Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic AreaKingston and Arthu's Vale Historic Area print logo

Polynesian Settlement (before 1788)

Polynesians occupied Norfolk Island prior to the arrival of Europeans in 1788. Archaeological remains suggest a single phase of occupation in the period between c. 1150 and c. 1450 AD, with settlers probably arriving from East Polynesia by way of the Kermadec Islands.

Other evidence prior to Polynesian settlement included the discovery of bananas growing in Arthur’s Vale in 1788, stone artefacts and the wreckage of a canoe at Ball’s Bay. Various Polynesian artefacts recovered from the KAVHA site and evidence of early Polynesian habitation can be explored at the Norfolk Island Museum.

Kalia vessel. Source: New York Public Library

Kalia vessel. Source: New York Public Library