For those who sail or fly into Norfolk today, the luscious rolling hills and turquoise lagoon evoke feelings of awe for the island is a splendid sight. From the air the island seems small rising from the deep blue in volcanic waves. It’s hard to imagine that an island of such size could hold volumes of history and then there’s the first glimpse of World Heritage Listed Kingston.
All four of Norfolk’s settlements centre around this historic capital, a town called after Lieutenant Phillip Gidley King, the man in charge of transforming Norfolk Island into a sister colony for the fledgling Port Jackson community of the First Fleet.
Norfolk’s beautiful shores have conjured a range of human emotions throughout the island’s history. Arriving by Polynesian canoe around 400AD, the island’s earliest known settlers found relief from a vast blue ocean.
Fast forward to the year 1788 and a small band of settlers on board HMS Supply looked to the uninhabited island with great determination and promise. Several decades later and hardened convicts would view Norfolk’s foreshore with impending doom.
Then in 1865 a new chapter in the island’s history began with the hope and faith of an entire Pitcairn Island population. For this last wave of settlers, their first sightings of Norfolk Island signified new beginnings and home.
The current custodians of Norfolk Island are descended from the British mutineers and their Polynesian companions who famously sailed the stolen HMS Bounty to Pitcairn, then watched it burn into the ocean, sealing their fate. Relocating to Norfolk Island some sixty-six years later, the Piticairners added their own chapter of intrigue to Norfolk’s story. The many layers of Norfolk’s history combine to create a tale unlike any other.
The eight island families who arrived on 8th June 1856, on the Morayshire from Pitcairn were Adams, Christian, Evans, Nobbs, Young, Buffett, Quintal and McCoy.