Welcome to Norfolk Island, a small island that lies some 1700 kilometres or so off the east coast of mainland Australia, almost midway between New Caledonia and New Zealand. I’ve just spent a week here… Get ready for an interesting island ride…and some fun facts.
1. The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium.
“television is an effective means of communication”
2. A means of sending or receiving information, such as phone lines or computers.
Norfolk or Norf’k as it is known to locals, has its own language, a mixture of old English and Polynesian. It came with the Pitcairners – descendants of the HMS Bounty mutineers (1790) – when they arrived on the island in 1856.
Some words are:
“Watewieh” meaning how are you;
”ar yer reet bor” for hello;
“yorlye” for all of you; and
“baswaagas” a person who is repulsively ugly.
At the beautiful St Barnabas Church, when a local passes away, the bell is rung once for each year of the persons life. Tourists are asked not to ring the bell for fun as it freaks out the locals.
There is no postal delivery service to your home on the island so each residence or business has a P.O Box in the main town, Burnt Pine.
Prior to 2016 when the Australian Government took over, it was AU$0.15 to send an intra-island letter, bill etc. Since Australia Post took over the postal service when the island became an Australian Territory, intra-island postage went up to AU$1.15. This is to walk the 2 metres or so between P.O. Boxes – and probably takes a week or so most locals now use the internet.
WiFi is not freely available everywhere and quite patchy at times. Generally at hotels and clubs you may get it free or pay a few dollars for a couple of gigs. There is no 5G on the Island and very limited 4G – some of my friends will be happy to read this news, some will have a giggle…
Having its own are code, +672, Norf’k is not part of Australia’s phone system. Without international roaming your Australian mobile will not work for calls. Each hotel room comes with a local mobile phone, to reconfirm tours, seek assistance when lost, or if you have hit a cow…
While driving on Norf’k, a wave to a passing car is customary whether a local or visitor.
>Whole hand (enthusiastic) wave – “I’m having/you have a wonderful, great day!”
>Four fingers off the steering wheel wave – “I’m having/you have a good day.”
>Two fingers – “I’m tired…I’m off home”
>Pinkie finger (one finger) off the steering wheel wave – “I’m having a shit day.”
>The other ‘one fingered wave’ has the same universal communication here as everywhere and not recommended…
The nicest thing is people are gosh darn friendly and will say hello like they know and truly care for you.
Go to Norf’k, it’s a wonderfully interesting island.
Matty made his own way (by aeroplane, using points) to Norfolk Island and stayed at his own expense.