Wednesday, January 12, 2011
P & O's Pacific Sun and Pacific Pearl have been coming to the island for over a year now, and visitors almost always wish to stay longer after the glimpse they get during their few hours ashore.
Many of the interesting things about Norfolk are due to her isolation. The difficulty for animals and plants to colonise the island so far from any mainland has given rise to species evolving here unmolested by mammalian predators, the most efficient of which is Man. Until human beings came to Norfolk Island there were over 15 species of birds that could not be found anywhere else, having evolved in the island's isolation to become new species and subspecies. There are now 7 species remaining, the other 8 lost since European settlement.
Rats brought to the island by Polynesian seafarers around 800 years ago had completely removed the lizards from the main island (Norfolk) by the time European settlers arrived in 1788, however they continue to exist, and perhaps even thrive, on the offshore islands of Phillip and Nepean and on the rocky stacks offshore to the island's north.
In 1788 when the first Europeans arrived to establish a small colony for the purposes of procuring timber and fibre, it was still empty.