With Australians hungry for travel experiences off the mainland, Qantas’ new flights to Norfolk Island are just the ticket.
This tiny island paradise is an off-mainland travel option for us because it’s actually an Australian Territory.
But this new route may only be offered for a short time, due to a three-month contract brokered with Qantas by the Federal Government.
Starting March 19 from Brisbane and Sydney, Qantas will operate six flights per week on Boeing 737 aircraft, offering 2000 seats per week. Depending on how things go, the three-month period could be extended – but for now, this is a limited opportunity ending mid-June.
Sitting pretty between New Zealand and New Caledonia, Norfolk Island is only a two-and-a-half-hour flight (or less), but a whole world away.
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A wild and rugged place, Norfolk Island is a quiet paradise often overlooked for the likes of Fiji or Bali. But it has so much to offer visitors, precisely considering it’s a lesser-known destination.
The unique landscape is begging you to hike and climb it, brimming with towering pine trees, the tallest ferns on the planet and jagged cliffs with waterfalls spilling into the sea. The beaches sparkle with impossibly clear waters sheltered by teeming coral reefs just a short swim from the sand, made for snorkelling and kayaking.
There are dramatic headlands serving views that seem to stretch on forever and there’s even a UNESCO World Heritage Site in former convict settlement Kingston, the capital.
The crystal waters are teeming with fish and marine life, the waves are empty and the golf course is one of the only courses in the world located within a World Heritage Site.
The food here is organic and paddock-to-plate (long before that became a ‘thing’), there may be some rogue cows on the roads and locals are so friendly, they don’t bother locking their doors.
These are all ingredients for the good life and it seems that stepping foot onto Norfolk Island is like stepping back in time. How good.
It’s Monday morning rush hour at Kingston! 🌲 🐮#theresmoretonorfolkisland #cowsrule
“With international borders closed, we know Australians are looking for new holiday experiences and Norfolk Island is a destination that has so much to offer,” says Qantas Domestic and International CEO, Andrew David. The flights also enable ongoing ease for residents reaching the Aussie mainland.
For tourists, Qantas is aiming the flights toward their Frequent Flyer members.
“We’ll be promoting these new flights to millions of our frequent flyers across the country, with seamless connections from our large domestic network through Sydney or Brisbane, who will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points on flights to Norfolk Island,” says David.
The new routes have come about as a result of the pandemic, following several repatriation flights that Qantas operated in recent weeks after Air New Zealand suspended flights between Norfolk Island and Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
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A definite silver lining to the past year is that special gems like Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Fares from Sydney start from $412 one-way and from Brisbane from $390 one-way and are now available for sale.
(Lead image: Norfolk Island Tourism)
Sonia feels most at home on the road, with travel her greatest passion. But really, she’s hype about a lot of things: beautiful design, tasty food, wellness, nature, interesting people and women’s issues. The Founding Editor of Junkee’s The Cusp and former Homes Editor at Nine, Sonia prides herself on seeking out authentic experiences with charm and loves sharing a personal rec. Catch her on Instagram @sonnietothetee.