Norfolk Island: Foodies paradise

Ellie Hutchinson finds fresh, tasty cuisine in abundance on a beautiful island.
Bedrock Cafe's fresh seafood menu.
Bedrock Cafe's fresh seafood menu.

Norfolk Island is a great destination for food lovers. Everything is homegrown, fresh, in-season and organic so you know you will be eating the sweetest tomatoes, tastiest carrots and juiciest peaches, as well as enjoying a unique field-to-plate experience. Growers provide the cafes and restaurants with local produce first, and plenty of places to choose from mean you will never go hungry.

1 BEDROCK CLIFF TOP CAFE
For the best smoked fish sandwich on the island

Heidi Adams will greet you through the window of the kitchen where they are busy preparing fresh food for hungry customers; this is their home and what an incredible property it is, boasting stunning views to the ocean. Wander around the large, well-kept garden and choose your dining spot from benches on the clifftop, chill out on hanging chairs, cosy sofa areas, the huge deck overlooking the garden, or undercover on the patio, which is adorned with local art and is also where their friendly dog and cat relax. Try the best and biggest sandwich you will taste on the island - and possibly in your life - loaded with delicious carrots, beetroot, avocado, homemade chutney and smoked fish.

Little touches such as hot cups to keep your tea warmer for longer and the tastiest passionfruit and guava pies make this a memorable place. It would be easy to lose track of time here, especially as massages are also available.

2 HILLI GOAT FARM
Best artisan goat's cheese tour and island feast

Emily's lifelong dreams have come true, working on her stunning family property in Anson Bay where she grew up, making the most divine creamy goat's cheese. She shares her home with her family and some happy, cheeky goats. Take a tour and discover how the cheese is made, pick from the edible garden and learn about seasonal organic living and the Norfolk Whey. Indulge in an exquisite feast of homegrown and home-cooked food on the patio while taking in the beautiful sea views and sampling the delicious Hilli goat's cheese and freshly baked bread. Walk it all off again and take a look around her parents' on-site pottery and art gallery. Emily is working on her goat's milk organic cosmetic range, which she sells at the local farmers' market.

Bedrock Cafe's fresh seafood menu.
Bedrock Cafe's fresh seafood menu.


3 THE GOLDEN ORB BOOKSHOP AND CAFE
Best place to sit and relax

Sharing the same name as the island's resident spider, this tranquil cafe is tucked away from the main road in a sub-tropical garden and doubles as a bookshop. Caz and Jack prepare all their foodie delights on site daily; there is a nice selection of pastries and cakes, along with the best corn fritter stack with homemade haloumi in town. It is a peaceful place to settle in for a few hours with a good book, some delicious food and a warming chai tea with honey.

4 BINKY'S ISLAND NECTAR HEALTH FOOD STORE
Best post work-out smoothies

Soon to be the place to pick up your picnic hampers fully stocked with local chutneys, preserves, jams, guava paste, salts, chillies, fresh herbs, fruit, local goat's cheese, preserved capsicum and even smoked fish. These are just some of the delectable delights that adorn the shelves in this warm and inviting space. Try one of Binky's liquid comfort smoothies, served in recycled jars, such as the figgy pear or peach. Binky gives you the freedom to choose and make your own smoothies from the display of locally sourced fruits, including gora, paw paw, papaya and yellow guava, which all make for interesting and unusual healthy options. Also on the menu are bliss balls - Bircher muesli and fruit-and- yoghurt parfait with granola.

5 HILLI'S
Best fine dining with a relaxed atmosphere

The meaning of Hilli in the Norfolk language is actually to relax and do nothing, which is exactly how you feel when you enter this popular restaurant. The menu is great, be sure to try the local trumpeter fish which, if on the menu, will be the fresh catch of the day: a white meaty fish, delicious with in-season pumpkin and green beans, washed down with local wine from Two Chimneys Winery. Dessert is a perfectly sharp lemon tart with a biscuit base. Tie in your lunch or dinner visit with a look at "must-see" Fletcher's Mutiny Cyclorama panoramic painting, browse local artists' work at the gift shop afterwards or stroll around the bountiful gardens.

Checklist

GETTING THERE
Air NZ has a weekly direct service between Auckland and Norfolk Island. One-way fares start from $229.

ONLINE
norfolkisland.com.au

- NZ Herald

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