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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Travel: Our Unintentional Adventure & Must Visit Norfolk Island Restaurants

Southern In Law in Norfolk Island Travel Reviews - Our Unintentional Adventure and Favourite Eats

Read all of our Norfolk Island Adventures here.

This is a post where you'll learn some serious life lessons... or you know... realise that Kristy and Jesse really aren't that intelligent at all. 

You see, whilst most of the time we have our brains switched on, sometimes we must leave them in bed or at home because it's quite clear they're not where they're supposed to be. 

The adventure I'm going to tell you about today was definitely one of those left-my-brain-at-home moments - but it ended up giving us a pretty great story to tell;
So why don't you join me as I share it?! >>

Early Sunrise on Norfolk Island

Before our grand adventure could happen, we needed fuel - and luckily the fuel we chose that morning was one of the best breakfasts we had on the island. 

We'd been up since a little before 5am (when the sun rose) and got ready to head to breakfast at The Golden Orb; a cafe in town that's a bit of a hidden gem. 

Golden Orb Cafe Norfolk Island - Gluten Free Coeliac Friendly Travel Reviews and Recommendations

Tucked away from the main street, The Golden Orb is a favourite of locals and known for it's delicious breakfast and lunch options. As you walk down the pathway to the cafe, you'll quickly realise how the cafe got its name as you come to huge webs filled with dozens of golden orb spiders. 

If you're scared of spiders, don't be - golden orb spiders don't tend to bite; unless of course you invade their personal space (and to be honest, I'd probably bite you too if you did the same). They're more than happy to set in their webs and mind their own business - just try not to run into their (albeit impressive) webs as they're pretty sticky and gross. 

Books at The Golden Orb Cafe Norfolk Island

The cafe is also a bookshop and the shelves are filled with both local and international books. 

Tea on a Sunday Morning at The Golden Orb Cafe Norfolk Island - Gluten Free Coeliac Friendly Travel Reviews

After placing our orders we sat down at a cozy little table by the windows to chat and wait for our breakky. When I went to order a pot of tea, I noticed Tea on a Sunday Morning and my mind was made up. First, it was Sunday morning so it only made sense - and secondly, black tea and vanilla sounded like heaven to me!

The Golden Orb have an awesome collection of teas with their shelves lined with glass jars filled with teas of just about any flavour you could imagine.

Gluten Free Breakfast at The Golden Orb Cafe Norfolk Island - Coeliac Friendly Travel Reviews and Recommendations

Breakfast was simple but oh so delicious. A two egg + one white omelette for me, filled with delicious local feta made by the Christian Brothers Cheese Company and Scrambled Eggs with Toast and Extra Bacon for Jesse (because the local bacon is deeelish!). 

The feta in my omelette was heavenly and unlike any feta I'd tried before. It was soft and moist and slightly stringy like mozzarella and the perfect filling. As for Jesse's breakfast, can you ever go wrong with bacon? 

Both of our breakfast were perfect and we were sad to find out that The Golden Orb was closed on Mondays as we were wishing we could've had a repeat breakfast on our last day on the island!

Walking to Cockpit Falls Norfolk Island

After breakfast we were full of energy and I suggested that we go for a "quick" walk to Cockpit Waterfall and Cascade Pier which was "just down the road" from our cottage. You see, everything looks "just down the road" when you're looking at a map of a teeny tiny island. 

We grabbed the backpack, the camera and some water and put on some sneakers (note: we didn't think to get changed as it was "just a quick walk") before heading out for our walk.

Walking to Cockpit Waterfall Norfolk Island - Healthy Travel Reviews and Recommendations
Notice how the cow in the background looks like a
teeny tiny miniature cow perched on top of the sign :P
We got to the reserve and realised our first mistake; we'd forgotten the map. 

But it's okay, we thought, it's only "just down the road" from Tintoela - we'd be fine without a map! 

Walking to Cockpit Falls in Cascade, Norfolk Island - Healthy Active Vacation Reviews and Tips

We walked down the dirt road until it ended and then followed the grass down to the waterfall. 

Cockpit Waterfall Norfolk Island

We arrived at the waterfall to find this sign; unstable track. 

We thought about how we'd hopped the fence foraging the day before and thought maybe locals just walk down anyway, however, decided against it as we had no idea where the track went, how long it was - and well, we didn't think it was a good idea to die and/or injure yourself when you didn't have phone service and when no one would have known you were dead for a few days. 

Walking to Cascade Pier Norfolk Island

So we decided to head back up the hill and walk to Cascade Pier before heading back to the cottage.

It was when we were walking done this long stretch of road that I realised something; we were completely alone. 

No cars. 

No people. 
Just cows and feral chickens. 

Walking with the backpack on my back, I realised I felt like someone I knew...

"Corrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrralllllll" I yelled out, giggling at the echo my voice made on the rocks around us. Jesse agreed, it was a little bit like the walking dead - the two of us walking down a long country road with no one else to be seen. 

Luckily we didn't have zombies to contend with though ;) 

Walking to Cascade Pier Norfolk Island

We kept plodding along, walking down, down down the road to the pier when Jesse made a comment that the hill on the way back would be a killer.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh little did we know what was coming next. 

Cascade Pier Norfolk Island

We reached the pier and took in the sights, snapping photos as we wandered around. It was hot and we'd been walking for quite a while, however, we managed to find a little bit of shade to stand in whilst we soaked up the view.

The View from Cascade Pier Norfolk Island

We decided a lazy lunch at the cottage sounded like the perfect idea so we headed back ready to relax. The camera was getting heavy so I popped it into the backpack instead of carrying it in my hands and we went off on our merry way. 

What we didn't realise is that our merry way was actually the wrong way.

After about 15 minutes, we started noticing things we hadn't seen before. A leftover halloween skeleton decoration hanging from a tree, Norfolk Island flags hanging on fence posts, a really fancy lamp post out the front of someone's property. 

"I feel like we're one street over from where we're supposed to be" I said to Jesse. 

He told me to just keep walking, we'd get to where we needed to be eventually.

Only, after a while of walking I started noticing street signs we definitely hadn't passed before. 

Norfolk Island School

Up ahead we noticed the school. The only school on the island which we knew was on the other side of the island from where we were. 

Jesse had been ignoring my requests to hitch hike (telling me he didn't want to admit we'd gotten lost when there was only four or so main roads we could take) and we decided to just keep on walking, knowing we'd be soon walking through the centre of town.

Walking around Norfolk Island

So walk we did and soon we found ourselves walking on the footpath through town without a cow in sight. 

As we were walking we passed the Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama and decided to stop in and have a look as it was on our to-do list. The cyclorama is an incredible 360 degree panoramic painting telling the story of the Bounty adventures. 

Tickets for the Cyclorama are $14 for adults and inside you walk inside a circular panoramic painting and you feel like you're standing on the bounty itself as you hear the music and sound effects and read the story of how the most famous mutiny came to create the Pitcairn and Norfolk Island communities. 

It's impossible to explain how incredible it is so you really need to go and visit yourself!

The Blue Bull Cafe Norfolk Island

When we walked through town we decided to stop in at The Blue Bull Cafe so Jesse could pick up some lunch to bring back to the cottage. The Blue Bull is the little brother to Norfolk Blue which I'll tell you a little more about in a second as it was where we had our favourite meal on the island!

Jesse ordered the Norfolk Blue Burger ($15), made from the famous Norfolk Blue Beef, lightly spiced with Middle Eastern Spices and placed on a bun with lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, beetroot, cheese and aioli. Jesse gave it a huge thumbs up and definitely agreed with our fellow guests at Tintoela who had recommended it in the guest book!

Blue Boy at the Blue Bull Cafe Norfolk Island

Before heading back to the cottage, we headed outside to the back of the cafe to say hello to Blue Boy; a retired steer from the Norfolk Blue farm who spends his days relaxing in the shade and being fed by visitors. For just $2, you can feed Blue Boy and help fund his retirement ;)

Norfolk Blue Restaurant Norfolk Island - Gluten Free Travel Coeliac Friendly Vacation Reviews

Blue Boy is apart of the Norfolk Blue family; a breed of cattle found only on Norfolk Island. It's a unique heritage herd that has evolved on the island over many years, originally said to be derived from a "blue bull" nicknamed "Dr Blue Suit" who was brought to the island over 100 years ago.

Norfolk Island is the only place in the world you can enjoy Norfolk Blue Beef and the farm's restaurant, Norfolk Blue, specialises in it. If you're looking for a paddock to plate experience, you can't really get any better than Norfolk Blue.

Not only is the restaurant beautiful and welcoming, it's home to some of (in our opinion) the best food on the island. The menu features their own locally grown Norfolk Blue prime cuts and other beef dishes as well as a variety of other dishes to suit every eater. Each and every item on the menu is seasonal and utilises the best local produce available.

Dinner at Norfolk Blue Restaurant Norfolk Island - Gluten Free Travel and Coeliac Friendly Vacation Reviews

Jesse started the meal with a complimentary appetiser of a beef liver pate on crusty homemade lavosh and we sat and chatted whilst waiting for our meals. 

The restaurant is fabulous and includes formal dining, alfresco dining, sunroom dining and a lounge bar area, all surrounded by beautiful gardens. The chef prides himself on providing options for every visitor - catering to children with special menus and providing options for those with special dietary needs.

Dinner at Norfolk Blue Restaurant Norfolk Island - Gluten Free Travel and Coeliac Friendly Vacation Reviews

There were a number of options I could have chose for dinner, however, with just about every local we met telling us we needed to try the local trumpeter fish, I just couldn't say no! 

Jesse had the Norfolk Blue Aged Sirloin which was served with potato galette, sauted local greens, pea puree, yorkshire pudding and a beef and red wine jus. I had the catch of the day; the trumpeter which was baked and served with steamed greens and beef fat roasted vegetables. 

Both of our meals were absolutely incredible. The chef, Paul, told us that he's passionate about creating dishes that are simple yet full of flavour and that's exactly what he achieves. You know you're eating the best possible produce when the chef tells you he wants the ingredients to speak for themselves. Forget overrated fancy techniques and hard to pronounce names, Norfolk Blue serves up incredible food, cooked to perfection.

Baked Double Chocolate Cheesecake at Norfolk Blue

But dinner didn't end there. When Jesse read the dessert specials, he couldn't pass up the Baked Double Chocolate Cheesecake and he happily gobbled it up, proclaiming it as the best cheesecake eveeeeeeerrrrrrrrr (Jesse insisted on putting a long ever here) whilst an envious Kristy looked on. 

Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand flies to Norfolk Island from Sydney and Brisbane; starting at around $270 per person one way from Sydney to Norfolk. You can find the latest flight specials here.

Norfolk Island Tourism

Golden Orb Cafe & Bookshop, Norfolk Island
Find out more here.
Taylors Rd, Burnt Pine
Norfolk Island

Norfolk Blue Restaurant
New Farm Rd, 100 Acre Farm
Norfolk Island 

The Blue Bull Cafe
90A Taylors Rd, Burnt Pine
Norfolk Island
But tell me, have you ever taken one wrong turn and gotten completely lost? 
And if you're heading out for breakfast, what do you usually order?

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