Our 2015 Norfolk Island 65th Celebration

NOTE: Clicking on the dates will take you to the corresponding photo album page for the day, while clicking on the place name (if it is a link) will take you to the track for the day. Clicking on the activity will take you to the corresponding diary entry, which is recorded later on this page.

Within the blog, the date in the title is a link that takes you to the photos for the day, and the activity name will bring you back to the itinerary.

All dates and times are local times. This can give anomalous results when travel across time zones is involved.

Day Date
Place (Track) Time Activity (Blog)
1 20 Nov Melbourne-Norfolk Island 0430- Just getting there
2 21 Nov Norfolk Island 1245-1630 Island Tour
3 22 Nov Norfolk Island all day Church, Kingston and Convicts
4 23 Nov Norfolk Island all day Cooking and Captain Cook
5 24 Nov Norfolk Island all day Tastes of Tahiti and Norfolk
6 25 Nov Norfolk Island all day Movie over Mariah
7 26 Nov Norfolk Island all day Feta, Fig, and Fish Fry Up
8 27 Nov Norfolk Island all day Food Frolic Breakfast and Dinner
9 28 Nov Norfolk Island all day People who travel in glass bottom boats should not drop stones
10 29 Nov Norfolk Island all day Strawberry Fields forever

Diary for Norfolk Island

20 Nov 2015, Friday, Just getting there

collected by Morgans at 4:30am. Dropped car at longterm carpark before 5:30 got bus to terminal 2 for Virgin. Joined shortest queue for checkin. While standing in queue David noticed our flight at 6:30 was cancelled. There was another flight at 6:45 - hope we are on it. Got to front of queue - wrong queue sent to back of other queue. Noticed people were not being processed - panic?

Got to front of queue - (woman who sent us back now processing people from this queue grrrrrr.) scolded by checkin chick for not knowing flight cancelled ("Virgin told Air New Zealand - not our problem"). Got on flight.

In Sydney bought some breakfast and caught up with Donna and Jim. No dramas on flight. Island is very small in the middle of a large ocean with lots of pine trees.

Through bag collection, customs very fast. Met and put on bus - Donna and Jim took longer - suitcase in second batch. Driven to Paradise via apartments through "town".

Three rooms all together right next to the pool. Sorted car hire. Went to town to buy lunch - now 2:30 not much available. Checked out shops - walked back (except Donna and Jim). I tried out the pool - cool.

Very nice dinner in hotel dining room. I had nicoise, John had fish and chips and then panna cotta.

Asleep by 9 :-)

21 Nov 2015, Saturday, Island Tour

Woke ridiculously early 4am - sun up before 5. John went in pool at 6 - decidedly cool. Arrangement for breakfast was if walking meet at The Olive at 8 if not meet at car at 5 to 8. We walked with David and Sue. Sat on verandah - good breakfast - asparagus and poached eggs for me, corn fritters for John. good coffee.

Walked to farmers market. Only 4 trucks - fresh fish, vege (2) and home made slices, friands, coconut bread. Sorted out dinner for tonight's BBQ : trumpeter (sweetlip), beetroot, toms, lettuce sweet potato and corn (twice) plus meat for another night - ham steaks. I also bought a disgusting tasteless smoothie from slices lady - others bought coconut bread and lemon and fejoia slice.

Donna took goodies back to hotel, rest wandered around shops and then back.

John and I had a swim - still cool.

Time for tour of island 12:45 so we all went to front of hotel and waited. Bus arrived at 1. Confusion over people on bus - two buses! Maxine gave a very political one-sided diatribe on how the Commonwealth gov'n is ruining life in Paradise (tax free perks are about to disappear) while driving us to Kingston via Queen Elizabeth lookout, Cascade, Mount Pitt and Ansons Bay. Small island but we rarely stopped , just drove through. Afternoon tea at Ansons Bay to the sounds of gunfire. Back by 4:30 - Darryl got to the Grog shop in time.

3 in the pool - then joined by Darryl.

Gin and tonic with lemon juice from market.

Dinner - borrowed equipment from kitchen and sliced sweet pot, beetroot, microwaved sweet corn. sliced toms and lettuce. Dined out by the pool. good. Played Jo till the bar person asked if she could go home.


22 Nov 2015, Sunday, Church, Kingston and Convicts

Still waking up early. Walked to The Golden Orb for breakfast. Pam would never be able to eat there! It is beautiful to sit out under the canopy of trees. No flies, no mosquitos. I had delicious fresh swiss browns in a creamy thyme flavoured sauce All the others had bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese. Coffee was good but not as good as The Olive. Walked over the road to the Market - lots of trinkets, some produce (so we stocked up for tonight's dinner). The milk jugs were too big for my taste. I bought a fridge magnet.

We then went to church at the local Uniting church - a bit of a time warp - old style Methodist..

Down to Kingston to inspect the ruins at the pier - and see where the various historic things I had read about had happened. Suggested lunch at the Golf Club (as recommended by Darryl) but lunch isn't done on Sundays. However high tea is, so we elected to stay a bit longer for high tea at $30 a head. The verandah of the golf club was a excellent location. David, John and I wandered over to the cemetery to look at the gravestones from the second settlement to current - including Colleen McCullough Robinson. Some were sad - 3 days old, brothers 2 and 8, some interesting because of the stern messages on the headstones.

High tea arrived with tea selection - Sue and I had ginger lemon kiss tea, Donna had lime green tea, David and Jim had cinnamon and John had English Breakfast. The cake stands arrived with lots of tiny nibbles - cheese and chutney sandwich fingers, ham and mustard, onion and feta tartlets, beef and beetroot toast, followed by scones with guava jam and cream, various cup cakes (Sue and I shared the coconut one and the vanilla one - so much icing!) and lastly watermelon macarons. The macaron was way too sweet - luckily our tea cut through it.

We then split up with Donna and Jim driving up to the ATM to try and extract money (unsuccessful - oh dear). The rest of us walked up the valley which had been where the first settlement grew their crops. There is the remains of a mill pond and watermill and there are quite a few ruined building like farm sheds etc. Lots of cows with calves and chickens everywhere - roosters strutting their stuff and hens but not chicks.

The hill was steep but manageable. Back at the resort we were in the pool with Donna very quickly.

G and T's followed by another BBQ tea. This time with ham steaks locally smoked, with onion, beetroot sweet potato, corn and tomato and lettuce salad. Afterwards we had BBQed bananas and coconut bread - delicious. We sat out and talked and were joined by Brian (farmer from the MIA )and second wife Cathy (nurse at Wagga Army base). Peppermint tea and bed.

23 Nov 2015, Monday, Cooking and Captain Cook

Woke early again :-(, really sick of 5am starts. Had breakfast at the hotel dining room - continental only but there was muesli, yoghurt, canned fruit, toast, vegemite, coffee. Walked into town with Sue early to look in the shoe shop - looked so long we had to rush to the hall for the cooking demos.

At Rawson Hall, first there was a demo from Bedrock - how to use all of a trumpeter - pick fish, stock, smoked wings, vegetable and fish in lemon coconut sauce. - no tasting but interesting. Then there was one from Tradewinds on meat - haggis, proscuito (?) and salami - entertaining, informative and with tastings.

All went to The Olive (via Commbank) for iced coffee - excellent.

Boys went their separate ways - girls went to Pizzazz and Franks shoes. I bought a T-shirt so did Sue. SUe also bought very cute sandals.

Back to hotel for a swim only Donna was locked out because Jim was still in town. Pool was lovely.

At 3 Morgans and Hursts were driven up to the top of Mount Pitt by Donna and we walked from Mt Pitt to Captain Cook's memorial where we were collected by Donna and Jim. It was a lovely walk through rain forrest to the cliffs above the sea. We saw quail, crimson rosella and green parrot as well as 2 different kinds of tern, one with white wings and one with black.

DInner was at the hotel - a 4 course dinner by 4 different chefs. Pork star, beef pie, trumpeter and meringue. All good although the meringue was too sweet.

24 Nov 2015, Tuesday, Tastes of Tahiti and Norfolk

Woke early again. Ho hum. Donnna and Jim decided not to have breakfast so D S J and I walked to The Olive to use one of the vouchers we got last night - one free coffee each couple. John and I shared the corn fritters just enough each.

A look at some shops on the way to Rawson Hall. D, Jim had saved seats in the front row. Binky gave an interesting banana talk, making green banana fritters by yoloing the pluns. Also banana flowers. I got to yolo.

Then some school kids made Tahitian fish (like Poisson cru) and coconut bread. Their accents were strong. Bread (really like cake) is nice. Too much raw onion in the fish dish.

We all went to The Golden Orb for a drink before separating off to explore the shops. I bought a Blue Spode mug. Spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and reading.

In the evening we were bussed to Kingston to the "Taste of Norfolk" where we had $50 worth of vouchers to spend. It was a fun evening. The school kids provided entertainment and there were plenty of food stalls to select from. We had Joel's 5 spice beef and rice with a spring roll, Coconut prawns, fish and chips (trumpeter of course), sweet corn cooked in sea water and painted with butter, pork with sticky rice (yuck), chocolate and fig tart, Yummi ice-cream which tasted like real cream. I had pancakes with banana and passionfruit. We came home with coconut tart and passionfruit slice.

It was a mild evening and everyone seemed to be happy. We came back on different busses - the second busload froze because the driver had the air con on full bore.

25 Nov 2015, Wednesday, Movie over Mariah

David and Sue decided to walk to Cascade instead of having breakfast, the rest of us ate at Cafe Tempo. John and I shared French bread with berries and yoghurt. Then we drove to Cascade and collected D,S. Drove back via Prince Phillip Drive, passed the Cockpit. Not much evidence of the cascades probably due to drought.

Coffee at Hilli's then waited for the bus to Thanksgiving Lunch at Mariah's which is just around the corner so we could have walked. Lunch was in a lovely setting - with views of Phillip Island over a pretty garden. We had 4 different kinds of fish, rare beef, pork, vegetables including sweet potato and corn, and various banana dishes. A very fruity punch was provided. Dessert was pumpkin pie, lemon pie, coconut pie, trifle, guava crumble . I tried the pies which were all good. D S J and B walked back to the hotel. After a rest and some washing we went to Emily Bay for a swim. Emily Bay is really really beautiful and the swim was excellent.

Back in time for a shower, a beer and coconut pie before the bus took us the movies to see Chocolat. Loved the movie, seats however were less than comfortable.

Back on the bus. to hotel. Not sure what will happen for breakfast.

26 Nov 2015, Thursday, Feta, Fig, and Fish Fry Up

Breakfast was a little disorganised but we ended up at The Olive again - there really aren't many choices. I had grilled asparagus and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce. John had fritters (as did Jim and Donna)

Cooking demo by Dominique - a bit too much talk and not enough cook. Feta and fig tarts and Thai fish cakes. All right but salty. Over to Rumours for an iced coffee then home in time for the Indulgence tour. Bus seemed to be late and we nearly got on with Dominique.

Sweeties - just as sweet shop, over to Captain Cook memorial to try the local coffee - drove past the coffee plantation on the way. Coffee was nice. Then back across the island to above Cascade to try the local liqueurs - starting with a yummy coconut, lemon, lime, melon concoction which was very drinkable. The coffee liqueur was also excellent - we have ordered a bottle.

Back to the hotel. Had a swim in the pool which was very refreshing.

After hearing that all was well with Rose, we went to watch the sunset at Puppies Point. There was a big dinner set up there - Fish Fry up we think.

Back to the hotel where we decided to have dinner and use the free dessert coupons. There was a lonely singer playing his guitar in the restaurant La Perouse. We applauded him.

We shared a bowl of Kingfish and potato soup, I had pork shoulder, John had veal schnitzel and we both had Panna cotta.

All sat outside enjoying the full moon and a cup of (peppermint) tea. Early to bed again.

27 Nov 2015, Friday, Food Frolic Breakfast and Dinner

The news said the ship was being "lightered" from 7am so David and SUe walked down to watch. Some confusion then occurred over where they were, due to a phone message so Jim, John and I drove down. Breakfast was beside Emily Bay so we stayed and Jim went back to get on the bus with Donna. Finally we were all there and breakfast was excellent, sitting at tables under tents on the rise between Slaughter Bay and Emily Bay. Good food too. And the singer from last night was there as entertainment.

Back to the hotel in the bus.

Next activity was the bus tour called farm & industry which David had won and the rest of us had decided to join him. Eddie drove us to the Kentia Palm nursery where we saw the thousands of seeds being germinated. They are flown to Nederland, grown on and sold in 1000's. Next stop was Farmer Lou to see vegetables and pigs, compete with methane digester. Then on to Bedrock (which was closed) to have afternoon tea of local coffee and apricot bun and a look at the excellent view.

AT Barnaby's we met Pat and admired her vegetables. The last stop was at the liqueur factory where we tasted some more of the liqueurs and bought some more too. Macadamia and Sambucca.

Back for a swim in the pool before being collected for the convict settlement progressive dinner. The sky looked overcast grey but as we headed down to Kingston it cleared and we had a superb sunset while eating the nibbles and drinking the champagne (yuck). And a lady told the story of the first settlement. Then we went to 9 Quality Row for main course (pork and veg) and the story of second settlement.

Dessert was at the golf club and the story was of Pitcairners arriving here. We walked between the two since it was so close but the candle in the lantern blew out. Banana cake beetroot sauce and ice-cream. Coffee or tea.

The trip home was slightly insane as Max went all over the place. A very long way round to Crest where no one wanted to get off. Also to Governor's Lodge ditto.

Finally we did get back but there were people still on the bus - I hope they got home sometime.

28 Nov 2015, Saturday, People who travel in glass bottom boats should not drop stones

The ship Southern Tiara was being unloaded so D,S,J and I went down at 7 to watch. OH&S nightmare but fascinating.

Back to hotel, dropped off carkeys and walked to The Golden Orb for mushrooms on toast. Met Donna and Jim at market and bought BBQ things for tomorrow evening. More trumpeter and veg.

Then did a drive to the east and north. Visited Ball Bay to see where the diesel comes in, then to Two Chimneys reserve where there was a nice view. We noticed a winery so dropped in to Two Chimneys Wines for a taste. John bought 2 bottles, a "pink fizz" and a verdelho.

Popped back into town (it's been raining), realised Joel's was finally open so dropped in for lunch/coffee. I loved the banana smoothy. John had scone jam cream.

Jim wandered off to the reception area when we got back and returned to say we needed to get to the glass bottomed boat by 2 (not the Baunti office as arranged) We were worried that Darryl and Tanya would not know and left messages for them - BUT it turned out that they had been the instigators of the messages since the Baunti office had cancelled the trip because we hadn't gone into the office to pay this morning. We met at the boat and had a lovely trip out on Emily Bay and past Slaughter Bay seeing George Frank and Steven Wrasse and many other brightly coloured fish. John Christian (makes cheese) and 3 young boys provided an excellent service. We saw a stripy black and white eel, several rays and got to hold a sea urchin (creepy)

Back at Emily Bay we all (eventually) went for a swim. Back to the hotel to change for dinner at Dino's.

Took a chance to go down to Rocky Point - slightly hairy road down. OK view. Didn't wait for sun to set - got plenty of sunset pictures last night :-)

Dino's was a large house on Bumbora rd. We had a nice little room to ourselves. The food was excellent. I had linguini with crab followed by tuna and liquorice ice cream Yummo. John had gorgonzola souffle, lamb rump and chocolate baci cake. We drank a couple of bottles of Windy Peak pinot grigio. A very large "night spider" supplied some entertainment.

David drove home.

29 Nov 2015, Sunday, Strawberry Fields forever

D,S J and I got up early and drove to Ansons Bay to walk down to the beach. It was a fine day (although we discovered it had been raining back at Paradise when we returned). We walked down many zig zags - counted them on the way back 6 or 8 or 8 1/2 depending on who you believe. There were only 6! The beach at the bottom was beautiful but not for swimming since there was a big undertow. Back up to the car, we stopped at Strawberry Fields thinking we could buy some fresh fruit. The (slightly alternative) lady gave us the fruit because it was yesterdays. Fresh peaches, plums, little bananas so delicious. Then to hotel to collect Donna and Jim for Brunch. John thought we could eat at Norfolk Blue but when we got there it was only open for lunch and dinner. However we got to see the magnificent Moreton Bay Figs. Back to The Golden Orb but no mushrooms :-(

After that, we split up to look at various shops including the toy shop, a jewellery shop with local articles, a jewellery shop where I bought a new watch (lorus again) . Back to discover that the Jazz BBQ had been moved indoors due to fear of rain. Pity because it was supposed to be out in the courtyard by the pool and we would have enjoyed the music.

Had a swim and then sat relaxing, reading the paper and Morgan's Run.

Just before 5 we all set off to Simon's Water to see John Christian milk the beef cattle with a portable milker. We had trouble finding the place but eventually John's brother Glen turned up and showed us where to go. I managed to tread in a large fresh cow pat - that will have consequences tomorrow.

Back at the hotel we barbecued the trumpeter, beetroot, sweet corn and sweet potato; then the little bananas given to us by the lady at Strawberry Fields with melted chocolate. We ate most of the fruit too plus the plums Sue had bought at the market. We finished the game of Jo we started last week while half watching the cricket. I won.

Packed ready to leave in the morning.

Monday 30th _ time to go home

Woke early of course. Got final packing done. Tried to check out but the reception desk was empty (ship still unloading). Walked to Blue Bull for breakfast. Met the Blue Bull. Shared afghani egg and french toast filled with apricot. Pretty nice. Sue went back to the shop and bought the lovely top she had seen yesterday.

Drove out to the pottery on Anson's Bay Road. Some lovely blue lustre plates, bowls and little bottles but not in a jug. So I bought a nice little one anyway.

Checked out the end of the road then went back to town where some last minute shopping happened. Checked out of hotel (i.e. paid large bill) had coffee and piled in the bus for one last time. Met Darryl and Tanya at the airport. For some reason we got food on the return journey and it was very nice - I had chicken pasta salad and John had beef casserole. Spicy tomato juice too.

Our luggage came out first so we didn't hang around to farewell Donna and Jim but grabbed our cases and went through customs first - my shoes had the cow pat washed off by quarantine. Missed the bus, had to wait 25 minutes. Altercation on bus. Flight from Sydney took 2 hours due to storm over Melbourne but I didn't notice because I was busy reading Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough. Got to Morgan's car quickly and a relaxing ride home. Chickens are fine. Vege patch is fine. Pile of mail to sort.

Bed my own bed!

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