The Road Ahead : December 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 39 DEC 2014/JAN 2015 THE ROAD AHEAD salute to passing cars is de rigueur for all drivers on the island. A dainty single finger will do. Many of the locals speak Norf'k, a blend of old Tahitian and 18th-century seafaring English. However, don't fret if you can't string a sentence, English is also widely spoken. Talk to one of the locals and chances are they'll be direct descendants of the mutineers from the famed Bounty of 1789, when Fletcher Christian led his fellow crew against the ship's captain, Lieutenant William Bligh. Many of these mutineers originally settled on tiny Pitcairn Island. But when the convict settlement on Norfolk was abandoned in the 1850s, their descendants moved in with the approval of Queen Victoria. I overhear a conversation as I exit Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama, an amazing 3D artwork that illustrates the history of the island (and also happens to be the fifth best Australian Landmark as voted by travellers on Trip Advisor). A mother introduces her eight-year- old son to Matt Christian Bailey, a local: "Remember inside when we read about Fletcher Christian? Well this is his great, great, great, great, great, great grandson." "Yep, my great grandfather was one of the bad guys," Matt laughs. "WOW" was the boy's response. Norfolk Island surprises you like that. Its history pulses in the bloodlines of its locals and it's alive and kicking. Kingston -- Norfolk Island's capital -- is also the location of the most extensive convict-era buildings and ruins to be found anywhere in Australia. The ruins, including the remnants of a human treadmill, are a sobering reminder that the island was once one of the cruellest places on earth. The island's history has more layers than a Victorian petticoat so start your education at one of the museums, all worthy of a look. Try No. 10 Quality Row, Pier Store or the HMS Sirius Museum, which chronicles the 1790 shipwreck of the flagship of the First Fleet. Along with its bountiful history, Norfolk boasts a pristine environment with beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, and numerous parks and reserves dotted with iconic Norfolk Island pines. This visit, there's not sufficient time to see it all. No doubt, I'll be taking up the local invitation to 'yorlyi come look om' (come and have a look) again s THERE'S MORE TO NORFOLK ISLAND • Foodies are well catered for on the island. The award-winning Norfolk Blue Restaurant Grill & Bar serves a true paddock-to-plate experience with its unique Norfolk Blue beef raised just 1km from the restaurant on a 40-hectare cattle farm. • Hilli Restaurant and Cafe's Mastering Taste Chef School and Garden Tour will have you a culinary genius in no time. Chef Joel Testor has previously cooked for actor Tom Cruise, an Asian princess and Australia's queen of daytime TV Kerri-Anne Kennerley. • Enjoy a glass of bubbles and indulge in a lunch platter on the sun-drenched veranda of the island’s only winery, Two Chimneys Winery. Everything is edible on the platter – even the ﬂowers. • For a touch of luxury, stay at The Tin Sheds, the island’s only ﬁve-star accommodation. Poinciana Cottages provide a peaceful retreat on the edge of town; all apartments at the Endeavour Lodge come with ocean views; and the luxury self-contained Forrester Court holiday cottages offer an amazing cliff-top location and scenic panorama. • Tee off on the only golf course in the world to be nestled within an historic world heritage-listed site. • Swim and snorkel at Emily Bay – voted one of Australia’s top 100 beaches. • Be sure to check out the local phone book – it lists people by their nicknames. Names such as Lettuce Leaf, Little Pooh and Quack will have you chuckling. DEPARTURE NATIONAL | TRAVEL Discover incredible history, natural wonders and local treasures, from just $1079pp twin share. For more details, refer to page 41. RACQ TRAVEL CAN HELP ... chances are they'll be direct descendants of the mutineers from the famed Bounty of 1789.
February March 2015