Norfolk Island (i/ˈnɔrfək ˈaɪlənd/; Norfuk: Norfuk Ailen) is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, 1,412 kilometres (877 mi) directly east of mainland Evans Head, and about 600 kilometres (370 mi) from Lord Howe Island. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, but it enjoys a large degree of self-governance. Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories.
Originally colonised by East Polynesians, Norfolk Island was colonised by Britain as part of its settlement in Australia in 1788. It then served as a convict penal settlement until 1794, when it was abandoned until 1856, when permanent residence on the island for civilians began and it was settled from Pitcairn. In 1901, the island became a part of the Commonwealth of Australia which it has remained until this day.
The evergreen Norfolk Island pine is a symbol of the island and thus pictured on its flag (see illustration). Native to the island, the pine is a key export industry for Norfolk Island, being a popular ornamental tree on mainland Australia, where two related species grow, and also in Europe.
Famous quotes containing the word island:
“When the inhabitants of some sequestered island first descry the big canoe of the European rolling through the blue waters towards their shores, they rush down to the beach in crowds, and with open arms stand ready to embrace the strangers. Fatal embrace! They fold to their bosoms the vipers whose sting is destined to poison all their joys; and the instinctive feeling of love within their breasts is soon converted into the bitterest hate.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)