A holiday on Norfolk Island with kids is a legit Treasure Island adventure, writes Susan Elliott.
Once here you can find shipwrecks, crumbling ruins, stunning reefs, secret beaches and residents who are direct descendants of daring mutineers.
Norfolk is tiny. A speck in the ocean, just five by eight kilometres in size (or 3,455 hectares) 1,600 kilometres off the coast from Sydney. Still, it’s easy to get lost on the 80 kilometres of wiggly hilly roads. And it’s even easier at Strawberry Fields Garden and Maze – an attraction that’s funny before you’re even out of the car. Parking spots are signed for ‘Nose Pickers’, ‘Broomsticks & Fairies’ and ‘Corrupt Politicians’. No one has ever claimed the politicians’ spot, so we’re told.
“Mum! Help! NOW!” Terrified shrieks come from deep within the maze. I snigger. It must have slipped my mind to mention the (harmless-to-humans) golden orb-weaving spiders that often spin their brilliant threads between the hedges. A sticky web mesh, at face level, it’s a maze within a maze. And it’s amazing if you escape without a glimmer of golden gossamer sparkling in your hair.
Driving on Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island’s roads are also an obstacle course. Thousands of feral chickens live the riddle – crossing the road just to get to the other side. Free-ranging cattle graze the verges, wandering lanes, listlessly, in search of greener pastures. Driver alert: cows have right of way.