Norfolk Island’s Cascade Reserve has been added to Australia’s Commonwealth Heritage List, following its gazettal on March 21, 2022.
This listing recognises the historical and social value of the reserve, along with its archaeological potential and ongoing importance to Norfolk Islanders.
Nestled in the South Pacific, Norfolk Island lies over 1000 kilometres off the east coast of Australia and has a storied history as a port for voyagers travelling across the ocean. As one of only two landing sites on the Island, Cascade Reserve has long played an essential part in that history by facilitating trade, transport, and communication between Norfolk Islanders and the rest of the world.
Set on 23 hectares of rolling pasture, forest and rugged coast, Cascade Reserve was first recorded as a landing site in 1788. Convict settlers also used the area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a result of this rich history, the reserve includes several prospective archaeological sites, which may deepen our understanding of its settlement periods.
The area also has long-running significance to Norfolk Islanders as a recreational area. First declared a reserve in 1860, locals and tourists alike continue to enjoy fishing, picnics, and other outdoor activities in the company of the Island’s plentiful seabirds, free-roaming cattle, and chickens.
Cascade Reserve is Norfolk Island’s sixth entry on the Commonwealth Heritage List. It joins the World Heritage-listed Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA), which is part of the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property.
The Commonwealth Heritage List is a collection of Indigenous, historic, and natural heritage places on land owned or controlled by the Australian Government.
Listed sites may have connections to defence, maritime safety, or other activities that tell the story of Australia’s development as a nation.
Inclusion on the List increases site awareness and provides regulatory certainty by identifying their particular heritage values and location.