Norfolk Island – Former British Penal Settlement and Home to World Heritage Convict Ruins

Norfolk Island was part of Australian territory, but had been granted limited self-government until July 2016. The island’s unspoiled nature and beautiful scenery attracts more than 20,000 visitors each year. At first glance, it may be hard to believe it was ever a penal colony. Despite being featured in the classic film, “Mutiny on the Bounty”, Norfolk Island isn’t that well known in Japan. So, we set off to explore what this beautiful island has to offer. The ccTLD for Norfolk Island is “.nf“.

♦Where is Norfolk Island?

The island lies east of Australia at latitude 29°02 South and longitude 167°57 East. It is situated between Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. In 1774, Captain James Cook sighted and landed on Norfolk Island, naming it after the Duke of Norfolk. The island has an area of 34.6 km2 and a population of 2,210 (as of 2014). The currency used is the Australian Dollar (AUD). Norfolk is also the name of a city in southeastern Virginia and a county of eastern England.
* As of June 2023

= 目次 =

◆Norfolk Pine – Another Kind of Christmas Tree

◆Unique Museum with the World’s Only Phonebook Listing People by Nickname

◆World Heritage Australian Convict Sites

◆Norfolk Island Cuisine

◆Hiking to Beautiful Secret Beach

◆Sea of Green Handprints & Miscellaneous Norfolk Island Information

◆Finding “.nf” Around Town

◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed


◆Norfolk Pine – Another Kind of Christmas Tree

The Norfolk pine is a native evergreen tree that has become the local icon. It’s even depicted on the flag.

We flew to Norfolk Island from Brisbane airport in Australia. It took about two hours. As you come in to land, you can see lots of Norfolk pines from the window.

We arrive at Norfolk Island Airport. There really wasn’t anyone there, apart from the airport staff.

The tiny airport looks like a couple of cute cottages.

We also saw many Norfolk pines around the airport. The Norfolk pine can be used as a Christmas tree because of its beautiful conical shape, characteristic of conifers. Unusually, it’s also a popular and easy to care for houseplant.

Get up close and you’ll be impressed by its size. They can reach up to 60 meters. That’s the height of a 20-story building!

While these pine trees are found all over the island, there is one in particular that has become famous. It’s known as the “Lone Pine” and is often mentioned in tourist guidebooks and other publications. Standing conspicuously in a world heritage area called Point Hunter, this lone figure has managed to survive for centuries.

If you view it from Emily Bay, you’ll feel the full impact of just how solitary it is.

Emily Bay is also a great spot for swimming.


◆Unique Museum with the World’s Only Phonebook Listing People by Nickname

We next visit the Bounty Museum to learn more about the history of Norfolk Island. It’s about a 5-minute drive from the tourist information center in Kingston.

It’s open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm. There are no closed days. Five rooms display historical items and collections dating back to 1788.

It costs $15 AUD to enter. You can then visit as many times as you like during your trip. There’s also WiFi.

After paying the admission fee, the museum staff will give you a brief introduction to the museum. They also showed us the Pitcairn Islands flag and told us that descendants of the Bounty mutineers moved here from the Pitcairn Islands in 1856 and became primary residents of Norfolk Island from that time onwards.

Bounty Museum also broadcasts a FM radio station.

We go inside. Wow! We were blown away by the size and number of exhibits!

It would be impossible to see it all in one visit. I guess that’s why they let you come back as many times as you like.

Model of the ship “Bounty”, famous for the Mutiny on the Bounty. Also, there are many different items that are part of the Mutiny collection.

In the late 1780’s, Britain started exiling convicts to such places as Australia and Norfolk Island. Many prisons and barracks were built here on the island. Exhibitions show us the inhumane conditions the convicts were kept in.

Convicts weren’t only men. There were also women and children. A number of indigenous Australians were also forced into hard labor. You can even touch and hold the same chains prisoners were once chained to.

Severe penalties were imposed on prisoners for a variety of reasons:

  • For having a pipe
  • For not walking fast enough
  • For doing up shoelaces when muster was called
  • For having tobacco – later gagged for complaining
  • For having tobacco – later gagged for complaining
  • For asking a Gaoler for a chew of tobacco
  • For having a tamed bird
  • For saying “Oh my God” while on the chain
  • For smiling while on the chain
  • For having some raveling from old pair of trousers
  • For walking across the prison yard to make an enquiry
  • For singing a song

These violations could be punished with 50 or more lashes and 10 days imprisonment, and in some cases, they were confined to a cell with 13 other prisoners, with only enough space to stand.

Tools used for whaling and photos from that time period were also on display.

A booth displaying audio equipment and cameras once used on the island.

Here’s a Sony radio. Looks like it’s in pretty good condition.

This old cinematography camera was used on Pitcairn Island many times.

This is a telephone directory. Phone numbers are listed next to names such as Beef, Cane Toad, Carrots, Dar Bizziebee, Duck, Grin Lettuce Leaf, Moose, Moonie, Onion, Hunky and Boo.

This is the “world’s only telephone directory to list people by nickname”. In most cases, while we know their nickname, their real name is unknown.

Fun facts about Norfolk Island:

  1. 1Norfolk Island has the NSW post code of 2899 but is not part of New South Wales.
  2. Norfolk Island votes in the Canberra electorate of Bean, but is not part of the Australian Capital Territory.
  3. Norfolk Islands’ health and education is provided by QLD but it is not part of Queensland.
  4. Norfolk Island’s television stations are broadcast from Alice Springs but it is not part of the Northern Territory.
  5. Norfolk Island’s phone country code is 672 (Antarctica) yet it is not part of Antarctica.
  6. Norfolk Island is an external Territory of Australia, yet it has no direct shipping service to or from Australia.
  7. Norfolk Island’s official airline is not the Australian registered flag carrier Qantas, but Air New Zealand.

As we leave the museum, we suddenly come across a cow and her calf. They weren’t there when we arrived. The calf was eagerly drinking milk from its mom. I hope you grow big and strong, little calf.

World Heritage Australian Convict Sites

Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) was once a convict settlement during the period of convict transportation to Eastern Australia from 1788 to 1855. On July 31st, 2010, it became one of 11 Australian World Heritage Convict Sites. The registered area covers 225 hectares. That’s about the same as 48 Tokyo Domes!

As we walk through the area, we happen upon a small, free resource center called “The R.E.O”. Let’s take a look inside.

Various items related to the convict site are on display.

There is quite a number of norfolkislandmuseums scattered throughout the large historic area. There is also a tour bus available that goes around to each museum, but we didn’t go on it this time.

Site of the original prison complex.

These are the ruins of a three-story building, which began construction in 1829 and after its completion in 1835, housed around 973 prisoners.

As it is a world heritage site, the area is kept tidy and free from any rubbish. We got the impression that the entire area is very well looked after. This green building was a public restroom.

An observatory built on a slightly elevated hill. Queen Elizabeth II visited on February 11, 1974, during a visit to Norfolk Island.

Nearby there was a bench built in memory of Ian Kenny, a Norfolk Island businessman heavily involved in the tourist industry, who died in 2009.


◆Norfolk Island Cuisine

・Bounty Bar & Grill

When we asked at the hotel where the best places to eat are, they first recommended Bounty Bar & Grill. They went ahead and made a reservation for us. The staff here at the hotel are Russian, but have spent most of their lives on Norfolk Island.

It’s already getting pretty dark. With so few street lights, it was a little difficult to find the restaurant, but in the end, we found it.

The atmosphere in this early 1900’s building was very quaint and relaxed.

There were some really gorgeous pieces of antique furniture.

We ordered the steak and grilled fish, which came with plenty of local produce. It was the owner’s recommendation. The steak came with lots of butter.

After our meal, we had dessert and Irish coffee. Everything we had was delicious and the restaurant was cosy and comfortable.

The friendly owner who was happy to have their picture taken.

After paying the bill and just as we were about to leave, the owner invited us to take a look at the kitchen. The friendly and welcoming chefs are originally from Fiji.


・The Olive Cafe

We had breakfast at The Olive Cafe.

As soon as you enter, you’ll notice the Specials of the Day.

It was empty when we first arrived, but it was soon filled with locals and tourists.

A corner selling miscellaneous goods.

It’s a very stylish cafe.

Nice big portions, too.


Latte art.

You can read The Norfolk Islander if you’d like.

It includes the puzzle game, sudoku.


・Hilli restaurant cafe

Hilli Restaurant & Cafe is relatively new and includes an art gallery and some other facilities.

Everything looks so good on the lunch menu that we had a hard time choosing.

In the end, we ordered the lunch plate.


The hamburger was thick and juicy. The word “Hilli” is the Norfuk word for sleepy or lazy. In other words, it’s a cafe-restaurant where you can relax and eat until you’re full and maybe a bit sleepy. Our experience was exactly as the name suggests.


◆Hiking to Beautiful Secret Beach

At Anson Bay, there is a beach that is a well-kept secret. We didn’t realize until we arrived there, but the beach is actually under the cliffs. You can only get there on foot. There’s not long until sunset so we’d better get going.


We follow the signs as we go down.

The path twists and turns so it’s not such a steep decent. It’s relatively easy. The walk back up is probably going to be tough, but we try not to think about it for now.

The path is closed beyond this point due to a land slip. We keep going, using a different route that has a slight incline.

The path travels along the bare hillside.

We’re getting closer to the beach now. But it’s still some distance away.

We stop and take a break on this bench.

Finally, we reach the beach! It’s the perfect spot to watch the sun set so it’s become a popular tourist spot on the island. But today, there was nobody but us.


◆Sea of Green Handprints & Miscellaneous Norfolk Island Information

We stayed at Aloha Apartments, which is long-term accommodation with kitchens and other facilities. The kitchen is equipped with all the dishes and utensils you could ever need. A lot of accommodation is like this on the island.

Living room.

Bedroom. There’s no air-conditioning unit, same as the living room.

Why not? According to information provided, air-conditioning is not permitted on Norfolk Island. The average maximum temperature in February, the hottest month on the island, is 25°C, and the average minimum temperature in August, the coldest month, is 15°C. It certainly seems possible to live here without a/c. We fell asleep with the window open and ended up getting really cold!

While strolling the streets of Kingston, we came across a live jazz band.

On this trip we decided to rent a car. Arrangements can be made through ‘Aloha Rent-a-Car’, an affiliate of Aloha Apartments, where we are staying. An international driver’s license isn’t needed as they accept Japanese licenses.

You will be able to choose where you want to return the car. We decided to return the car at the airport carpark. Helpfully, each Aloha Apartment comes with its own parking space.

You’ll need to be careful of cows while driving. We saw a car waiting for a cow to cross the street.

Some buildings have cattle grids to prevent cows from entering.

Cattle roam freely on the island. Cars drive on the left side of the road, the same as in Japan. If you ever find yourself having to drive around Norfolk Island, just be sure to take it easy.

Near the Norfolk Shopping mall, we saw a large number of handprints. There were so many!

If you look closely, you’ll see there is a name written with each green handprint. What does it mean?

It’s a display for “Hands Up for Democracy”, a group of residents fighting against Australian rule and calling for a return to self-rule.


 ◆Finding “.nf” Around Town

Unfortunately, we didn’t see “.nf” at many places around town. A company run by local artists who design jewelry and other items. Their e-mail address uses “.nf”.

Company van for a local bakery.


◆How to Purchase a SIM & Test the Internet Speed

SIM cards from mainland Australia cannot be used on Norfolk Island, so you will need to purchase one locally. There is just one telecommunication carrier, Norfolk Telecom. We popped in to Norfolk Telecom (close to 9 New Cascade Rd), which we had looked up beforehand, but found they had relocated to the Bicentennial Complex, near the information center.

We head to the tourist information center. We can’t see anywhere that looks like Norfolk Telecom. We decide to check out the green building, and as it happens, it’s where Norfolk Telecom has relocated to.

There is only one SIM card plan for travelers. That keeps things simple. It cost $30 AUD (Aprox. 2,820 JPY), $10 AUD (aprox 940 JPY) of which goes towards the SIM card. It gives you 2GB, valid for 21 days.

A measurement we took near the information center showed 6.2 Mbps.


■List of Places Visited

■For access to Norfolk Island here

■For “.nf” domain details here

■For “” domain details here

■For “” domain details here

■For “” domain details here

■For “” domain details here

9737 Kilometers from Japan, Touring Guernsey Island by Local Bus! I’ll be taking some of the “few and far between” local buses to visit 5 points of interest, including the Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum and the largest park on the island

After a 3-hour whirlwind exploration of Jersey island, the Domain expedition team heads for Guernsey, the second largest of the Channel Islands. The beauty of the island attracted the French impressionist painter Renoir, and is still a popular tourist destination today. The island is a tax haven and has favorable tax treatment for foreigners, as does the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Malta. This is the first time in the history of Domain Island Tours that local/public buses will be used to get around and explore. The ccTLD assigned to Guernsey, “.gg”, is a popular domain in the gaming and sports industry as it stands for “good game”.

Where is Guernsey?

Guernsey island, known for being the setting of the 2018 film “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”, is one of the islands that make up the Channel Islands off the coast of Normandy, France, and is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. While the British government controls foreign affairs and defense, Guernsey has its own parliament and government and a high degree of independence, different from most overseas territories and colonies. The population is about 65,000. The local currency is pound sterling, or the Guernsey pound.

= Table of Contents =

◆The first Japanese Person to Stay in a Classic Guernsey Hotel

◆First ever on a Domain Island Tour! Exploring by Local Bus

◆The 2nd location, the Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, once a Napoleonic Fort

◆A Japanese Garden at the 3rd Location, Saumarez Park

◆ Locations 4 and 5 – a Japanese Restaurant and a Game Shop Selling Japanese Anime Goods

◆Finishing on Time and Without Incident

◆Finding “.gg” Around Town

◆How to Purchase an eSIM & Test the Internet Speed


◆The first Japanese Person to Stay in a Classic Guernsey Hotel

On my way to Guernsey from Jersey. The trip began with a one-hour delay due to airplane maintenance, but our small Blue Islands propeller plane made the trip to Guernsey in about 20 minutes.

The airport is quite modern, despite James (my driver in Jersey), telling me that Guernsey is not a city.

Let’s head to the hotel by taxi. But… you could wait forever and a taxi would never come. I’d booked a restaurant, so I impatiently asked the airport staff for assistance. They called the company for me, but no one ever came.

Walking around the area, I notice a bus stop. I board what is likely the last bus of the day.

I get off at a bus stop that I presume is near my hotel. I walk about 20 minutes, with the help of Google Maps. At around 10pm, I finally reach the hotel. I have a late dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Oh, and incidentally, the restaurant I booked but missed out on was called “KOI KOI”. It’s a local well-known restaurant that offers Asian, fusion, creative Japanese cuisine, steak and sushi. I really wanted to check it out.

I’m staying at Les Douvres Hotel, a converted 18th Century manor house, previously owned by a lord or nobleman. It has a lovely, classic appearance.

The staff told me I was the first Japanese person to stay there. It seems it’s not visited by Japanese people, perhaps because it’s located in the suburbs. They were very friendly and kind, and the English Breakfast was excellent! I really recommend this hotel. Why not be their second Japanese visitor?

◆First ever on a Domain Island Tour! Exploring by Local Bus

When I found the bus stop at the airport the night before, I also found a map of the island’s public bus route. I’ve explored 29 islands so far, but this is the first time to see an island with a local bus route! So, I decided to explore Guernsey by bus. I’ll visit 5 locations on the island.

My starting point is the bus stop near the hotel. I plan to take the bus to the first location, the German Occupation Museum. However, it’s proving difficult to find the bus stop. When I finally come across the bus stop, it simply has “BUS” written on the ground. I guess you tend to think a bus stop means a place with a timetable and a sign with the name of the bus stop, but in Guernsey, some bus stops only have the word “BUS” written on the ground.

Here is the “Town Terminal” bus. I take this bus to the next connecting bus stop.

The bus fare was £1.25. It’s easy to pay with just a swipe of your card.

The bus was pretty empty.

Once off the bus, I looked for the bus stop where the airport-bound buses depart.

I found it! This one has a sign.

The bus turns up.

I arrive at the closest bus stop. There is a sign pointing the way to the German Occupation Museum. Everything is going well today.

I arrive at the German Occupation Museum. It’s open.

I walk around the grounds before entering the museum. Propeller wreckage is displayed in memory of the Royal Air Force’s 153 Squadron and Allied aircrew who lost their lives over Guernsey waters.

Let’s go inside. Entry costs £6.

After the fall of France in May 1940, Hitler saw the Channel Islands as a springboard for an invasion of Britain. A large number of valuable documents are on display, showing what it was like in those days.

The Enigma machine and other communication devices used by the Germans look like the forerunner of modern laptop computers.

A sign reads “Keep Your Heads! Don’t Be Yellow! Business As Usual”, encouraging people to go about life as normal.

There was also a notice that said: “Anyone with a communication device will be punished.”

Due to the lack of facilities available, it seems that German soldiers and local residents had to live together.

The Jersey War Tunnels told of the misery of life under German occupation and expressed negative feelings, but here at the German Occupation Museum there is also material that talks about the kindness of the Germans.

It’s time to head to the second location. As I was leaving the museum, a man at reception told me to look upstairs as well. When I told him that I would miss my bus so I’d come back another time, he said “There are no buses to Japan”. Since he was so enthusiastic to recommend the second floor, I hurried up and took a quick look. Anyway, was his comment about “no buses to Japan” the dry humor of a British gentleman, or was he really worried about me? Maybe it wasn’t a joke as he was straight-faced and didn’t smile at all.

◆The 2nd location, the Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, once a Napoleonic Fort

I head to the 2nd location, Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum, which was once a Napoleonic fort. I’m traveling now to the west coast of the island. The local buses are very handy! Something that looks like a fort can be seen in the distance.

I’ll get off here.

I’ve arrived at Fort Grey . Right in front of me is the Napoleonic fort. Where is the Fort Grey Shipwreck Museum?

I walk in the direction of the fort.

The museum is in the fort. Entry is £4.

It’s not that big inside. It’s divided into two floors.

The Napoleonic Fort refers to Fort Grey, originally built as a defense by the British in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars.

The west coast of Guernsey is rocky and many ships have suffered shipwreck here over the centuries.

The museum displays the records and remains of these sunken ships.

There’s a reproduction of the cockpit of a sunken ship, using the remains of a shipwreck.

Let’s go down to the first floor.

Dishes and portholes (small windows in the side of a ship) that have been recovered.

Life jackets are also on display. Huh? What’s that? There’s Japanese writing.

It’s on a life jacket from the Liberian registered grain carrier M.V. Radiant Med, which capsized at 1:30am on the 24th of January 1984 and subsequently sank 18 miles off St Martin’s Point, Guernsey. Why is there Japanese writing on life jackets from a Liberian registered ship? The ship was originally built in 1970 by Hashihama Shipbuilding, owned by “Murakami Kaiun” and called the “Shunseimaru”. It changed owners in 1977. So, it seems the Japanese life jackets were kept as part of the ship’s supplies.

I got to see valuable artifacts that we don’t often get the chance to see.

Finally, looking out to Rocquaine Bay from the fort, I see a number of stranded boats?!
It’s just low tide, so they’re not really stranded. Let’s make our way to location number 3.

◆A Japanese Garden at the 3rd Location, Saumarez Park

This time we are heading east, away from the west coast to Saumarez Park, our 3rd location, so I wait for bus 91 to Vazon Bay.

It’s here.

We can see the west coast on the left as we drive.

I need to transfer en-route.

We arrive.

Saumarez Park is the largest public park on the island, with a museum of traditional costumes, a cafe, a playground, lawns and a pond.

For the time being, I’ll just walk around this large park.

A lady walking her dog asks me if I am from Japan. “There’s a Japanese garden here”, she says. Let’s take a look.

There’s an ISUZU truck parked here.

I walk a few minutes more. I find a sign that says in Japanese, “Guernsey’s little Japan”!

James St Vincent Saumarez (4th Baron Saumarez), who was posted to the British legation in Tokyo for three years from 1876, brought in Japanese carpenters and built a Japanese house in Guernsey.

The building was removed after it was damaged in World War II. However, the Japanese plants he brought back with him still remain to this day.

A nearby sign reads “Japanese Walk”. Let’s see what’s that way.

A turret-like building comes into view.

Built in 1935, it was badly damaged during the occupation. It was restored in 1989, but closed in 2019 after an inspection in 2016 showed that extensive repair work was needed. It reopened to the public on September 17th, 2021 after two years of restoration work.

◆Locations 4 and 5 – a Japanese Restaurant and a Game Shop Selling Japanese Anime Goods

Let’s head towards the town center.

I’m now at St. Peter Port.

Looking for the Japanese restaurant.

I’ve found it. Fukku Izakaya, a Japanese bar and restaurant that serves Japanese food. It just opened on April 29th of this year. It’s pretty busy.

The inside doesn’t really feel like Japan. Huh? What’s that? Those lights hanging from the ceiling… pretty sure I’ve seen something like that before.

It’s shaped like a soy sauce bottle. Nice touch. I was starving, so under the light of the giant soy sauce bottle, I ordered squid tempura, takoyaki, chicken katsu curry and miso ramen.

First to arrive was the squid tempura and takoyaki.

The ramen.

The katsu curry. On other islands, sushi, tempura, ramen and takoyaki are often found on the menu, but this was the first time I had seen katsu (cutlet) curry on offer.
Apart from being surprised that the green tea was fizzy, everything else was pretty good.

With a full and satisfied stomach, let’s now move on to our final location, the game shop that sells Japanese anime goods.

The store behind this statue of a Guernsey cow sells Guernsey milk. Jersey milk is more well-known in Japan, in fact there are only 3 Guernsey dairy farms in the whole country. Guernsey milk is said to have high nutritional value and a clean aftertaste.

I find our 5th location, “Just Games”.

Let’s take a look around. I see some Pokemon.

They have figurines from One Piece and Demon Slayer.

They also sell novelty erasers from the brand iwako.

I had a great time. Thank you! Now it’s time to make my way to my final goal, the airport.

◆Finishing on Time and Without Incident

By using the Google Maps Route Planner, I was able to visit all five locations within the limited time I had available.

I’m waiting for the bus to the airport, but there’s no sign of it.

This could be a problem. The bus I had planned to take has been cancelled, and the buses now arriving were a bit chaotic because they either had the wrong destination sign or they’d forgot to display any sign at all.

After asking other people waiting and the bus driver, I was finally able to board a bus heading to the airport.

Local bus trip in Guernsey – finished successfully! I’ve made it in time for my flight.

I leave the Channel Islands and set off for my next destination.

◆Finding “.gg” Around Town

The “.gg” domain is used by several businesses. At a barbershop.

An organic specialty store.

Co-working Spaces.

A specialty tapioca tea shop.

And, on the buses that helped me out today!

◆How to Purchase an eSIM & Test the Internet Speed

Domain Island Tours have reported on how to find and purchase local SIM cards from June 2018 to September 2020. However, since it takes a surprisingly long time to find a store and buy one, from now on we’ll use eSIMs. Switching to eSIM made it easy to sign up for a connection that works in Guernsey. Guernsey eSIM speeds as measured at Guernsey Airport. It was 74Mbps.

■List of Places Visited

■For access to Guernsey click here

■For “.gg” domain details click here

■For “” domain details click here

■For “” domain details click here

■For “” domain details click here