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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

postcards from norfolk show

Whutta-waye (how are you)!
 I was supposed to be back days ago with some more of Norfolk!
I was not being hilli (lazy), but have been very busy with a few things coming up
- all will be revealed soon I promise!!

 The main reason we went to Norfolk Island,
was to attend the Royal Agricultural Show,
or as we call it the Show or as Americans call it the Fair.

 VCH went over to help one of his customers promote his business and to answer any agricultural type questions.
You know - what to feed a pregnant horse, how to fix scale on a chickens legs, what to give a dog with eczema, how to make the soil better etc. etc.

The show was quite different from anything I have seen before.
The rides consisted of a merry-go round, and a jumping castle that didn't actually turn up but was advertised.

The Show started at 12pm and finished at 4pm,
although the horse events had been happening for some days and the cattle had been judged prior,
with the judge flown over from Kiwi (New Zealand),
 he goes and sees the cattle on their farms rather than them all being taken to the showground,
the champions then just come for the day.

A blacksmith comes over every year from Oz (Australia)
Here he is shoeing a lovely Clydesdale to an appreciative audience, he often got the kids to help.

VCH watching the smithy.

Some of the chooks (poultry) display.

Making traditional hats.

The produce included these Hawaiian passionfruit, which were delicious and if it wasn't for customs some may have come back with us!
The local bananas were amazing!

First time I have ever seen bush lemons judged at a show!

The cooking featured different goods to what I am used to at our local show, 
 tarts, cheesecakes, pavlovas and banana cake to name a few.

These are the Baunti (Bounty) dancers.
These young girl's have embraced the Tahitian part of their Bounty inheritance and are learning to dance traditional Tahitian dances, some to traditional Norfolk songs,  that have now been recorded.
A dance instructor is flown over regularly from Tahiti to help the girls.
They were passing the hat around to help pay for the girls to get to Australia as they have been selected to be part of the NSW's school spectactular.
The school on Norfolk has around 400 students and is run by the NSW board of studies, so has the same curriculum and school holidays as we do.

Norfolk Island also has a NSW postcode!
Which is working in their favour at the moment because they are taking advantage of the free postage offered by some companies (until the companies work out that their postage to a particular NSW post code is costing them a fortune!) It costs around $4 per kilo to fly it over there.
Everything except fresh fruit, veggies and meat (which can only be grown on the island) is shipped in from Australia or New Zealand (Oz or Kiwi as the locals call it).
Dairy products are flown in from NZ. 
Fresh milk is $7 a litre, 
so most people use UHT milk at about $2.50 per litre.
There were 2 dairies on the island until UHT milk came in and because it was cheaper the dairies ended up going out of business.
The boats are suppose to come every 6 weeks and VCH spends a lot of time getting stuff reading and taking it to the port to be shipped at $1000 per pallet!
This year however due to the weather and a couple of other things they have only had 3 boats- things can get pretty dire when it 10 weeks have gone by without a boat!

Things are hard on Norfolk as they rely on tourism to generate income, but they don't have a proper port where a boat can safely anchor and if the weather is bad the cruise ships won't stop.
There has been talk about the Australian government taking back control of the island, 
but this is not really the answer.
Talking to locals, what is needed is funds from the government to build a proper port and because it is the perfect stop for cruise ships, this in turn would generate enough income to get the island back on it's feet, and it would be able to be self supporting.
It would also help get the goods safely off the cargo ships and this would mean that the weather would not affect the unloading.
We met a lot of locals and visited farms and properties around the island.
Some of these people are descended from the Pitcairn Islanders (ie the Bounty mutineers),
others are more recent arrivals like our friend Martin, who we stayed with, and first came to Norfolk as a teenager, then holidayed there with his family for many years and has now lived permanently on Norfolk for about 18 years.

We picked up a bit of the language, it is a combination of 18th century English and Tahitian- a type of creole, it is called a living language, you find it on signs everywhere and until recently it was included in the school curriculum (locals are not happy that it has been dropped).
It is important that it is used and spoken so that it doesn't die out. 

The history of the place with it's 4 distinctive settlements (Polynesian, Convict 1 and 2 and Pitcairn Islanders) is just fascinating and the historic buildings are a must,  
the natural beauty has to be seen to be believed 
and the people were very friendly.
We were really bussup (broken up) at having only a few days there!
(Thanks Carolyn)

It truly was a lovely place and we would love to take the children back over and stay for a longer time!


  1. A great insight into life on Norfolk. Enjoyed the photos. I understand that there are limits on moving to Norfolk and travel there?

    1. The rules have changed now, you used to have to be employed to live here, now it has been opened up to self funded retirees as well.
      Its not as hard as some think.

  2. Oh I taught you something...... there's a first. Love that place and loved reading your story about it.


  3. glad you enjoyed your trip! i like the look of the hawaiian passionfruit.

  4. I so want to go and visit Norfolk now! I have never even heard of Hawaiian passionfruit and I love passionfruit! xx

  5. Looks like a country show in many ways, quite delightful. The information you shared in very interesting. Seems like Norfolk could really do with that new port, would be a great investment.

  6. What a fascinating post! Thank you so much for all the details and great photos. Is there still a bit of a stalemate with the Australian govt regarding funds to help with infrastructure??? I think the govt wants the islanders to pay tax but there's some reluctance???

  7. Have loved seeing all the photos. My aunt lived on the island for years. I haven't been since I was a kid. How are those bananas?

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