Living on Norfolk Island

Sunset over Captain Cook National Park area

Have you ever imagined what life would be like, living on a small tropical island.. like Norfolk Island?  Nothing to bother you but the island breeze, and nowhere to go that’s more than 10 minutes away.  You can imagine it, more or less.  With less red tape there is more time to enjoy the freedom of making your own decisions.  With more fresh air and sunshine, there is less time to worry about the effects of the previous hustle and bustle.  Living on Norfolk Island, you never have to imagine the following… it’s your life.

Norfolk Island is paradise in the South Pacific, abundant with stories, activity and character. Our iwii paradise (iwii meaning ‘little’ in the Norfolk language) is set on 3455 hectares, measuring just 5km x 8km.  A sub tropical location, Norfolk Island moves to a lilting pace.  A steady soothing rhythm that’s neither fast nor slow but is in sync with the natural order of life.  We call it ‘Norfolk time’.

For those of us not from a small community, who have never lived anywhere remote, it is difficult to imagine how much simpler living on Norfolk Island could be.  Somehow it’s easier to let the time roll on by in Norfolk, without even a fleeting thought that you are wasting but a second of it.

Going with the flow in Emily Bay

“I like to think of it as the ebb and flow of the surrounding ocean taking hold of your feverish body clock and gently coaxing it back into a more manageable rhythm.  It is possible at first to be at a loss with all that spare time.  But on Norfolk Island, you never have to fear having nothing to do.  Quite the opposite!  I came here to be a recluse and perhaps write my first novel.  But everyone is so friendly and welcoming, I soon found myself out all the time. I had a different social, sporting, community, hobby or work engagement on every day… until I dropped from exhaustion!  One of the biggest things you learn here is how to say no.” – long-time Norfolk resident, originally from Queensland.

Once you settle in to living on Norfolk Island you realise that your pace is determined by you.  There are no train schedules, morning commutes or traffic jams in your way.  As your internal clock gives way to ‘Norfolk time’, you realize that you are a world away from the unrelenting surge of contemporary life.

When you leave your home – whether it be to pop up to the shops, head to work, meet up for a coffee or set off for the golf course – everything is a mere 5-10 minutes away.  Not only has ‘Norfolk time’ given you the chance to catch your breath, next-to-no travel time has reinstated a noticeable chunk of your typical mainland day.

Not far at all to pop back to the mainland

In a practical sense though, living on Norfolk Island is closer to the rest of the world than you think… just a 2.5hr flight from Australia and under 2 hours from New Zealand.  Air New Zealand has flights running to and from Norfolk Island 5 days per week.

With a newly installed broadband service, you can remain connected through all the modern means.  Our remote location means that you can also disappear from the world for a while.. if you so choose.  The intangible switch to ‘Norfolk time’ frees your mind from the expectations of a relentlessly demanding world. 

Norfolk Island is unlike any other island I’ve been to. You really can’t describe what makes this island so special. It’s a feeling. Thank you Norfolk for your peace and beauty, and a special thanks to all the wonderful people that live here who made our stay so relaxing. ✋ A Norfolk Island wave to you all (waving when driving here is a given- we were told if you didn’t wave they would wonder why ?) .” – visitor January 2017

On Norfolk Island ‘Sea-change’ is not a fantasy.. it is your new life.  The untouched rural environment and endless winding roads means that a ‘tree-change’ is an equally apt description.

The stunning waters of Anson Bay ~ pic E. Nicolai

Living on Norfolk Island your lifestyle is second to none.  You are surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty with the iconic, soaring Norfolk Pines, the plunging and dramatic cliffsides, the unique endemic vegetation of the National Parks, and the crystal clear waters of an unpolluted South Pacific Ocean.

Visitors often comment that Norfolk Island is much more beautiful than it looks in photos.  The untouched nature of the island with minimal pollution and a strong respect for the environment means that the air on the island is some of the cleanest you’ll find in the world.  With beautiful sandy beaches and stunning national parks, the natural beauty of the island is breathtaking.”  The Tin Sheds, Norfolk Island

As a resident of Norfolk Island you can’t help but feel like you are perpetually on holiday.  Travel and tourism is the island’s only industry so most jobs are centred around tourism services, and work is never hard to find.   You will never have a better opportunity to run your own business, whether starting out an expert or amateur.  Community groups are abundant- whether you are interested in a certain sport or have some crafty pursuits, there will be a place for you.  Volunteering makes the world go ’round, none more than the world of Norfolk Island.  You can be involved in as much or as little as you please.

Volunteers from the Lions Club of Norfolk Island

Medical, community services and infrastructure is provided by the Commonwealth of Australia.  Medical treatment on Norfolk Island is covered by Australian Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.  You will have the best care possible via several fulltime doctors, a dentist, a physiotherapist, a social worker and a Pharmacy on the island.  There are also emergency, outpatients, respite care, and district nursing services provided through the hospital.

All sorts of special dietary and food requirements are catered for – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, those based on a particular faith, and more.  They are part of everyday life, living on Norfolk Island.

They say the best way to eat our food is choose local, seasonal, with the lowest carbon footprint possible.  We like to describe our dining here as ‘from Paddock to Plate’.  Fruit and vegetables are grown on the island, in season and picked daily for you to enjoy!  There are more than 30 places for you to dine out and experience tasty delicious dishes made from the freshest ingredients.  Add to the mix fresh fish straight from the ocean (oh, the mouthwatering Trumpeter! aka ‘sweetlip’ or Red Emperor), local beef, and small boutique products such as coffee, honey & cheese and there you have it… from Paddock (or ocean) to Plate.

The picture of fresh produce on Norfolk Island.

What is guaranteed is that the fruit and vegetables taste like they should.   Everything is grown according to season, for the home – many Norfolk Islanders are self-sufficient – and to sell at market gardens, supermarkets, service stations, and old fashioned roadside fruit stalls.  (Yes, there’s even honesty boxes!)  Several fine restaurants & cafés grow their own fresh produce.  And what we don’t grow well here – apples, for example, because of the temperate climate – we bring in from the mainland so no-one misses out.


So there it is for you.. a picture of living on Norfolk Island.  Is it easier to imagine now?  So when does your Air New Zealand flight get in?  Drop us an email so we can prepare for your arrival!

Norfolk Island boasts some of the most exclusive property in the southern hemisphere.  For a fraction of the cost on mainland Australia you can purchase land, houses, units, buy a business, own a holiday home, invest in property, and live permanently on Norfolk Island.

Coral and David Bell

Proprietor David Bell has been a real estate agent for over 30 years, now specializing in Norfolk Island. Shifting over with wife Coral 13 years ago from Queensland, he is a resident of Norfolk Island.  He knows in great detail the ins and outs of relocating to this unique island community.. and he will help you to realise your own lifestyle dreams.

For all enquiries of Norfolk Island – real estate and lifestyle – you will find Norfolk Island Realty in the main part of town.  The new office is in The Strand Arcade, opposite Cascade Motors… just look for the rainbow!

 Phone David any time on

(+6723) 50701 or email

for all of your Norfolk Island questions.


*All Australian and New Zealand citizens can own their own slice of paradise on Norfolk Island with no restrictions, and for a fraction of the cost of property in Australia.  All other citizens can apply for ownership of land, units, new homes (no established houses) or businesses under Australian Foreign Ownership regulations.

Cover pic and some information supplied by Norfolk Island Tourism