Sunday, April 22, 2007

Low Tax Shopping but Do Not Milk It!

Norfolk Island is a low tax haven. A multitude of shops stock designer and brand name apparel and accessories from all over the world. Cameras, knives, porcelain, perfume, cookware: you name it, it is on Norfolk Island for up to half the cost you can buy it on mainland Australia.

Locals assured me that people from Sydney and Brisbane often do shopping weekends to Norfolk Island. Thank goodness someone can afford to buy those expensive brands because even at 50% less, I could not afford anything. I'm not a brand shopper and I hate shopping. The only store on Norfolk Island that did well out of me was the craft store. Sculpey Clay was $1.50 cheaper than I have been buying it at Spotlight. I bought up big in expectation that we'll be doing more clay work.

Fresh milk though...surely with cows having right of way on Norfolk Island there must also be a cheap supply of the gorgeous white stuff. WRONG.

NEVER buy fresh milk on Norfolk Island. Husband, an accountant, kept the receipt because he knew nobody would believe we paid $5.86 for a litre of milk. Flown in from New Zealand, it seems the locals forgot to tell us that anything air freighted is really only done so for the unsuspecting tourist - US.

Enjoy the low tax shopping but consider drinking UHT or powdered milk perhaps!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dars-et ("This is it" in Norfolk)

Norfolk Island has its own language: Norfolk. According to the Norfolk Government site, the language "Developed on Pitcairn Island after the mutiny on the Bounty to enable the English seamen and their Tahitian spouses to communicate, the language developed a unique melding of 18th-century Highlands English and Tahitian that can still be heard on Norfolk and Pitcairn Islands today."

We listened in fascination to the locals who interspersed their conversations with us in both English and Norfolk. A beautiful, flowing and mesmerizing language, children at the Norfolk Island school learn English and Norfolk. What a wonderful way to ensure the language does not die.

Of all the phrases we learnt while honeymooning on Norfolk Island, the one that screams at me today is, Dars-et. Translated into English the term is, "this is it."

Dars-et. Our daughter will be celebrating her 21st birthday on Norfolk Island.

She is the first of us to manage to get back to the beautiful Norfolk Island. I wonder what swear words I could learn in Norfolk!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Live and Work on Norfolk Island

Is it possible to live on Norfolk Island? Before I went there, I thought that residing on the island was only possible if you could prove links to the island: either through land allocated to convicts who had served their sentence there or by being a descendant of the mutineers of HMAS Bounty.

Wrong. It is possible for anyone to live on Norfolk Island if you can fulfil some simple immigration requirements.

Buying a house and living on the island for periods up to 4 months per year is acceptable. If you prefer to stay in your holiday house for up to six months, policy normally allows this under a variation to a Temporary Entry Permit. Warning though, current policy does not allow you renting your house to tourists while you are not on the island. Tourist beds are strictly controlled to ensure that the island does not over extend its sustainable resources. Although there are no land rates for permanent island residents, absent home owners are charged a rate of 1% of the unimproved land value.
A Temporary Entry Permit can be extended for up to three years if you meet immigration criteria AND have a work contract with a resident (there is zero unemployment on the island and they are keen to keep it that way).

To stay for longer periods, you must make a firm commitment to reside on Norfolk Island permanently and apply for a General Entry Permit. This normally involves the purchase of a business or, failing that, the ability to make a unique contribution to the island by providing a skill or service they require.

To live virtually tax-free (no income tax, low import taxes for top quality shopping), crime-free and pollution-free, consider buying a home and business on Norfolk Island - we are and we are very grateful to all the help provided by Island Realty.

Norfolk Island's real estate experts can help you with your real estate, business investments and enquiries about living and working on the magnificent Norfolk Island:
Island Realty
L.J Quintal Real Estate
Norfolk Island Real Estate

For other things you need to know about Norfolk Island, click here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Job on Norfolk Island

Big girl has landed a job on Norfolk Island. Full time in a cafe, she cannot wait to get there. Mother dear is as jealous as hell. Despite the greenery of Norfolk Pines matching the colour of my eyes, I am happy for girl child: Happy that I will have a perfectly valid reason for making regular trips to the island paradise in the South Pacific.

Australia is coming into our winter months and Norfolk Island will be much colder than we are used to in the tropics. Norfolk shipping is expensive and therefore, it is just as cheap for me to fly to the island on mercy trips of taking winter warmth to my darling daughter. Husband thinks not. An accountant, he assures me that Australia Post will safely deliver jumper, jeans and other necessities at a cheaper rate than passenger jets charge. I chose to ignore him.

Working and living on Norfolk Island is possible. Next article I'll tell you how. For now though, all I can say to big girl is, "Welcam tu Norfuk Alien" (Welcome to Norfolk Alien).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Norfolk Island Wave

Waving to cars is customary on Norfolk Island. A sign of acknowledgment and friendliness, Paul loved it. The immediate sense of community and security (we see you) spoke to him and he took to the Norfolk Island wave like a duck to water. By the time we left the island, he was waving to cars, pedestrians, dogs, cows and chooks!!! Paul loved Norfolk Island as much as I did. That's him pictured atop one of the scenic high spots overlooking historic Quality Row and looking for movement to wave at.

Ma Martin (descendant of Fletcher Christian from Mutiny of the Bounty), owner of Highland Lodge , explained that waving was not expected inside the town grids (a steel grid set into the road to stop cattle crossing while allowing cars to enter without opening gates). We failed to see evidence of non waving within town proper though. Everybody still acknowledged each other with a lift of the finger or a full hand wave.

It was lovely to experience acknowledgement of existence and visitation to Norfolk Island. So different to the busy city life we live with, the sense of individualism and the shunning of community.

Embarrassed at first, I soon recovered and also joined the wave of acknowledgment toward fellow Norfolk Island visitors and residents. However, the charming and quaint wave of Norfolk has become embedded into Paul's mainland driving skill repertoire and he is now receiving angry glares from motorists wondering why the hell he's waving at them.

Get over the wave and go Norfolk. While Paul continues mainland waving, I'm busily searching for air fare specials to take us back to the island paradise in the South Pacific.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sydney to Norfolk only $299.00.

Want to go to Norfolk Island without spending heaps of money?

A time limited (fly April 20, 2007) special promotion from Sydney to Norfolk Island from only $299 per person.


* Return economy airfares to Norfolk Island.

* 2 nights accommodation at the Hillcrest Hotel.

* Return airport transfers.

* Half day tour (the tour is history at its best).

* Daily continental breakfast.

For other Norfolk Island promotions and specials, take a look at the Norfolk Island offers at Best Flights.

Get over the wave and get to Norfolk Island. If I lived in Sydney I'd be taking advantage of this amazingly low cost opportunity.

Norfolk Island - Anson Bay

We had a BBQ dinner overlooking this magnificent Norfolk Island bay. The breathtaking beauty of Norfolk Island spoke to us loudly and clung to our eardrums like a child not wanting to be left alone. We could not help but her her cry of "don't ever leave me."

As the sun set over the never ending blanket of water, our decision was made: we were coming back, as soon possible.

After all, what is a child protection consultant to do when a child screams in fear of abandonment?

I wonder what the immigration rules for Norfolk Island are?

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