Norfolk Island

Flag of Norfolk Island

Map of Norfolk Island


Two British attempts at establishing the island as a penal colony (1788-1814 and 1825-55) were ultimately abandoned. In 1856, the island was resettled by Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions.


Oceania, island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia

Geographic coordinates:

29 02 S, 167 57 E


total: 34.6 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 34.6 sq km


32 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm


subtropical; mild, little seasonal temperature variation


volcanic formation with mostly rolling plains

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Bates 319 m

Natural resources:


Natural hazards:

typhoons (especially May to July)

Geography - note:

most of the 32-km coastline consists of almost inaccessible cliffs, but the land slopes down to the sea in one small southern area on Sydney Bay, where the capital of Kingston is situated


1,841 (July 2004 est.)

Ethnic groups:

descendants of the Bounty mutineers, Australian, New Zealander, Polynesians


Anglican 37.4%, Uniting Church in Australia 14.5%, Roman Catholic 11.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.1%, none 12.2%, unknown 17.4%, other 3.9% (1996)


English (official), Norfolk a mixture of 18th century English and ancient Tahitian

Dependency status:

territory of Australia; Canberra administers Commonwealth responsibilities on Norfolk Island through the Department of Environment, Sport, and Territories



Administrative divisions:

none (territory of Australia)


none (territory of Australia)

National holiday:

Bounty Day (commemorates the arrival of Pitcairn Islanders), 8 June (1856)


Norfolk Island Act of 1979

Legal system:

based on the laws of Australia, local ordinances and acts; English common law applies in matters not covered by either Australian or Norfolk Island law

Economy - overview:

Tourism, the primary economic activity, has steadily increased over the years and has brought a level of prosperity unusual among inhabitants of the Pacific islands. The agricultural sector has become self-sufficient in the production of beef, poultry, and eggs.

Labor force - by occupation:

tourism NA, subsistence agriculture NA

Agriculture - products:

Norfolk Island pine seed, Kentia palm seed, cereals, vegetables, fruit; cattle, poultry

Exports - commodities:

postage stamps, seeds of the Norfolk Island pine and Kentia palm, small quantities of avocados

Exports - partners:

Australia, other Pacific island countries, NZ, Asia, Europe

Imports - partners:

Australia, other Pacific island countries, NZ, Asia, Europe


Australian dollar (AUD)

Telephones - main lines in use:

2,532; note: a mix of analog (2500) and digital (32) circuits (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

0 (proposed cellular service disallowed in August 2002 island referendum) (2002)


total: 80 km
paved: 53 km
unpaved: 27 km (2001)

Ports and harbors:

none; loading jetties at Kingston and Cascade

Merchant marine:



1 (2003 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2003 est.)