Castaway-Norfolk-Island-MermaidThe Lady Mermaid was sculpted from a piece of wood cut from the banyan tree that once stood in front of the Castaway Hotel by the proprietor and tourism entrepreneur Ken Prentice.

The wood was bleached in the salt water of Emily Bay for six months when the Castaway Hotel was being renovated, and was then hung in the public bar.

The sculpture was removed by two long term patrons of the hotel when it was sold in 1984, and returned for the prosperity and goodwill of the new and current owners, Tony and Sarah Watts, in 2015.  Saran is Ken’s grandaughter.

Castaway norfolk island accommodation and rugby on the rockRUGBY ON NORFOLK

In the first week of August, teams of golden oldies arrived on Norfolk Island to hotly compete in the Rugby on the Rock competition. Golden Oldies they might be, but they certainly put on a great show and that extends to after the game socialising as well.

Castaway catered for each of the games held at historic Kingston oval, which is in the heart of the World Heritage convict settlement area of Norfolk. Sheltered by Government House hill and just a stone’s throw from the turquoise waters of Slaughter Bay, this is arguably one of the most beautiful sporting fields you’ll find. And the Castaway team toughed it out down there for three whole days, serving wood-fired pizzas straight from the mobile oven! That’s dedication!

Mid-week, the teams let their hair down at a Karaoke Night at Castaway itself, right in the centre of Burnt Pine. The night kicked off at 6.30am with a delicious a la carte menu and some great specials on offer. It was a night when legends were made!


No, not something covered in bread crumbs that you eat, the game played with a mallet, hoops and balls! The ‘it’ game of the early twentieth century, Croquet is experiencing a rebirth and last month, Norfolk Island hosted the Convicts Cup Croquet competition and the winner stayed at Castaway.

Actually, Castaway had the pleasure of hosting thirty of the eighty participants, including the officials and the winning player.   It was a great week and the players worked hard, competing over four days, from Tuesday to Friday.

Kingston oval is completely transformed for this competition. The groundsmen take meticulous care of the surface to ensure the smoothest, flattest playing area for the competitors. Each day, Kingston, the world heritage jewel in Norfolk’s crown was transformed with the influx of Croquet players and their fans.

In June 2016, we are looking forward to welcoming back many of this year’s players as well as newcomers. The event is being held from Monday 20th June to Thursday 23rd June, but check out the package available through Go See Touring at – it’s a great way to experience Norfolk Island.

Castaway Norfolk Island is establishing a name for itself for our High Teas.  Earlier this month we entertained our second U3A group to High Tea and had rave reviews from its Bermagui & District members.

Our trained pastry chef has a ball preparing for these special events and we get a kick out of setting the tables with the beautiful Royal Doulton tea services, complete with tea pots and tiered cake stands.

For just $45 per person, we serve delicate cucumber sandwiches (and more robust ham and mustard), profiterole swans, mini-lemon meringue pies, scones with cream and guava jelly and individual quiches.  Guests choose between brewed coffee and a range of Tea Blossom teas including Early Grey, English Breakfast, Lemongrass and Ginger, Camomile, Chai, Peppermint, Jasmine and Green tea.

Our High Tea begins at 1pm, so you can save on lunch as well – and who needs lunch with everything on offer at this high tea! Plus there is the fabulous view from the French doors across to Mt Pitt and Mt Bates to enjoy as you indulge!  Come and raise a pinky with us at one of our yummy high teas.  It takes all the toughness out of being ‘castaway’!

Our bar is open daily from 4pm for Happy Hour. Having a function? Contact us to arrange a private group High Tea.


Castaway Norfolk Island accommodation restaurant table

Table setting at our restaurant

Castaway Norfolk Island accommodation table setting

Place setting at our restaurant

Delicious cakes for our High Tea

Delicious cakes for our High Tea

If you look across the island from Castaway you can see Phillip Island, seven kilometres south of Norfolk.  It is a fascinating part of Norfolk Island history.

Three million years ago Norfolk Island was many times the size it is today and consisted of one enormous, and very active volcano. When it finally erupted, the force must have been felt half way across the globe. Much of the outer island sank beneath the sea and all that was left was a five by eight kilometre fragment and a tinier, two by three kilometre speck. These were named many millennia later, Norfolk Island and Phillip Island respectively. Read more

Ficus Benghalis or the sacred Banyan tree is revered in its native India.  In Hindu mythology, the Banyan is the ‘wish fulfilling tree’ and symbolises eternal life because of its ever expanding canopy, supported by the aerial roots that strengthen into sturdy trunk-like structures.

Banyans feature in numerous Buddhist and Hindu myths and teachings.  It is a symbol of wisdom and it is said, “Under the protecting foliage of this king of the forests, the Gurus teach their pupils their first lessons on immortality and initiate them into the mysteries of life and death.”

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The “Sirius”, flagship of the first fleet that arrived in Botany Bay in January 1788, was the main supply ship for the fledgling colony and its companion settlement on Norfolk Island.  Those first few years were extremely hard as everything had to be established from scratch and there were many mouths to feed.  The colony in Sydney Cove really struggled and was more and more dependent on the ability of the Norfolk Island settlement to provide fresh meat and vegetables via the ever reliable “Sirius”.

In March 1790 the Sirius arrived off Norfolk Island, filled with supplies, several hundred convicts, freedmen and soldiers, most of whom were en route to Sydney from England.  The Sirius therefore is important in Australian and Norfolk Island history.

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360 degrees of wonder. This video shows you the wonders of Norfolk Island, and why you should have Norfolk Island holidays on your bucket list.

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