Norfolk Island History

Step back in time on a historic Norfolk Island holiday. Often Norfolk Island’s history conjures up images of convicts, penal colonies and bloodshed.

From the time Captain Cook landed on the island in Kingston in 1774, the island has moved through various changes. Over the last few hundred years there have been three different settlements on the island. Kingston is now the historic hub where most of the Norfolk Island museums are clustered.

One old Georgian-style house has now been adapted to a public museum on Quality Row. Quality Row is currently the Government precinct on the Island. The convicts were the main builders of the monuments that you still see on the island.

The Bounty mutineers who fled to Pitcairn Island eventually all moved to Norfolk Island. The Pitcairn Settlers Village is a tribute to the sacred items and daily life of their Polynesian and Mutineer heritage.

In contrast, Burnt Pine is the biggest and most industrialised part of the island.
It’s highly recommended to hire a rental car to get around and see all the nostalgic tourist sites on Norfolk Island. Rental cars on Norfolk Island are cheap but don’t expect to see traffic lights or locals wearing seat belts.

There are Norfolk Island tours that include stops at Emily Bay (formerly known as Turtle Bay where the settlers found limestone) and historic monuments of that epoch at Duncombe Bay.

An enlarged map of Norfolk Island can be posted or emailed out before you travel to Norfolk Island.