Captain Cook's Monument Walk

At the signpost just below the summit, take the steps down to the Summit Track and begin your leisurely 1 1/2 hours walk. Pause at the seat about 200 metres in to admire the sweeping views of the north-west coast. Ten minutes further on, a steep but short ascent takes you up to the peak of Mt. Bates (just 2 metres higher than Mt. Pitt) where you are rewarded with knockout views. Two pits, one containing relics of a radar installation are a legacy from World War II.

Simply follow the "Captain Cook's" signs as you wind through the forest and down to the coast. The melodious trilling you'll hear will be the Golden Whistler and if you're lucky you'll catch the "kek-kek-kek-kek-kek" of the endangered Norfolk Island Green Parrot. As you follow the cliff-top, you will enjoy splendid views of Cathedral Rock, Bird Rock, Moo-oo Stone and Green Pool Stone. Arrived at the monument, you'll gaze down at the spot where Captain Cook landed two centuries ago. 100 metres up, on a lovely, tree-shaded cliff-top, picnic tables and barbecues await you.

During the time it takes for couple No. 1 to do their walk, the other couple can take a roundabout drive to Captain Cook's that is full of interest. Descend Mount Pitt, take Grassy Road down to Taylor's Road and follow it through Burnt Pine and down to Arthur's Vale. The Devil's Elbow at the base takes you west up Country Road to where you turn left into Rocky Point Road.

You'll immediately see a convict ruin sheltered by a magnificent banyan and, opposite it, Branka House restaurant. Under the floor of this gracious building, once the home of a grandson of Fletcher Christian, have recently been discovered a number of cells, relics of the time when over 600 prisoners were housed in this agricultural area. A few yards further down, on the right, are The Arches, what remains of Captain McConachie's convict barracks.

Continue along to Bumboras Road and follow it to the Reserve, a favourite picnic spot. Cross the plank bridge over the rush-choked creek and among pines on your left note one of only two stands of Euphorbia Norfolkiana in the world. Over the rise you'll discover Cresswell Bay, a place of enchanting rock pools and sometimes wild surf. Return to Rocky Point Road, follow it to its end and descend to Point Ross. Be sure to walk up to its summit for wonderful seascapes. You are on the southernmost point of the island. 5 kms out is Phillip Island - beyond that, empty ocean stretches for a mind-bending 5,000 kms to the Antarctic.

When you come down, check your watch. You should allow about 45 minutes from when you leave here to complete your trip to Captain Cook's. If you have time, and if you're super-fit, scramble down to Crystal Pool (being careful to avoid the shearwaters' nesting burrows) and explore this microcosm of the sea's treasures. Be particularly careful if it is high tide.

Backtrack to Country Road and head west until you come to a magnificent stand of Moreton Bay Figs. Read their history on the fence of the Homestead Restaurant and note that the reserve opposite, called One Hundred Acres, is a great place for a ramble on another day. At the corner of Douglas Drive awaits St. Barnabas, probably the most beautiful small church in the Pacific. Make sure you visit it then continue on via Bullock's Hut Road and Duncombe Bay Road to Captain Cook's mon-ument for your picnic. On your return journey, check out two splendid future picnic spots - at Anson Bay and Puppies Point If you're there near sunset, gaze at the orb of the setting sun at the instant it disappears below the horizon. If you're lucky, you'll have an eerie experience - an atmospheric illusion known as the 'Green Flash'.

Norfolk Island Walks and Drives Related Links

Scenic Walks & Drives
Historic Walks