Norfolk Island - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Norfolk Island, a small Island in the South Pacific located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia has a total land area of 13.3 square miles and a population of around 2150. Though self-governing to a large extend, the island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia. The coastline of this lovely island is rugged consisting mostly of cliff faces. Emily Bay protected by a small coral reef is the only safe place for recreational swimming. Tourism, fishing, and agriculture are the major contributors to the economy. It is a tax haven as there is no income tax, however there are duties imposed on imported items, fule, medicare and phonecalls.

Travel Resources:

The winter months of May through September are recommended to visit the island for then the place is very verdant. The island allows only 2000 visitors any given day, hence visitors advance planning is required to relax in Norfolk. The climate is subtropical and mild. The Norfolk Island National Park which contains the remnants of the original rainforest and the Botanical Garden around it is a major attraction of the island. There are many endemic flora and fauna species in Norfolk. The country has adapted to the Polynesian culture and cuisine. Fishing and local produce are the main source for food.

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Norfolk Island were a set of twelve stamps released on June 10, 1947 showing a view of Ball Bay. The set (Scott #1 to #12) catalogs for around $17 MNH and around $6 for used. This issue was followed on June 10, 1953 by another set of six stamps showing local scenes. That set (Scott #13 to #18) is sought after and catalogs for around $50 MNH and around $20 for used. The designs show Warder’s Tower, Airfield, First Governor’s Residence, Barracks Entrance, Salt House, and Bloody Bridge. The first designs along with a design showing the Norfolk Seal and First Settlers were the primary stamp issues of Norfolk Island till 1959. A surcharged ‘Norfolk Island’ overprint in red on Australia #332 was issued on December 7, 1959. The stamp is sought after and catalogs for around $2 MNH or used. This was followed in 1960 by surcharge overprints on previous stamp issues of Norfolk Island. That set (Scott #26 to #27) catalogs for around $17 MNH and a little less for used. Norfolk Island is one of Australia’s external territories although it was granted limited self-government in 1979.

Other issues of Norfolk Island enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of thirteen stamps released between 1960 and 1962 showing Flora and Fauna. The set (Scott #29 to #41) catalogs for around $60 MNH and around $40 for used. The designs show Island hibiscus, lagunaria patersonii, fairy tern, lantana, red hibiscus, Cereus and Queen Elizabeth II, Salt House, fringed hibiscus, Providence petrel, passion flower, rose apple, Bloody Bridge, and red-tailed tropic bird. Norfolk Island has over 50 endemic plant species out of which 18 are rare or threatened.
  2. A set of fourteen stamps released between 1967 and 1968 in the Ships theme. The set (Scott #100 to #113) catalogs for around $12 MNH and a little less for used. The designs show H.M.S. Resolution, La Boussole and Astrolabe of 1788, Brig Supply of 1788, Sirius of 1790, The Norfolk of 1798, Survey Cutter Mermaid of 1825, The Lady Franklin of 1853, The Morayshire of 1856, Southern Cross of 1866, The Pitcairn of 1891, Norfolk Island Whaleboat of 1895, Cable Ship Iris of 1907, The Resolution of 1926, and S.S. Morinda of 1931.
  3. A set of fifteen stamps released between 1970 and 1971 in the Birds of Norfolk Island theme. The set (Scott #126 to #140) catalogs for around $33 MNH and around $20 used. The designs show robins, Norfolk Island whistlers, Norfolk Island flyeater, long-tailed cuckoos, red-fronted parakeet, long-tailed trillers, Island thrush, owl, Norfolk Island pigeon which is extinct, white-breasted white-eye, Norfolk Island parrots, gray fantail, Norfolk Island starlings, crimson rosella, and sacred kingfisher. Most of the birds depicted in this set are endemic to the Island. Extinct bird species that were endemic to the Island include Norfolk Island kaka, Norfolk Island ground-dove, etc.
  4. A set of sixteen stamps released between 1987 and 1988 showing Norfolk Island Scenery. The set (Scott #401 to #416) catalogs for around $25 MNH or used. The designs show Cockpit Creek Bridge, Cemetery Bay Beach, Guesthouse, Philip Island from Point Ross, cattle grazing, rock fishing, Old Home, Shopping Center, Emily Bay, Bloody Bridge, Pitcairner-style Shop, Government House, Melanesian Memorial Chapel, Kingston Convict Settlement, Ball Bay, and the Northerly Cliffs.
  5. A set of twelve stamps and a souvenir sheet released in 1998 showing Reef Fish. The set (Scott #646 to #657 and #658) catalogs for around $20 MNH or used. The designs show tweed trousers, conspicuous angelfish, moon wrasse, wide-stiped clownfish, raccoon butterfly fish, artooti, splendid hawkfish, scorpion fish, orange fairy basslet, sweetlip, Moorish idol, gold ribbon soapfish, and shark.
Numismatic Profile:

Norfolk Island uses the Australian Dollar as its currency.

Collectible Memorabilia:

Souvenir books and art are typical souvenirs from Norfolk.

 Last Updated: 12/2015.

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