What do you know about islands in the Pacific Ocean? Probably, not much. That is why our custom writing paper service is going to tell you about one of them. This essay on Norfolk Island tells about a small inhabitant island somewhere on “the edge of the world”.
It is located close to Australia. It is also not far from New Caledonia and New Zealand. Its territory is 34,6 square kilometres. Australia has outer territories. Norfolk is one of its outer lands. The island is self-controlling according to the law of 1979 adopted by the government of Australia. There are flag, coat of arms, motto and hymn of the island. Second official language, except English is Norfuk.
Probably everyone has heard about Captain James Cook. We have mentioned him not accidentally. It was he who discovered the island in 1774 while his journey in the south-western part of the Pacific Ocean. There were no people on the island. Only in 1788 Great Britain created there its colony. Norfolk was used as a place for keeping prisoners from 1788 till 1813 and from 1825 till 1855. This colony was considered as one of the cruellest and strictest in British colonization history. Read essay on capital punishment presented on our website if you want to be aware of one of the biggest cruelty of the times.
There is an island called Pitcairn next to Norfolk. In 1856 part of its citizens was brought to Norfolk. Later local government was formed there. In 1913 the island got the status of Australian outer land. The authority was represented by an administrator, whom the Australian government selected.
Since the island territory if pretty small and it is situated far from main sea ways, it is not well known for the large masses of tourists. It is lost in the ocean and does not have reputation of a paradise place, what many other islands of Oceania have. It seems that Norfolk does not have much to offer the tourists. There is nothing supernatural about it. However, it is not true.
It looks like the island has "stuck" on the edges of 18-19 centuries, and at the same time it has gained all the attributes of the modern technological civilization in form of the modern means of communication and developed enough for Oceania islands sphere of production. There are no cities or big villages on Norfolk. People live here in freely located farms and cosy villages situated all over the island territory.
Almost all administrative establishments of the island are located in Kingston, such as governor's residence, island administration building, hall of the authorities meetings, court building and others. They all occupy the historical buildings of the city. They are old soldiers' barracks, commissariat and other buildings of the colonization epoch. The building of sometimes well known Norfolk prison is ruined now, there are only walls left, but they are considered popular local sightseeing. In the place where prison walls end and Slaughter Bay harbour cost begins, there is a memorial desk in honour of a crushed ship "Sirius". If one passes by Salt Mill to Point Hunter cape (it got its name from the captain of the "Sirius", he will come to one of the most picturesque harbour on the planet called Emily Bay. Right here there are fields of Norfolk golf club, which is also one of the most picturesque on the planet. The fields are not very big (nine holes only), but they are surrounded by such gorgeous panorama, magnificent view on the Pacific ocean, island Philip, historical buildings of Kingston and great pines of Norfolk, that all this attracts guests from the whole globe.
Norfolk Island has its own museum. The museum is situated in the old building of a port warehouse Pier Store. The history of flagman ship of the Queen's fleet "Sirius'' is presented on the first floor. The exhibition also tells about its great role in British fleet development. Since the ship was crashed in the Slaughter Bay harbour, the base of the exhibition includes the items that are found on the sea bottom. On the second floor there is presented an exposition on the history of so-called The Third colony (in 1856). It tells about the tragedy of rebellious "Bounty", of how Pitcairn citizens were brought to Norfolk, the Melanesian Christian mission history. And also there is an exposition that tells about the production sphere of Norfolk, its culture and main historical events.
Commissariat Warehouse is situated on the ground floor of the building now famous as the Church of All Saints. The exposition of Warehouse tells about the island history recreated according to the archaeological discoveries at the areas of four colonies. There are exhibited such unique items as the pieces of Polynesian hearth, glass beads of the times of so-called First colony, twigs that were widely used during the period of Third colony and ceramics with original writings of Pitcairn citizens. Next to it there is a complex of Old and New military barracks, massive walls of which look like towers, so that there was no any thought about rebellion at the citizens.
The office of the royal engineer and Guard house were built in the Second colony epoch as well as the famous Kingston pier. Inside the first building now it is possible to buy books on Norfolk history, to drink a cup of tea or coffee, and the Guard house is used as a thematic library, in which there is also exhibited a collection of photos and other historical documents that have relation to the island history. Next to it there is a peaceful old cemetery.
Close to it there is another local sightseeing – built in Gregorian style House number 10 (1844) on Quality Row. When the Pitcairn citizens moved to the island in 1856, the spouses Christ Chan and their 15 children occupied the house. The house was inhabited until 1988, and then it was restored in the style of its first owner Thomas Seller and turned into museum of the first migrants.
Also the island habitants believe that on Norfolk lands there live many ghosts. Taking into consideration "dark" past of the island, there is no wonder that they have such a belief. It is believed that under the foundation of the local prison there are the bones of several dozens of prisoners, also cemetery and other "famous" places. That is why local citizens often organize something like excursions around the most "mysterious" Norfolk places that are accompanied by a whole set of legends and gossip about ghosts or even pictures of the ghosts, letters that change their places on the grave stones or other signs of "spiritual world" presence.
Business and geographical centre of the island is a town called Burnt Pine. This is a quite modern area. There are not a lot of living houses, but here a lot of touristic companies and banks are located. However, there are not many services that island can offer its visitors. Also there are offices of informational centre, post office, police department and airport, best shops, cafes and restaurants. Except them there is one more interesting building, i.e. one of the major museums on the island, the Middlegate Road museum in the south-eastern part of Burnt-Pine that belongs to the college of Norfolk. Having gathered almost all the materials on the island history since 1790, the museum has a large collection of items that have relation to the first colonies of people on Norfolk, their heroic actions in the Queen's army during the wars in the XX century, old photos (the earliest are of 1867), genealogical materials, items of Norfolk everyday life and a large collection of sea animals. So-called "Film Evenings" are regularly organized here, which combine three excursion tours around the museum and historical miniatures in video format. It should be mentioned that such a serious attitude to the history of the island makes many tourists surprised.
Norfolk flora deserves special attention. Due to the fact that the island is far from big masses of land, until the first Europeans came there were only 178 "native" species of plants. Taking into consideration that on the same territory of Australia there grow about 400 species, it is not many at all. However, they all belong to the group of "rare" or have some special features that greatly distinguish them from their "relatives" that grow in other areas of the planet. Norfolk is a motherland of the great Norfolk pine, the seeds of which are one of the important exporting products of the island, and the pine itself is depicted on the local coat of arms and flag. The tropical forest is full of lianas. However, now a lot of plants become rare, because cattle eat them in great amounts.
The island lies several kilometers to the south from the main island. A walk around green in former times island Phillip is a part of almost all Norfolk visiting programs. The island is an example of irresponsible relationship of human to nature. Endemic rain forest once was absolutely exterminated by the goats, rabbits and pigs that were bred there, and a thin layer of soil was washed away by the rains. That is why now island reminds anhydrous array of volcanic rocks in the middle of the ocean. At the moment Australian Wildlife Protection Society and local volunteers is occupied with the flora restoration on the island. In spite of the tine size of this uninhabited island, here different species of birds live. Some of them are very rare. And the island itself reminds fantastical landscape of an alien planet.