Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area, Norfolk Island

#3 of 9 in Historic Sites in Norfolk Island
Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area is an old settlement on the Kingston coastal plains, southern side of Norfolk Island, consisting of a large group of buildings from the British Empire's convict era, now considered to be of such cultural significance to Australia and to the World that the area has been formally inscribed onto both the Australian National Heritage List and UNESCO's World Heritage list as amongst:".. the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts." The Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area, on Norfolk Island, is of outstanding significance to the nation as a convict settlement spanning the era of transportation to eastern Australia between 1788-1855. It is also significant as the only site in Australia to display evidence of early Polynesian settlement, and the place where the Pitcairn Island descendents of the Bounty mutineers were re-settled in 1856.The Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area is one of 11 places that make up the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage serial listing, inscribed on 31 July 2010. KAVHA was included in the National Heritage List on 1 August 2007.As a place of secondary punishment, KAVHA developed a reputation as one of the harshest and cruellest of Australia's penal settlements. It was, however, also a place where humanising experiments in penal reform were conducted.KAVHA is located on the southern side of Norfolk Island, which lies 1,600 kilometres to the east-north-east of Sydney. Set on the Kingston coastal plain and bounded by hills, it comprises a large group of buildings from the convict era, some of which have been modified during the Pitcairn period, substantial ruins and standing structures, archaeological remains, landform and landscape elements. KAVHA's aesthetic qualities have been recognised since the earliest days of the first settlement. It is outstanding for its picturesque setting, historic associations, part ruinous configuration and subsequent lack of development.
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Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area Reviews
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  • Some of the building dates to the days of the cruelest penal colony. Whilst little more than shells, they are the perfect backdrop to get an understanding of what life would be like. Other buildings d...  more »
  • Very informative about our history. I recommend taking the tours as the tour guides really know the back ground of all of the buildings.  more »

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