KIngston & Convicts

Well, the ship didn’t get unloaded today and the island is getting more desperate for food and supplies. The announcer on the local radio did say that “it was probably certain that the ship would get unloaded at some time in the future, so we are all hopeful.

We spent most of our time today at the site of the early settlement at Kingston looking around the relics of the early convict settlements. One of the two wharves on the island is there, but the swell was almost two metres and far too heavy for any unloading activity. This is the site where a small group of convicts and free people landed in March 1788 in search of the Norfolk Island Pine to serve as masts for his majesty’s ships. I don’t know why they were not suitable but this early settlement was discontinued after only a short time very few remains are left. It’s also the place where the Sirius, flagship of the first fleet was sunk.

The second settlement was established here in the 1830’s when Norfolk Island was used as a place in which to send the worst prisoners from the gaols in Tasmania. Many relics of this period exist and form the basis of a well laid out settlement. Among them are the houses of officials along Quality Row and the stores, mills and other buildings along the waterfront. The cemetery was especially interesting with many headstones and interesting descriptions going back to the early 1840’s.

Norfolk Island had a third settlement in 1856 when the descendants of the Pitcairn islands relocated to here. They occupied many of the convict buildings and used the materials from some, for example the gaol, for constructing other buildings.

I had a lot of fun exploring this area and taking photos. it was a pity that people seemed to generally park their cars right in front of the most interesting photographic features and I had to work around different angles to keep them out of my pictures.

We had lunch in a little cafe that was once the office of the Royal Engineers. I don’t know what tourists expect as we heard one old lady saying “These sandwiches are excellent.They must be home made and not bought in from somewhere else”. What did she expect? That the NI ‘catering company’ had a full blown food production facility on the island? Of course they were home made.

After lunch, we drove all the way (5km) to the north of the island to see the other wharf at a place called Cascades. This is located near an old whaling station. Here the sea was so heavy that the waves were breaking over the wharf. Clearly no unloading activity was taking place here. We visited a couple of local places before returning to Burnt Pine and checking out the local tourist information centre.

Late in the afternoon, I decided to return to Kingston and take a couple of more photos without people and cars being in the way. I enjoyed pottering around on my own and trying to be creative with my photography.

Dinner tonight was at the local RSL. and supplies.

2 comments

  1. Colin Wilson · ·

    Norfolk Island pines weren’t strong enough and didn’t last long enough as ships masts. Hope you don’t come home starving. Are they getting any food in by air?

  2. Ian Anderson · ·

    Hi Bruce,

    Sounds very much like you should have taken your hiking food essentials. Nice photographs, keep up the great travel log.

    Ian & Sue