Living on Norfolk Island

Sunset over Captain Cook National Park area

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.

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 unique cadence, 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 island life can be.  We’ll try to spark your imagination!  Somehow it’s easier to let the time roll on by in Norfolk Island.

“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.

Not far to pop back to the mainland…

By now, your pace is determined by you.  As your internal clock gives way to ‘Norfolk time’, you will realize that you are a world away from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life.  In a practical sense however, it is closer than you think… just a 2.5hr flight from Australia and under 2 hours from New Zealand.  As of May 2017 there are two airlines servicing Norfolk Island… Air New Zealand and Norfolk Island Airlines

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.

On Norfolk Island a seachange is not a fantasy.. it is your new life.  The rural environment and endless winding roads means that ‘treechange’ is an equally valid description. 

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

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.

The stunning waters of Anson Bay ~ pic E. Nicolai

The lifestyle on Norfolk Island is second to none.  You are surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty with the iconic, soaring Norfolk Pines, the plunging and dramatic cliffsides, unique endemic vegetation of the National Parks, and the crystal clear waters of 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 if you want it.   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.

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 Pharamacy 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 in NI.

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’.  All fruit and vegetables are grown on the island, in season and picked daily for you to enjoy that day!  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 (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.

What is guaranteed is that the fruit and vegetables taste like they should.  Very little is imported except for potato, onion, garlic and ginger.  Everything else is grown according to seasons in home – many Norfolk Islanders are self-sufficient – in market gardens, supermarkets, service stations, and several restaurants & cafés grow their own fresh produce.

The history of settlements on this tiny isle is impossibly layered and profound.  There is evidence all around of those who have come before us, from the centuries-old Polynesian relics in the museums, to the elegant convict-built structures of Georgian Architecture – so valuable to the international community they attracted World Heritage Listed status.

The descendants of the most recent settlement – by the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856 – make up around a third of the population today, and their cultural echos the Old English and Tahitian influence of their ancestors.  Australians make up a third or so of the population, and the balance are from New Zealand, USA, the UK, Fiji, Singapore, China, the Philippines and many more countries around the world.

Norfolk Island Golf Club, part of the World Heritage Listed area of Kingston. Pic: Norfolk Island Tourism

Proprietor David Bell has been a real estate agent for over 30 years, now specializing in Norfolk Island.  Shifting with wife Coral 12 years ago from Australia, he is a resident of Norfolk Island so he knows in great detail the ins and outs of relocating to this unique island community.  He will help you to realise your lifestyle dreams.

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

 Please 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