Town centre at Burnt Pine

Previous page: We set off in our car to investigate Norfolk Island

 

Norfolk Mall at Burnt Pine

The town centre on Norfolk Island is basically one central street - Queen Elizabeth Avenue. There are two banks with one of them, the Commonwealth Bank, having an ATM out the front. We found quite a reasonable supermarket in the main shopping centre along with a bakery, a butcher shop, a news agency plus a couple of other shops

In the supermarket we were quite horrified with some of the prices and the lack of fresh fruit and vegies. The folk who live here have to be pretty much self sufficient when it comes to fruit and vegetables. The only vegetables that can be brought in to the island are potatoes, garlic and onions. No fruit at all. So apart from the three foods mentioned you can only buy items grown on the island.

The island has a sub tropical climate so, at the time we were there, a person could buy heaps of bananas, rock melons and water melons. We found tomatoes, sweet potatoes and cucumbers. Plus I think I recall seeing some lettuce too. So, on Norfolk Island, you eat whatever is seasonal. Exactly what our grandparents did way back, wasn't it. I must say the tomatoes we ate were extremely tasty and not at all like out tasteless supermarket varieties we get here in Australia.

 

Buying frozen And chilled food on Norfolk Island

If you so wish you can still buy frozen vegies at the supermarket but they come at a hefty price. Similarly with cold foods such as dairy products. They are buyable but expensive. Cold and frozen foods are imported and arrive on the island once a week via an Air New Zealand flight.

We were after some milk and breakfast items such as bread, vegemite, jam and peanut butter. The milk cost us almost $8 AUD for a one litre carton. A few days later they had the milk reduced to $4 per carton to get rid of it quickly as the plane was due in the next day with the next batch. Vegemite, jams and peanut butter are all available in little restaurant size sachets (if that is the correct word) for 25 cents each which we thought was quite reasonable under the circumstances. We found a yummy looking loaf of bread for an excellent price and it was baked on the island. We found some margarine and some ham and were well pleased with ourselves.

 

Talking to the butcher

After leaving the supermarket we gazed admiringly at the meat on display at the butchers shop.

To me, I thought the meat was reasonably priced. I asked the butcher what proportion came direct from the island and what was imported? He had a chuckle and said the whole lot was imported. There is no slaughter house on the island. There are people there who will kill and dress the road cows when they are needed as food by their owners but this meat is not sold in the butcher's shop.

We chatted to the butcher for quite a while. We learned so much about island life from him. On the island there is no income tax. However,they have a 12% GST. According to the butcher, the island needs another 1500 people or so and then it would make the place more viable. More people would create more demand for things such as a dairy business or a slaughter house. At present time the island is losing its population which is very sad.

 

Some photos of the main street in Burnt Pine

The shopping mall at Burnt Pine The Mall shopping centre
Inside the Mall Ian inside the Mall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main street in Burnt Pine Main street through town - Queen Elizabeth Avenue
The main shopping street in Burnt Pine Looking along the main street from the other direction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful sub tropical plants on the island Colourful plants in the main street
Pretty flowers in the town centre More sub tropical plants on Norfolk Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roads are in poor condition Most of the roads are in bad repair
And now we have no ATM at all The ATM that "fried" itself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding the last two photos: There is now virtually no gravel left on the island so fixing roads is very problematic. Imagine the cost of freighting it in to the island. It was just as well that credit cards are taken in most places here because the one and only ATM had "fried" itself. Isn't that lovely terminology. The sign says:

"We regret to advise that our screen for the ATM has fried itself and the machine will not work without it. Our technicians in Sydney are looking to have a new screen sent on Friday's plane. We sincerely regret any inconvenience this causes."

The new screen never turned up for days. But this is what happens when you live in an isolated place - you learn patience!

 

Next page: We realize we have arrived in Paradise

 

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Wiki's Norfolk Island
Informative Wiki page that details the location of N.I., a bit of it's history and more .....

 

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Norfolk Island Tourism
This is the Island's Facebook page.

Visitor Information Centre
All the information you need about the island is here.

Discover Norfolk Island
Interesting travel guide

Wiki Travel
Interesting tidbits of information if you are thinking of going to Norfolk Island