Norfolk Island: Kingston Historic Area

Norfolk Island has a very interesting and twisted history. It was discovered in 1774 by Cook who thought that abundance of pine and flax would be ideal to establish a colony and build ships here (didn’t work out as Norfolk pine is too soft). The real settlement happened in 1786 when Russian Catherine II barred export of hemp (marijuana used for ropes), and Britain decided to produce pot (i.e. hemp) locally. In 1788, a convict colony was established, eventually growing to the largest convict colony in the Pacific. Starting in 1824, Britain decided to send the “worst description of convicts” to Norfolk, accompanied by a large military garrison. Eventually, the penal colony was moved to Tasmania, and after the convicts were gone, the settlers from Pitcairn (well, hello again!), arrived here after the original abode was overpopulated. Long story short – there is a lot of history here and the remains of the Kingston town tell the tale (quite well preserved). Also here is the government of Pitcairn, as well as rebellious demonstrators vying for a complete independence from Australia (actually it was just one guy). All of this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.