The Kingston Wharf is really interesting for visitors. It is, of course, a working wharf and you’ll see fishing boats being winched in and out of the water on most days when the sea is calm enough for fishing. You might even be able to buy some fresh fish off the boats returning to shore.
But what I find really interesting is when ships unload their cargoes. There is, of course, no harbour on Norfolk so they have to anchor offshore. Small boats called lighters venture across the reef and bring the cargo to the jetty where it is winched on to land.
If a ship is unloading when you’re visiting be sure to go down and have a look. Watching everything from containers to building materials to cars being carried on the lighters is fascinating to watch. Even better when you’re sitting watching in such a beautiful place as Kingston surrounded by the ruins of the penal settlements.
Sometimes when the weather is too rough to unload at Kingston the unloading will take place at Cascade on the other side of the island. But sometimes when the sea is too rough no unloading can take place at all. Whereas ships will wait a while in case the surf subsides but sometimes they are forced to carry on to the next port of call. That’s when shortages can occur on Norfolk.
Ask if a ship is due during your stay. Particularly if it’s unloading at Kingston it’s one of the best free events you can watch.
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