723 22625 (phone) or +6723 22785 (fax).
Hiring a car is the best way to get around the island, which is very hilly. Rates at present vary from around US$6 per day upwards. There are about 120 miles (190km) of roads, almost all of which are sealed, and the speed limit is 35 miles/h (50 km/h). All livestock has the right of way on roads. Seat belts are not compulsory, and driving is on the left hand side of the road. To hire a car you must be at least 21 years of age, and hold a valid driver's licence in your country of residence.
There is no public transport on the island, and only a small number of taxis for hire.
Outside Burnt Pine most drivers wave or lift a finger in greeting to passing cars. Joining in is part of the Norfolk Island holiday experience.
There are literally hundreds of activities to pass away your holiday on Norfolk Island. A few suggestions may be: swimming, diving, cycling, fishing, climbing, visiting museums, sightseeing, taking a tour, having a BBQ or picnic, snorkeling, hiring a pedal boat, golf, jogging, bowling, clay bird shooting, reading, eating out at one of Norfolk's 40 or so restaurants, horse trekking, carriage rides, bird-watching, tennis and squash.
The Pitcairn Settlers Villiage is located in Queen Elizabeth Avenue on the land granted by Queen Victoria in 1877 to Emily Christian (born on Pitcairn Island in 1852, a great grandaughter of Fletcher Christian) and her husband George Bailey, the Island Blacksmith. It is now owned by their grandaughter Marie, who invites you to view the possesions and treasures of the early settlers. For bookings and information please call +6723 22420 or write to PO Box 276, Norfolk Island, Oceania.
And lastly - don't forget to take advantage of the Island's tax-free shopping!