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.”

Banyans are not native to Norfolk Island and it is unknown whether they were introduced by the Polynesian settlers in the first millennium AD or by the British after 1788.  It was common practice for the British to use exotic trees as boundary markers and the lines of Moreton Bay Figs and camphor laurel trees throughout the island are testament to this.

There are a number of substantial banyan trees on Norfolk Island.  Visitors are welcomed by the enormous banyan at the airport.  There is another at the corner of Middlegate and Collins Head Road that gives its name to the pre-school next door, Banyan Park.  On Rooty Hill Road, there are another two massive banyans on private property, but easily viewed from the road, as is the banyan on Bullocks Hut Road, en route to the National Park and Captain Cook’s Memorial.  And of course, there is another wonderful specimen right in the heart of Burnt Pine, in the grounds of Castaway Norfolk Island.

Banyan trees are loved on Norfolk for the cool shade they provide in summer and the shelter from the cold winds of winter.  Island children love to climb, explore and play hide and seek among those incredible root structures.  Some legendary have been held in our banyan trees and of course, they provide truly romantic venues for weddings as their height, dappled light and sweeping arches make them living cathedrals.

The Castaway Banyan offers mystery and magic in its soaring beauty and glossy leafiness.  It is available as a venue for those special celebrations that must be marked by a unique venue.  Or it will enrich your stay with its sturdy shelter and great beauty.  Enjoy!