Norfolk Island Beaches

Norfolk Island Beaches – Your beach guide to Norfolk Island

Even though Norfolk Island is not a renowned beach destination it still has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Of course, the weather plays a big part in keeping beachgoers away. Regardless, if you visit between November and April you’ll get plenty of sunny days. The Norfolk Island beaches are the best place to go on those sunny days.

The island itself is very small and the coastline is dominated by rocky, mountainous terrain. This keeps the choice of beaches on the lower end. There are a total of five beaches on Norfolk Island that you can visit safely.

The five beaches have five different characteristics so we do recommend that you discover all of them for yourself. Some are shallow and perfect for swimming while other beaches have angry waves that are better suited for surfing.

There is however one thing that’s the same across all the beaches: it’s the scenery. All of the Norfolk Island beaches are breathtakingly beautiful.

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1. Emily Bay Lagoon

Norfolk Island Bay
Emily Bay Lagoon

Let’s start our journey at Emily Bay Lagoon. Arguably the most famous among the Norfolk Island beaches. It’s also one of the best beaches if you are looking to swim and get into the water.

Most of the other beaches are directly on the shore of the ocean making the waves bigger and making swimming a bit harder.

Emily Bay Lagoon is located after a reef barrier that totally brakes the incoming waves. What you get is a beautiful sandy beach with incredibly calm waters.

The scenery on this beach is straight out of a tropical paradise. A sandy shore, clear blue waters, and a perfectly calm lagoon. It’s so inviting that you will find it hard not to jump straight into the water.

Emily Bay Lagoon is also the beach for families on the island. As the water is very calm here it’s perfectly safe for children.

If you have snorkeling gear then you’ll enjoy Emily Bay Lagoon even more. Swim near the reefs at low tide and you will be able to see all the underwater life swimming by and going about their days. It’s truly untouched nature.


2. Anson Bay

Anson Bay
Anson Bay – The trail down to the beach clearly visible from the picture

Anson Bay is our favorite beach on Norfolk Island. It’s not so much for the swimming but rather for the amazing scenery.

This beach is fairly isolated. You’ll need to walk down the winding path from the parking but worry not, it’s not a demanding trip.

Once at the bottom you will arrive at Anson Bay, nestled between the rock walls of the island. Look around the sandy beach and you will notice that you are alone, or at best almost alone.

It’s one of the most peaceful beaches we’ve ever visited in the world. Sit down in the sand and watch the waves crashing against the shore.

Sadly swimming is a bit hard on this beach due to the waves. It’s better suited for surfing. It’s also one of the best spots to watch the sunset. Just make sure you have some light for the way back to the car.

Regardless of the isolated nature of this beach, there is a public toilet, picnic tables, and public barbeques available as amenities.


3. Cemetery Beach

We know, the name of this beach might not exactly strike confidence in you but it’s a perfectly fine piece of beach.

In fact, this is a favorite beach for many of the locals and especially the ones with dogs. People like to come here after work and let their dogs free on the beach to enjoy themselves.

So if you are someone who loves dogs then that’s another reason to visit Cemetery Beach.

Why the name you might ask? Well, it’s very simple. There is an old cemetery right next to the beach.

It’s a sandy beach with perfect views for sunrise. If you want to get up early and catch the sun coming up this is the place to be.

It’s also one more beach not perfect for swimming. Waves do get high so attempt swimming only at your own risk. This is more of a beautiful walking beach than a nice swimming beach.


4. Slaughter Bay

If the previous beach’s name didn’t strike confidence in you then we don’t really know what to say about this one’s name. Slaughter Bay sounds like it’s straight out of a horror movie. In reality, it could not be further from the truth.

In fact, it’s kind of a sister beach to Emily Bay Lagoon. Located behind the same reef barrier it has calm waters and plenty of aquatic life.

This beach is a favorite for snorkelers. If you want to look at the wildlife you can grab your snorkeling gear and swim around the reef. It’s filled with underwater life.


5. Bumboras

Bumboras Beach Norfolk Island
Steve Daggar, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lastly, Bumboras is a rocky beach that attracts surfers from the island. The locals simply call it Bumby and it’s a very secluded and moderately difficult-to-access beach. In fact, it’s probably the hardest to get to among the Norfolk Island beaches.

The way to the beach is steep and unpaved. This means that after a rainfall we would not even attempt to visit this beach as the terrain becomes very hard to navigate.

On a nice day however the people do like to visit as there is a nice reef break nearby which makes perfect waves for surfing. You can try to join the locals if you surf or just walk down and take in the views.

There is also a great amount of wildlife between the rocks of the island. Small crabs and tiny fish are abundant in the crystal clear water so keep an eye out.


Tips for Norfolk Island Beaches

Finally, we’ll give you some handy tips before you visit Norfolk Island. If you plan to go to the beach then try to keep these tips in mind.

  • Keep checking the current tide and weather info. Most of the beaches are nicer during low tide and some are even inaccessible at high tide.
    • You can always ask the local Visitor Center for info on the tides
  • The weather might not be super hot but the sun can be scorching. You should always wear sunscreen and even a hat when outside in sunny weather.
  • Don’t leave your snorkeling gear at home. You’ll find a great use for it around the beaches of Norfolk Island.
  • Please mind the wildlife. Do not stand on the coral reef and try not to harass them. You can see, look, and observe but we advise against touching and getting in contact with the wildlife.

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Beaches on Norfolk Island – FAQ

How many beaches does Norfolk Island have?

There are a total of 5 beaches for you to visit.

What is the best beach for swimming in Norfolk Island?

Emily Bay Lagoon is the best beach for swimming.

What is the best time to visit if you want beach weather?

From November to April the weather usually allows for nice beach days.

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