January’s recovery from Christmas and New Year has been totally transformed on Norfolk Island with the advent of the Norfolk Ocean Challenge – known as NOC the rock. With a week of outrigger canoe races that bring competing crews from around Australia and New Zealand, this is a week of high energy, great socialising and incredible sights for spectators!
After the inaugural January 2015 event, AOCRA President Mark Forbes listed 17 reasons why “Norfolk Island has been an unprecedented success”. Included in the list were “the race courses are unique and exciting” and “every club that entered has vowed to bring back at least one extra team”. The third week in January 2016 is shaping up to be a week to definitely be ‘on-island’ for.
You don’t really need to know much about outrigging to be a spectator during this event. As Norfolk locals realised in 2015, the excitement is there to be breathed in as you are close enough to literally hear and see the crews battling it out on the water. One of the special features of holding an outrigger event on Norfolk Island is that we are small. Being just 8kms x 5kms and almost entirely surrounded by cliffs, NOC is one of the most unique spectator events of any South Pacific outrigger competition. Each race can be viewed from the shore and a great comradery amongst the spectators builds as they travel around the island following race progress. Plus, you won’t have to get up too early to get a good vantage point – there are no crowds, no traffic and we have plenty of cliff tops to choose from! The views will literally take your breath away.
Of course the celebrating, commiserating and socialising after each race is open to all. In the warmth of balmy Norfolk summer evenings, the open air beach-side bar near Lone Pine becomes a popular spot for locals as well as paddlers, their families and friends.
On the water, the “unique and exciting” features Mark Forbes referred to include some days canoes being lowered by crane into the water at Cascade Pier and paddling through The Arch, a 8m wide naturally formed basalt rock arch. The three main events for 2016 are: V6 Mokutu Sprints, V6 Pacific Direct Line 12km Iron and V6 26km Norfolk Island Travel Centre Round the Rock Iron marathon.
At the end of the event this year, every paddler said they would be back for 2016! With every club also vowing to bring back an extra team, our best tip is to book early. Please contact us for more information and a quote [email protected].
We are all enthusiastically preparing for NOC the Rock 2016 and look forward to welcoming paddlers, family & friends - plus those visiting spectators – looking for a reason to holiday and enjoy a week of fun, socialising and watching some action packed canoe racing!
Register now with local travel specialist Norfolk Island Travel Centre and ask about special travel packages just released. Prices start from $1119 per person ex Brisbane (16-23 January 2016) and $1099 per person ex Sydney (15-22 January 2016) based on twin share accommodation for a seven night stay. Prices includes return ‘seat + bag’ airfare to Norfolk Island, pre-paid airline taxes, meet & greet at the Norfolk airport, 7 nights twin share accommodation, 7 days car hire including car hire surcharge (petrol extra), discount shopping card, complimentary mini- golf and complimentary ‘A Walk in the Wild’. Prices are current today and subject to change without notice. Conditions apply.
Norfolk Island Travel Centre
Norfolk Island Travel Centre is an award winning travel agency that specialises in quality, personalised travel. Norfolk has a unique beauty of its own, with its renowned tall majestic pines, sheer cliff faces, coral reefs and beautiful beaches. Almost one third of the island is devoted to National Parks and Reserves. But Norfolk Island is far more than a picturesque island in the South Pacific, it is paradise with a past. What was once a convicts’ nightmare is now the tranquil home of the descendants from the Mutiny on the Bounty, who have their own unique culture and their own language. There is much to see and do on Norfolk Island: fascinating historic tours, see Kingston which is a World Heritage Listed area,outdoor re-enactments of the Bounty Mutiny (with parts played by actual descendants of Fletcher Christian), ‘Light and Sound’ shows, eco-tours, glass bottom boat coral reef trips, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, dining out in the numerous fine restaurants, bush walking, scenic horse riding, golf on what has been called the world’s most beautiful golf course, bowls, tennis, and squash. Take advantage of Norfolk's tax-free shopping or perhaps simply take some time out to relax and enjoy Norfolk's peaceful existence.
Rebecca Christian, Norfolk Island Travel Centre
P: AU 1800 1400 66 or NZ 0800 0088 10
Norfolk Island Travel Centre
P: AU1800 1400 66 or NZ 0800 0088 10