Norfolk Island is a 40 sq km self-governing Australian dependency in Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. First founded in the 19th century as a convict colony (like Australia), it was later settled with descendants of the mutineers from HMS Bounty, who had outgrown their original home in Pitcairn Islands further to the east. (The mutiny of HMS Bounty and the subsequent amazing tales of the characters involved, were the subject of many books and films)
Today, the island is a self-governing entity with its own language (Norf’k), flag, stamps and government. I flew here from New Zealand and spent one day visiting this beautiful island of green meadows and pine forests, together with its 19th century convict and colonial buildings which is currently under consideration by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. I had interesting conversations with locals about what they thought about Norfolk Island’s autonomous status and its future and whether full incorporation would be preferable – the answer is the present status quo is best – it allows the islanders to run things the way they want and yet ask Australia for funds when they run into deficit (which is the case now).
On Sunday, I flew on to Sydney and hopped onto a bus for Canberra, capital of Australia.