'Sans moon, Norfolk is wrapped in a mantle of pure, unadulterated blackness, leaving the stars to twinkle in harmony above. It thoroughly disorientates me.
Tim Latham, a noted Australian writer of travelogues, described dark Norfolk nights in these enchanting words in his acclaimed book ˜Norfolk: Island of Secrets'.
In all fairness, that is the kind of effect Norfolk is known to have on its visitors. It is an island that looks nothing short of a piece of paradise that has mistakenly been sent in remote waters of the Pacific, a thousand miles off the coast of Eastern Australia. But a deeper insight into the island's history is what will capture your attention far better than its outlook ever can.
Established in the 17th century as a penal colony of the British Empire, Norfolk, for over two centuries, was an island of quarantine. This was where criminals of all races and ages were sent to suffer in quietude, without any trace of contact with the world at large. Haunting memories of those centuries have forever scarred the psyche of Norfolk, and you only have to walk down its scarcely paved streets on a quiet, moonless night to experience it first-hand.
But it's not all too bad. Administratively speaking, Norfolk is a part of the Commonwealth of Australia, with the home rule in existence. Economically speaking, Norfolk is sort of on the falling edge of the curve, maintaining its balance between pride and insolvency. But these attributes shouldn't affect your decision to travel to Norfolk, because only tourism can bring Norfolk to prosperity again.
Perhaps, now is the best time to start the revival, and this quick guide to various Norfolk hotels is just the push you need to get your plans going and your tour vibe raging!
Budget Accommodation in Norfolk
Norfolk of today is rather badly placed when it comes to the financial health of the administration. With an area of just about 35 square kilometres, it doesn't have much to work with, either.
But not all of the picture is grim for this punished island. There are quite a few tourist attraction that hundreds of tourists get attracted to every month. Quite naturally, to accommodate them all, a number of hotel and resort establishments are in operation on Norfolk, with cheap hotels making up for the largest constituent of hospitality revenue.
Panorama Seaside is the most famous among these, boasting of an enviable seaside location that is sure to woo tourists and their penchant for all things idyllic.
Another good option can be Paradise Hotel and Resort. It must be noted here Norfolk is rather more expensive in terms of tourism, and hence, the ideas and standards of cheap hotels elsewhere would be inapplicable here. A night's stay in even the cheapest of establishment will cost you $140 or even higher!
Luxury Resorts in Norfolk
To chase luxury, one has to be able to shell out big money. And when in Norfolk, you need the best of amenities to keep yourself happy, because the island is rather cut off from the rest of the world.
What you can do, however, is take shelter in one of many luxury hotels in Norfolk, in order to ensure that you are well tended to “ day in and day out!
Sherwater Scenic Villas is our top pick in this category of lavish Norfolk hotels. Though not a hotel in the strictest sense of the word, it definitely is an accommodation option that is at par with the best in the business, when one talks about luxury and charm.
Cumberland Resort & Spa can also be a good alternative. Filled to the brim with naturally beautiful surroundings, the brand of hospitality that Cumberland Resort & Spa brings to you is unmatched.
Must Do Things and Must See Sights in Norfolk
An area of a few square miles of land can be deceptive and unassuming at first. But tourists can rest assured that there's a lot to do and see on this beautiful island.
In Kingston, the Norfolk Museum can be your one-stop spot for understanding the historical heritage that this tiny island carries.
Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama can help you understand the spirit of Norfolk in a better way, as well.
What You Need to Know Before Visiting Norfolk
Being an Australian territory, immigration is quite strict in Norfolk. Tourists should be careful of carrying any external food or beverages, as quarantine laws of the island do not allow for that.
Also, you need special clearance from proper channels to be able to receive the permit to travel to Norfolk. Just having an Australian visa will not suffice.
While sightseeing in Norfolk, tourists need to be aware of the historical baggage the island carries “ both good and bad “ in order to understand the significance of various sights in a more intimate way. So, hiring a local guide to show you around the island will definitely be a great idea.
Beaches in Norfolk are quite swim-friendly, but you should always be wary of tidal waves, as they tend to be quick and high.
Best Time to Visit Norfolk
As is the case with Australia, being located in the Southern Hemisphere causes seasons in Norfolk to be diametrically opposite to seasons in Europe and North America.
Winter in Norfolk can get pretty chilly, especially because of its small area, lack of human activity and free flowing Pacific winds. These bouts of cold usually last from June to October, with September being the coldest month on the island. So, quite logically, there is no point in visiting Norfolk during these months.
Summer in Norfolk is simply delightful. It lasts from December to April, with January and February being the hottest and driest months. In that sense, these two months mark the best time to travel to this secluded island.
On the down side of it, however, many hotels in Norfolk have the tendency of making the most of this improved tourist inflow by increasing room tariffs.