World Heritage

World Heritage

The Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area (KAVHA), 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.  Norfolk Island’s Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) is one of the 11 sites that make up the Australian Convict Sites inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2010.

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The property includes a selection of eleven penal sites, among the thousands established by the British Empire on Australian soil in the 18th and 19th centuries. The sites are spread across Australia, from Fremantle in Western Australia to Kingston and Arthur's Vale on Norfolk Island in the east; and from areas around Sydney in New South Wales in the north, to sites located in Tasmania in the south. Around 166,000 men, women and children were sent to Australia over 80 years between 1787 and 1868, condemned by British justice to transportation to the convict colonies. Each of the sites had a specific purpose, in terms both of punitive imprisonment and of rehabilitation through forced labour to help build the colony. The Australian Convict Sites presents the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts.

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The Research and Information Centre is  located in one of the original, elegantly restored Georgian houses at No. 9 Quality Row, on the beautiful Kingston foreshores. It is located next door to No. 10 Quality Row house museum.
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday, 11.00am to 3.00pm.
The Research and Information Centre is open to everyone with an interest in the World Heritage listed Kingston and Arthur’s Vale site, its people and its buildings from the past to the present. Resources are available to all visitors whether professional or just curious, and includes, extensive convict records from 1788 to1856,  reports, maps and journals from the four periods of Kingston settlement. A reading room with our fascinating reference book collection, a comfortable viewing room for the Our Heritage DVD ,brochures and advice to assist with getting the most out of a visit to Kingston.

Research centre


The Norfolk Island Museum reveals to you Norfolk's amazing and multi-layered stories. Famous for its colourful history, the island was first settled in 1788 and later became a convict hellhole. Since 1856 it has been home to the descendants of the Bounty mutineers.
Located in a number of heritage buildings in Kingston, there are four museums, museum car tag along tours and cemetery tours. For more DETAILS.

The four museums are:
PIER STORE - Housing the Pitcairn/ Norfolk stories, including artefacts from the Bounty,Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island since 1856.

Pier store

SIRIUS MUSEUM- Housing nationally significant artefacts from the Flag Ship of the First Fleet.

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COMMISSARIAT STORE  - Archaeological remains from World Heritage listed KAVHA area on display highlighting our two Penal Settlements.Located under the All Saints Church on Quality Row.

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NO.10 QUALITY ROW HOUSE MUSEUM - A Georgian House built for the Foreman of Works and restored to 1844.



The Norfolk Island Museums also offer a Museum PASS, tag along tours with a guide and Convict cemetery tours. For further information check out the Norfolk Island Museums website.