Norfolk Island has a history that stretches back well before the European settlement of Australia as well as a colourful recent past which includes being home to the survivors of the mutiny on the Bounty. When Captain James Cook first sighted Norfolk Island in 1774 he wouldn’t have known it had first been settled by East Polynesian seafarers 250 years previously. By the time Europeans settled seriously in 1788 they had long disappeared.
Today Norfolk Island, which lies directly east of New South Wales and north of New Zealand in the Pacific, is best known for its iconic Norfolk Island Pines and as a haven for tourists drawn by its history, beaches, outdoor pursuits and friendly residents. Kingston, the main administrative centre lies in the south of the island and has an abundance of good restaurants and other facilities to keep the visitor entertained. Nearly half of the present population can trace their roots to the original Bounty mutineers including Fletcher Christian. Of the remainder a third were born on the Australian mainland and about a fifth in New Zealand. A strong blend of Polynesian and European heritage has created a distinctive society characterized by neighbourliness, self-help and barter.
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