Welcome to Utopia.
For a few years I have been dying to get over to Norfolk Island. After hearing my grandparents talk about the place they used to visit in the 70’s and being an avid lover of Zach’s (Stuck on a Rock) incredible work, finally the stars aligned and I was able to accept the invitation to visit.
I generally try not to go too much research into a place before I visit for work purposes (different story if I ever take a “holiday”). Instead, I like to immerse myself, to see and feel the place and not be influenced by outside noise. Typically it takes me more than a day to be able to figure out how I would best like to capture the destination I am in. But with Norfolk, well, it exceeded all my expectations with its seaside serenity and country charm and I was constantly in photographic overdrive with my jaw on the floor.
I was bewildered by the exquisite colour of turquoise bays, soaring cliffs, the green pine-lined hills and rolling valleys, which appear to rise directly from the Pacific Ocean. The beauty of this place literally takes my breath away. It is perhaps the best blend of worlds from Australia and New Zealand combined, which might explain my instant love affair. Never before have I seen land so green, so raw and wild.
AND, it’s even better below the waterline. I have never seen such healthy coral and marine life. You can actually walk off the beach and directly into a seemingly endless world of underwater magic. You can swim in caves 30m deep inside an island; along side turtles and you can hear your heart racing in your chest. Feeling significantly insignificant in this remote destination, the world fades away and you are present and connected.
Mother Nature is existent within every single Norfolk Island Vista, including that of Philip Island. One of the highlights of our trip, outside of being inspired by two of my favourite photographers Scott & Zach), was visiting the uninhabited Island just south of Norfolk, known as Phillip Island. Only a short boat trip, followed by a slippery jump ashore and a scramble up ladders, rocks and sandy slopes, you arrive at the most hallucinatory scene of mesmerising colours, layers and textures of unique land. Again, unlike anything I have ever seen.
Norfolk is truly the most idyllic escape from a busy world. There is no phone data reception, you have to connect to wi-fi with a password every time (which I chose not to) so instead you relax, enjoy, converse, explore and breathe.
We spent a total of 5 days exploring and falling in love over and over again with the dreamy 32km of dramatic South Pacific coastline. Full of interesting history, sparkling blue bays, to ocean rock pools, laying under the towering pines, local picnics, driving around with the wind in our hair in a Moke, diving the depths in hidden caves and nights full of stars; not hard to see why Norfolk quickly became a new favourite for me.
The dramatic natural beauty of the Island is nothing on it’s people, having met so many beautiful and full hearts during my stay, I left the island feeling like I was leaving a piece of me behind. Oh how easy it would be to slip into the wonderful lifestyle there.
Thank you for having me Norfolk, thank you for inspiring me, for filling my heart. And thank you for the beautiful luxurious accommodation Tintoela (I wish I could call it home ;)). But on a serious note, one day soon I hope to return to Norfolk Island - there is honestly SO much more to see and to explore.