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Norfolk Island with Dingley Central Probus Club

 

The Happy Norfolk Travellers

Day 1: Arriving in Sydney on a mild Sunday afternoon our transfer bus transported us to our overnight hotel. A delightful guide took us for a tour of Sydney and surrounds as we viewed the familiar Harbour Bridge, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, Hyde Park and many other icons. He also included many new buildings and other changes signalling Sydney’s continuing progress. Interspersed were several references to Melbourne’s wet weather which was interesting since a few hours after we flew out of Sydney it was nearly washed into the sea. Safely delivered to the wharf we boarded our Captain Cook boat to tour the harbour and surrounds  from the water – a very lovely view –  while we ate a sumptuous three course dinner and sipped a drink, or several.

Day2: Following our early breakfast we headed to the airport, in the rain, to board our Air New Zealand flight to Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island was sunny, warm and extremely welcoming as we landed and travelled the few minutes to Paradise Resort. A fruit cocktail, hot drink and pikelet, jam and cream awaited us as we received our room allocation and local information before heading to our rooms for a freshen up, and for some a quick visit into ‘town’, to prepare for our delicious Welcome Dinner.

Dinner preceded Wonderland by Night, an enchanting evening of excellent bush poetry and stories, all highlighted by related dioramas and special lighting effects. A truly special wonderland experience set in a magical bushland setting.

Day 3: The morning tour gave an overview of the island, and some history of island life. We spent some time in the Melanesian chapel, with its elaborate rose window, built as a tribute to a revered missionary who created a very successful school to train missionaries and teachers from many of the Pacific Islands. Roaming cattle must be respected because they keep the roadside verge mown whilst providing food for the cattle. The many wild chickens seem to be able to keep out of everyone’s way. Morning tea in the garden of Fletcher Christian and Matthew Quintal’s home was a delightful interlude while the afternoon provided an opportunity to explore ‘The Town’, relax or socialise.

Visiting the Island homes during the Progressive Dinner gave an insight into Island family life. Besides the beautiful food served at each course each host told of their family background whether Pitcairn, convict, or both. Some very interesting family histories.

Day4: Most of us were off to a brisk 7:00am walk through the One Hundred Acres Reserve. One option was a stroll through the bushland enjoying the local flora, fine views and excellent description of the native plants. The second option was to stride out the 3.5km walk including the climb to the top of Mt. Bates and the outstanding views available from there. The third option, which a few travellers took, was to sleep in and later join everybody for a cliff top breakfast of well earned bacon, eggs, baked beans, tomato and sausages.  The rest of the morning was free with many choosing to look into the shopping options which proved surprisingly good if it was clothes you were interested in.

The afternoon enabled us to look more closely at Island Culture which included woodcraft, cooking and tasting local produce, weaving, Norfolk Language and afternoon tea.

The Fletcher’s Fate dinner included interactive theatre exploring the possible last movements of the famous mutineer interspersed with a delicious three course meal, a highlight of which was Clive’s birthday celebration.

Day5: A visit to a subtropical rainforest hidden in a small secluded valley provided a micro climate quite different to most seen on the Island. Next we visited a self sufficient garden where any excesses are swapped with other neighbours to supplement each other’s lifestyles . A hydroponic garden supplies most of the salad components of the Island’s restaurants and a beautiful house garden with many hibiscus, palms and ferns and with excellent views completed an interesting morning. Of course, always dominating any scene and present everywhere are the magnificent Norfolk Island Pines, an amazing tree obvious in every view. A native spider was prevalent in every garden with amazingly vast and complex sticky webs. Fortunately these were up high, easy to view and thankfully out of reach.

During the afternoon the tour of Kingston highlighted the horrific conditions and punishments that existed during the convict settlement times. Our guide had many amazing stories which appalled us but the design of this prison was the fore runner of prison design which is still in use today. Fortunately the punishments are not. This led us to the graveyard where again our guide had lots of tales to tell of some very interesting graves, many of which are headed and footed with gravestones.

The Island Fish Fry at Puppy’s Point is an event not to be missed as we waited for the sunset, which did not colour up as the photographers would have liked. But, the food was magnificent with local salads, fresh bread and the best fish ever, and in such abundance that you could not possibly go hungry. Dinner was accompanied by some lovely music and a group of Tahitian dancers rounded off a beautiful event.

But, our day was not finished yet because we were off to the Mutiny on the Bounty Show where the mutiny story was acted out on a set of the ship, Tahiti and the water in between.

Day 6: Following breakfast and vacating our rooms we walked next door to the Cyclorama. This amazing depiction of the history of the Bounty leaving England through to Tahiti, Pitcairn and Norfolk Island is an outstanding artistic feat complete with sound effects. Outside the Victorian Garden provided an excellent backdrop for the sculptures placed within.

In early afternoon we commenced the journey home tired but extremely happy with our journey through history via Norfolk Island.

Our thanks to everyone who travelled for making it such a memorable and happy experience, to Trade Travel for ensuring all buses, planes and tours happened on cue and special thanks to Mervyn for promoting and arranging such a great event!

– Dingley Central Probus Club

 

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    • Our "FAMIL" program is an excellent way for Group and Tour leaders to go and experience a destination first hand. You get to sample the airline, meet the accommodation and touring providers and sample the local cuisine. It is a WIN/WIN situation and a lot of fun!Mark O'Brien
      Trade Travel Director

    • The girls in res are brilliant, when I need a quote or booking I go straight to them, knowing they’ll give us the best possible price and they know exactly what we need.”Val Henry
      Tour Coordinator for Donald Simpson Centre

    • Our recent Trade Travel “A Big Week Outback” trip with the Probus Club of Breakfast Point showed us how important it is to look at the country in greater depth. Travelling with the Probus group enabled us to delve beneath the surface and see real outback families and experience the outback in all its many and varied facets. We would recommend the Trade Travel “A Big Week Outback” to all.Client of Trade Travel
      Longreach Tour

    • Our recent Trade Travel “A Big Week Outback” trip with the Probus Club of Breakfast Point showed us how important it is to look at the country in greater depth. Travelling with the Probus group enabled us to delve beneath the surface and see real outback families and experience the outback in all its many and varied facets. We would recommend the Trade Travel “A Big Week Outback” to all.Client of Trade Travel
      Longreach Tour

    • The girls in res are brilliant, when I need a quote or booking I go straight to them, knowing they’ll give us the best possible price and they know exactly what we need.”Val Henry
      Tour Coordinator for Donald Simpson Centre

    • Our "FAMIL" program is an excellent way for Group and Tour leaders to go and experience a destination first hand. You get to sample the airline, meet the accommodation and touring providers and sample the local cuisine. It is a WIN/WIN situation and a lot of fun!Mark O'Brien
      Trade Travel Director

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