There's more to Norfolk Island There's more to Norfolk Island

One of the most common questions people ask when planning a holiday to Norfolk Island is, "Do I need a hire car?" The answer is yes! Locals also suggest you become familiar with Norfolk's very unique road rules before you hit the road.


Over two millions years ago, Norfolk Island was formed by volcanic activity creating a rugged landscape of hills and valleys. The island is now covered in more than 120 kilometres of road - which is why a hire car is highly recommended. Whilst some accommodations include a hire car, you can also book your own car with one of the car hire operators. Airport bus transfers to and from your accommodation are usually included in your package, allowing you to collect your hire car from your accommodation. Otherwise you can request that your vehicle be at the airport for your arrival – just make sure you notify the hire car operator or booking agent.

Norfolk has vehicles to suit all needs, including small zippy cars for singles and couples, or SUV's and larger mini-vans providing comfort for families and groups. Once you settle in to the comfort of your car, all you need is directions to navigate around the island's winding roads. If your phone doesn't have roaming data, you probably should grab a printed map to find your way.

The Visitor Information Centre has maps galore: road maps; a map of the World Heritage Site in Kingston; a map of the walking tracks; and even a map of all the road-side stalls. Grab what you need, and relish in discovering the island for yourself. And when you have finished with your maps, the Information Centre has a recycling facility for re-usable maps and brochures, so please pop them in the box at the end of your stay.

Apart from the usual road rules - like wearing seat belts and observing the speed limit - there are some quirky local road rules you need to know.

1. The Norfolk Wave!

Local drivers provide a friendly wave as they pass vehicles, and visitors are encouraged to do the same. It's called the Norfolk wave and if you look carefully, many techniques can be observed. Try and spot the whole hand wave, the two hand wave, the whole arm out the window wave, or just a finger wave… but never the middle finger! There's even a poem called the 'The Norfolk Wave' written by local poet the late Archie Bigg. The poem ends: "Spare us a thought when you drive in your car, this tradition we surely must save. Put your car into gear and keep to the left and give us a good Norfolk wave"

2. Cows roam free!

Cows roam free on Norfolk Island, cross the road at their leisure, stand in the middle of the road at their leisure, and… well, you get the picture! Keep an eye out for the cheeky calves who think the whole island is one big playground and run around without a care in the world.

3. Livestock have the right of way!


All livestock, including cows, feral chooks, roosters and ducks, have the right of way, so be prepared for the occasional traffic jam of the four legged or feathered kind.

4. .Unsealed roads impassable when wet!

Keep an eye out for the "Road impassable when wet" road signs. There are only a few unsealed roads, but after some heavy rain they can quickly turn slippery and muddy. Ignoring these signs on a wet day can easily put a damper on your holiday!

5 .Speed limit… slow!

Norfolk Island's maximum speed limit is only 50km. Some areas are only 40km and the school zone and Kingston are 30km. So slow down and enjoy the scenery!

If you are up to the challenge and prefer to see the island on two wheels, push bikes are available for hire. The fresh air and stunning scenery will definitely be worth the effort.There is good news though - if you still want the two wheel experience without putting in the effort - join an Electric Bike tour and let the battery power do the work for you.

You may even like to take a break from driving by joining a tour and let the local bus drivers look after you. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the island's attractions and highlights.

A local Taxi provides a great service day or night. If you are heading out to a restaurant and feel like an extra wine or two, let 'Kasaad Kabs' ('Naughty cabs' in the local language) do the driving for you.

Around every corner, the scenery transforms, so much so that it can be easy to forget you are on a sub-tropical island. Driving down a tree-lined lane will seem like a Sunday drive through the country and visiting Emily Bay is like taking a trip to the coast. Venturing to the highest road on the island on Mount Pitt and seeing 360° of Pacific Ocean will make you feel like you have really driven "out of town!"

Although the island is only 8km x 5km you will be amazed at how many kilometres you manage to clock up. There is no rush to get anywhere, so take your time and grab the many photo opportunities. Oh… and keep an eye out for those feathered or four legged traffic jams!!

"Wesaid yu gwen?" Where are you going?

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