Norfolk Island is the best place on earth. We have always been marketed towards the older generation but we are definitely made for the younger generation as well. We eat and live seasonally. Everything from the air to the food is as fresh as it gets.
It’s such an incredibly safe and beautiful island. We have amazing beaches, waves, landscapes and most of the time you will have them all to yourself.
My name’s Zach Sanders and I’m a 34 year old photographer from Norfolk Island. I mainly shoot surf and ocean but have also worked with tourism agencies as well as production companies shooting video on and off island.
My wife and I (and our son Charlie Finn) run an organic Goat farm where we run paddock to plate tours and my wife is a cheese maker. I’m a lover of the ocean and love surfing, diving and anything to do with the ocean. I grew up on Norfolk island and am a descendant of the bounty mutineers.
I’ve always really loved photography but never really understood it or had the funds to chase it as a passion. Growing up I wanted to be a professional surfer so I chased that for a while unsuccessfully haha! I never had enough money to buy a camera.
Once I moved back home I needed my wave fix. I learnt a few of the basics from my wife as she is a photographer and just took it from there. I’m self taught. I’ve spent many hours surfing, shooting and searching on Google techniques and practices.
I actually fell in love with photography after a trip we did around the world. I shot a few photos in India and kind of just went from there. Coming from Norfolk Island I’ve been lucky to shoot for surfing and spear-fishing magazines as well for a big wave documentary with Red Bull in Tahiti.
The Awesome People and Culture of Norfolk Island
We have so many beautiful places here that are special in their own way. For me the best place is the ocean. I’ve always said you haven’t seen Norfolk Island until you have seen it from the ocean.
The cliffs are so rugged and beautiful. And the ocean is crystal-clear. It’s utterly mind-blowing how beautiful this place is!
Aside from the rugged natural beauty, I think the people make Norfolk Island 100%. We are all friendly and happy to help. I think that’s the result of a great close community. We are super rich in culture and are very proud of where we have come from.
We are descendants of the mutiny of the bounty. Our heritage goes back to English and Tahitian so we have our own language which is a mix of old English and Tahitian. With this background we are rich in Tahitian culture such as weaving, dancing and cooking.
Tourism is our main economy. A lot of people work in that industry but really we are just a small town in the middle of the ocean haha! Your normal tradie and retail jobs are essential.
Getting to Norfolk Island: Air New Zealand & Air Chathams
Air New Zealand flies out of Australia five times a week from Sydney and Brisbane international airports. Air Chathams also fly out of Auckland international airport once a week.
Prices vary like anywhere you go. You’ll be looking at around $600 return for flights. But you can get awesome little packages which include your flights, accommodation and car hire.
Most of the accommodation on the island is pretty good. It just depends on your budget I guess (like everywhere else). We have a number of airbnb’s, hotels and smaller places to stay.
8 Best Things To Do on Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island is a tiny, remote island (only 8km long and 5km wide) but it sure does pack a punch for such a small place! The eventful history, the rugged untamed beauty, the subtropical climate and the happy-go-lucky people – there are so many things to enjoy here on Norfolk Island.
Below you can read my top recommended experiences on the island.
1. Discover the Beautiful Beaches of Norfolk Island
The best experiences on Norfolk Island would have to start with the beaches. They are so clean, beautiful and safe.
Emily Bay is one of our best for sure. It’s set in the World Heritage listed area of Kingston and offers a sheltered lagoon home to colourful fish and corals. Go swimming in crystal-clear water that is ideal for snorkelling.
Anson Bay is another beauty of a beach. It’s super secluded, nestled at the bottom of a steep cliff just off Anson Bay Road. Due to its seclusion, you have to take a walking track to get there which winds down to the beach. Anson is one of the best places to watch the sunset.
Lastly, check out Bumboras Reserve – known colloquially as “Bumby”. It’s a secluded rocky beach which has awesome little rock pools to swim in and rock perches to go fishing from.
2. Catch a Wave at a Popular Surfing Spot
We have some incredible waves when the wind and swells line up. Most of the time you have the waves all to yourself or with a couple of mates. And picture the setting: rugged cliff faces and big pine trees surround you while you surf. Not bad, huh?!
Head down to Bumboras Reserve on a good day and you’ll discover a sweet longboard break. Paddle around the warm crystal-clear waters and take in all the natural beauty of Norfolk Island. Most likely, there won’t be another soul around you.
3. Learn Why Norfolk is a Fisherman’s Dream Destination
The fishing is amazing on Norfolk. You’re guaranteed to catch a fish every time you get out on the water. We have some awesome fishing charters such as Charter Marine, Advance Fishing and Greenwoods Fishing Adventures.
Norfolk Island has many of the same fish species as the mainland of Australia such as Kingfish and Trevally. No matter what you catch though, it’s always a fun day out fishing with some mates!
4. Visit the Paddock to Plate Hilli Goat Farm
You can wander through our Edible Gardens whilst we explain the milking and cheese making process.
The highlight is (of course) getting to sit down and enjoy a delicious Hilli Goat style platter of freshly made goat cheese and edible delights picked straight from our garden. We describe it as the paddock to plate way of life or just “The Norfolk Way”.
5. Take in the Incredible Views on a Norfolk Island Hike
The national park hikes are beautiful. You can walk through the forests or along the beautiful rugged coast line. The views from the two highest points on the island – Mt Pitt and Mt Bates – are pretty special. Or you can visit the Captain Cook monument for spectacular sea views.
6. Enjoy the Fresh Paddock to Plate Food
In recent years, Norfolk Island has become something of a foodie heaven. Restaurants such as Dino’s, The Homestead and Hillis offer world-class dining options. You can enjoy some of the freshest fish on earth, delicious succulent beef and pork, and artisan products like coffee and honey.
All the fruit and veggies are as fresh as you can get and the taste will blow you away. Our food scene is getting better and better each year and in fact it’s a highlight of a lot of people’s stay. Some great cafes on the island are The Golden Orb and The Olive Cafe.
7. Explore Phillip Island Located Six Kilometres Away
Phillip Island is an island located about six kilometres south of Norfolk Island. It’s an insane place! The middle of the island looks like Mars and the end of the island is like Jurassic Park. Trekking around the island and taking in the unique landscapes is a lot of fun.
Wildlife is also a big attraction of Phillip Island. Every year, thousands of seabirds migrate here to breed such as black-winged petrels, sooty terns and masked boobies. The island is predator free which makes it an ideal place for these beautiful birds to nest amongst plants.
8. Go Snorkelling in the Warm Crystal-Clear Waters
Some of the best snorkelling and free-diving can be found at Emily Bay and Slaughter Bay. Low tide offers perfect conditions and you’ll be amazed to see the colourful fish and rich coral life. Just two steps off the beach and you enter this beautiful underwater world.
Alternatively, you can join a Glass Bottom Boat tour.
Other Activities to Enjoy on Norfolk Island
If you like golf we have one of the most scenic courses in the world right on the ocean. It’s called Norfolk Island Golf Club. Our history is pretty insane too. We have a lot of beautiful old colonial buildings which date back to the convict days. The list of things to do goes on and on.
What you Need to Know Before you Go
Just be ready to unwind and relax on Norfolk Island. You can do as much or as little as you would like. Also cows have the right of way on the road so that’s probably our only source of traffic haha!
People are extremely friendly here and wave as they drive past. Don’t think that someone’s giving you the finger because they’re not! It’s just a friendly wave haha…Enjoy!