Norfolk Island is an Australian territory in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The area is 34.5 square kilometers. The population is 2128 (2008.7). Most people are of British descent from Pitcairn, and the rest are immigrants from Australia and New Zealand. General English and Pitcairn.
Residents believe in Protestantism and Catholicism. The administrative center of Kingston, located on the north shore of Sydney Bay in the south of the island, is a free port. It is located at 29°02′ south latitude and 167°57′ east longitude, 1676 kilometers southwest of Sydney, Australia. It is a volcanic island with a coastline of 32 kilometers long and surrounded by coral reefs. It has a subtropical oceanic climate with an average annual temperature of 15°C and annual precipitation of about 1,300 mm. The terrain is steep and soil erosion is serious. There is an airport nearby. Famous tourist destination.
The Australian Overseas Territory in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 1,676 kilometers (1,041 miles) northeast of Sydney. It covers an area of 35 square kilometers (13 square miles). The island is about 8 kilometers (5 miles) long and 5 kilometers (3 miles) wide. It was originally a volcanic island. The terrain is rugged, with an average height of 110 meters (360 feet), the Bates mountain is 319 meters (1,047 feet) high, and the Pitt mountain is 318 meters (1,043 feet) high. Kingston in the south is the main settlement and administrative center.
The island is a steeply protruding part of the submarine ridge (some cliffs are more than 90 meters [300 feet] in height). It is composed of basalt lava flows in the horizontal direction, and the brick red soil covers most of the area. Kingston and the Cascade landing site to the north of the island are the few places where the coast is not connected to the cliff. Although the soil is fertile, it is highly susceptible to erosion if the vegetation on the surface is removed.
The average temperature is 15°C (60°F), and the average annual rainfall exceeds 1,300 mm (50 inches). There are two smaller islands on the southern sea, namely Philip Island (275 meters (900 feet) high volcanic spire) and Nepean Island (made of limestone). Although most of the land has been cultivated for farming and grazing, the Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria excelsa or A. heterophylla), which was once the main plant on the island, is still a famous local landscape. There are many kinds of plants on the island, and animals include geckos, bats, turtles, various fishes and a large number of seabirds.
Residents of the island include the descendants of the rebel seamen of the Bounty ship, who moved from Pitcairn Island in 1856, and the descendants of immigrants from Australia and New Zealand later. About one-third of the current population are direct descendants of residents of Pitcairn Island. There are also strong Polynesian characteristics and legacy on the island. A distinctive society based on harmony, self-reliance, and respect for authority is developed, and an economic lifestyle of bartering for goods is implemented. Immigrants have been strictly restricted from entering the island.
Since the mid-1960s, tourism has been the main economic activity on Norfolk Island. Islanders are mostly employed in hotels, duty-free shops and other industries related to tourism. Every year, more than 30,000 tourists visit the island, most of them from New Zealand. Norfolk Island is engaged in subsistence agriculture, producing Kent’s coconut seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables. Livestock raising and fisheries are also important to the local area.
Food is imported from Australia and New Zealand, mainly for the needs of the tourism industry, fuel and consumer goods also need to be imported. The export commodities include planting of Norfolk Island pine; promoting forestry projects to increase the island’s pine resources. The budget revenue mainly comes from the sale of stamps, customs duties and liquor sales (government exclusive monopoly). The island has approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) of car roads, and an airport provides air passenger and cargo services between Australia and New Zealand.
The Administrator of Norfolk Island is appointed by the Governor of Australia. According to the Norfolk Island Act of 1979, the Territory has an elected nine-member legislative assembly. The Executive Committee of the Legislative Assembly is then composed of executive committees, who have duties similar to those of ministers. The Norfolk Island Act reaffirms Australia’s responsibilities to Norfolk Island as its territory and provides for consideration of expanding the powers of the Legislative Assembly. The judiciary includes the island’s Supreme Court and the Petty Magistrate’s Court. Children from 6 to 15 years old receive free compulsory education. Teachers are provided by the New South Wales Ministry of Education. There is a small hospital on the island.