The pleasures of walking Norfolk Island
The pleasures of walking Norfolk Island

Walking Norfolk Island

Photo credit: Norfolk Island Tourism

This is a recent email sent by a couple who stayed with us recently. It gives a very good overview of their “walking holiday” on Norfolk Island. 

Again, many thanks for making our stay most enjoyable and all the extras you did for us. The unit was great, the bed comfortable and the cooking facilities appreciated by we who tended to eat there and not out at Burnt Pine every night.

While we enjoyed all the places we visited on Norfolk Island, the places we enjoyed the most were definitely those we walked to.

And now for the pleasures of walking Norfolk Island. As mentioned during our time there, while we were prepared for the distances involved, we were not for the steep inclines and the humidity. We also did not realise that Mokutu was located towards the south east corner of the island. However we did find many advantages:

The opportunity to maintain or improve our level of fitness;
Also the possibility of getting a bit of a suntan;
To feel the sea breeze as we travelled down roads to many of the features and to gulp in huge lungfulls of that fresh, clean Norfolk air on the way up the hills.

While, it was great to meet many fellow tourist and islanders at the various ‘touristy’ destinations, our walking gave us opportunities to:

Talk to locals and tourists when they stopped to offer us a lift (always declined with a thank-you);

To meet locals going about their daily lives, tending their gardens, herding their cattle back into their paddocks, road workers and other workers improving island infrastructure, teenagers ‘shooting the breeze’ while enjoying their school holidays or surfing the quieter beaches and the locals walking along the beaches;

Tourist Experience:
We got to know the roaming cattle as individual animals, not just road hazards and the chickens with their chicks (we could see how many chicks that each hen had);
We were able to see the many ruins of buildings and infrastructure from historical times that were unmarked as we walked the roads;
We got a very clear picture of the topography and geology of the island, particularly in the southern half.

Where did we walk?
Mokutu to Burnt Pine: 2 times there and 2 times back;
Mokutu to Ball Bay: once;
Mokutu to Two Chimneys Reserve: once;
Mokutu to Kingston: there and back via Rooty Hill Road, there by Collins Head Road (to Endeavour Lodge) and then along Driver Christian Road and then back by Middlegate Road. We also walked the full length of Kingston back and forwards twice.

How far did we walk?
According to Rose’s ‘fitbit’ (can you trust technology?), over the 10 days there, we walked 170, 614 steps, approximately 110 kms (and that was even with the hire car for 5 days). Would we advise others to do Norfolk Island the same way – yes most definitely but with the following provisos:
To be at least as fit or to be even fitter for walking that we are (and we know a number of couples of our age that are.
If based in accommodation at Burnt Pine, the whole island would be more accessible for walking.
If possible using 3 ‘base camps’ over the holiday period: e.g. Mokutu for 3 days, somewhere near Anson Bay for 3 days and near Cascade for 3 days. This would require some way of offering the 3 locations of accommodation at the same or similar price, some form of transport for people and their luggage between the 3 sites, some way of people being ‘ferried’ into Burnt Pine for meals or supplies.

Kevin and Rose Mowlam

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