nepean island reserve



Nepean Island is the smallest island in the Norfolk Group, situated approximately 1km from Norfolk.


Nepean Island is approximately 10 hectares in area.


While Phillip and Norfolk were formed by volcanic activity on the Norfolk Ridge and consist mainly of basalt, tuff and ash, on Nepean we can see a total change. Here is an island formed of cross bedded calcarenites, this in turn was formed from eroded fragments of rock and windblown sand by South to South East wind where it cemented by dissolved lime into its present form at Nepean and at Point Hunter on Norfolk.

Why is it important for conservation?

This small, wind swept island is covered in sand under a heavy mat of introduced grasses. There is only very sparse vegetation; the wind and heavy salt content stop most other plants growing there. A few White Oaks and native herbs survive. Remains of rock cutting activity in the convict settlement days can be seen on the south coast of the island. There are some good dive sites in the waters off the island where there is very good coral.

In the early Spring nesting and migratory sea birds return and in a good season over 400 Masked Boobies are present as well as Sooty Terns.  They are mainly down on the rocks. Back in the convict settlement days the sea birds chicks were harvested for pillow making and food.  The seabirds and two native lizards survive on Nepean because their eggs and young are not killed by rats or cats.

Best Bits

  1. The Island is a sea bird sanctuary, visited only by bird banders or occasional fishermen. Landing conditions are seasonal and can be hazardous.

  2. Recognise that Nepean Island is an important site for the preservation of species that have been killed off on Norfolk Island.


Nepean Iilen es daa smorlest Iilen iin daa Norfolk Group, se situate et approximateli 1km from Norfuk.

Wile Felep en Norfuk form et longfe volcanik activiti orn daa Norfuk Rij, dee two Iilens se mek et muus all fe basalt, tuff ena ash. (Yuu el cleerli see evidens o’deer volcanik activiti orn Felep).  Dem exposed landform show daa tuff from daa lava flow, dem dykes o’ solid rok (basalt) ena ash.

Orn Nepeen we el see wun total chanj. Hetae wun iilen se form et fe cross bedded calcarenites, dee iin tun se form et fe eroded fragments o’ rok en winblown by daa South to South East wind siid bin “melded” iinto its wae luuk noe at Nepeen; en also at Point Hunter orn Norfuk.

Orn deer small, wind swept Iilen coveren iina sand under wun hewi mat o’ introduused grasses ooni guta hardli eni vegetation, daa win ena hewi salt content ess deterrent fe muus all plant spesies. A fue “White Oaks” battle orn, and a few naetiv herb spesies yuusa okur. Yuu el see remains o’ dems rok cutten activiti iin daa convikt settlement dais orn tdaa South coast o’ daa Iilen. Gut sum good dive siit iin dem worters orf daa Iilen en sum very good coral underwater siid.

Iina earli Spring, nesten ena migratori sea birds cum bak. Iina good season over 400 Masked Boobies es present; ena Sooty Terns, dem es mainli doen orn dem rok. Bak iina convikt settlement days se record et dat dem chiks o’dem sea birds wos harvested fe meka palo ena wetls.

Now daa Iilen es wun sea bird sanctuari, ooni visited bi dem bird banders ula okasional fishermen. Landing conditions es seasonal en ell be hazardous.