Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is an external Australian territory in the Pacific Ocean about 1600 km northeast of Sydney. In addition to being one of Australia's most geographically isolated communities, Norfolk Island is one of Australia's oldest territories, having been settled six weeks after Australia's founding settlement at Sydney, New South Wales.

Norfolk Island has an abundantly diverse environment and notable historic sites offering a unique heritage seldom found elsewhere within Australia and around the world. This remote island is also of major biological importance with many native species being unique to the Island.

At the last census in 2011 Norfolk Island's total population (excluding visitors or tourists) was 1796. Eighty percent of the population are Australian citizens and 13% hold New Zealand citizenship. Thirty-eight percent are descendants of the Pitcairn Islanders who settled on Norfolk Island in 1856.

The main language is English, but some Norfolk Islanders speak the local language Norf'k which is a mix of Tahitian and Old English from the Bounty descendants.

Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area

The Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) is recognised for its picturesque character, historic associations, outstanding Georgian buildings and townscape, and evocative ruins. The site contributes to the life, identity and culture of Norfolk Island residents and the wider Australian community. The KAVHA site was previously occupied by the seafaring Polynesians, then as a British convict settlement from 1788 until 1814, and a subsequent phase of convict settlement between 1825 and 1855. In 1856 the KAVHA site was settled by the Pitcairn Island descendants of the Bounty mutineers and Tahitians.

In the early 1980s the KAVHA site was listed by the National Trust (NSW) and included on the Register of the National Estate. In 2003 KAVHA was listed on the Norfolk Island Heritage Register and on Australia's National Heritage List in 2007. In 2010 KAVHA was inscribed on the World Heritage List as one of 11 historic sites that together form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Further information about the World Heritage listing is available from the Department of the Environment and Energy.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has overall responsibility for the management of KAVHA, including its heritage management plan, with advice from the KAVHA Advisory Committee.

Further information is available on the KAVHA website. Any queries regarding KAVHA should be directed to


Last Updated: 24 July, 2017