Norfolk Nosh Up
Dip into a foodie’s paradise on beautiful sub-tropical Norfolk Island. From sophisticated restaurants and garden cafés to island-style fish fries and barbecues, there is something to tempt everyone – and you can round it all out with a locally brewed coffee, beer or liqueur.
It’s an interesting drive out to Dino’s at Bumboras on sub-tropical Norfolk. The journey takes about 15 minutes from Burnt Pine town centre and the road twists and turns in the dark. You’re more likely to encounter domestic ‘wildlife’ than another motorist. But the short trip helps build the anticipation of dining at the establishment judged the best formal restaurant at Norfolk Island’s 2007 Tourism Awards.
Dino’s vegetables are fresh out of the owners’ garden – and that’s typical of dining out on Norfolk Island. Set in a Norfolk Island bungalow on a large garden site, Dino’s serves the best of the island’s fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, meats, salad greens, herbs and flowers supported by an extensive list of New Zealand and Australian wine and beer. And you can expect to be pleasantly surprised as far as prices are concerned. Fine dining on Norfolk Island lives up to the quality definition but the cost is less than you’d imagine.
Other fine restaurants include Hilli’s, Garrison, Branka House and the Homestead Restaurant, where you dine under the shelter of Norfolk’s famous Moreton Bay fig trees. You may get to taste dishes unique to Norfolk Island such as Pilihai (baked ripe banana), Mudda (boiled green banana) and sweet island dessert pies.
The island’s numerous cafés are great for inexpensive tasty lunches and morning or afternoon teas – that’s all you’ll need after the hearty breakfast menus served in the island’s hotels. In a delightful garden setting, the Golden Orb Bookshop Café lets you indulge your hunger for knowledge along with delicious cakes, coffee and light meals. REO Café and Bookshop is in the splendid 19th century Engineers Office in historic Kingston, the original seat of Government on the island. Then there’s Norfolk’s newest, The Olive Café, also a 2007 Tourism Award winner in the casual dining category. Runner up was Café Tempo where great homemade food is served in a friendly atmosphere.
Coffee lovers can enjoy the delicious local roasts at Norfolk Island Coffee House in Leeside Arcade. Guided coffee plantation tours come highly recommended by visitors to the island. You’ll be served locally grown and roasted coffee and delicious home-made cakes right among the coffee trees.
You want pizza? You got it – wood fired at Wood Fired Pizzas where gourmet pies and specialty breads supplement the traditional pizza recipes. Stefano’s serves up delicious Italian cuisine as well as gourmet pizzas.
Progressive dinners in island homes are a great way to experience the hospitality and culture of locally-trained chefs, or you can watch the sun set behind a stately Norfolk Island Pine as you enjoy a local fish fry or barbecue. New to the island is Pacific Island Night where local meats and vegetables are cooked underground ‘hangi-style’ as alfresco diners enjoy live music. Themed dinners are another island favourite. While being entertained, you are treated to a delicious meal and learn more about the island's history. And Norfolk Island's clubs – including RSL and League clubs – provide generous, wholesome meals at inexpensive prices. If you’re a DIY gourmand, local cooks run a traditional island cooking school where you can help create the dishes, which you later eat in the company of the chefs.
If you like your beer, then Norfolk Island Brewing Company has three fine local beers to choose from. Beesting, brewed using unrefined Norfolk Island honey, won a gold medal for its class at the 2000 NZ International Hop Marketing Board beer awards. Mutineer is a blend of pale ale and crystal malts while Bligh’s Revenge is a dark ale blending ale, crystal and chocolate malts with selected hops. The brewery is located opposite the airport and makes for a great visit with a beer garden and light meals providing a welcome oasis on a lazy Norfolk Island day.
At Norfolk Island Liqueurs, you can enjoy sampling such tropical delights such as Convicts Curse whiskey liqueur and Pitcairn Passion, just two of 15 liqueurs brewed from the company’s recently installed German-made still. Wine lovers will enjoy a visit to Two Chimneys Winery, the island’s only vintner. While it is yet to produce a vintage – the grapes were planted only a couple of years ago – visitors can sip on imported wines and enjoy a platter lunch. Wines include varietals from the Sesquicentenary Selection celebrating the island’s 150th anniversary of settlement.
- Norfolk Island Fact Sheet
- Norfolk has a subtropical climate. Summer (October to March) has an average day temperature of 24ºC and winter (April to September) has an average day temperature of 17ºC.
- The currency is the Australian dollar.
- Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.co.nz) operates twice weekly services from Auckland. Norfolk Air (www.norfolkair.com), with codeshare partner Qantas, operates regular flights form Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne
Order your free copy of Jasons Norfolk Island Visitor Map
Norfolk Island Hot Deals
Norfolk Island Tourism (www.norfolkisland.nf)
Editorial and images supplied courtesy of Norfolk Island Tourism - www.norfolkisland.com.au