Around Chrissy time Ziggy Alberts hopped across the ditch about 1000 miles to the mystical land of Norfolk Island to surf some waves, play a couple intimate gigs and hang with the locals...
"Arriving into Norfolk Island was, admittedly, pretty stressful. Lachy, our good mate and touring sound engineer, had come down really sick. The kind of sick that we needed some parental advice sorta sick. Between trying to keep his temperature under 40 degrees, getting through Sydney airport & packing, I’d lost my voice; to the point I couldn’t actually sing, with only 12 hours between me & my first ever show on Norfolk Island.
To make things worst, the border security gentleman smiled and told me just how excited the whole island was for us to be here. Out of all the times I could have lost my voice, this was far from ideal. I smiled back, thanked him, and wondered what the hell I was going to do. It wasn’t just this gig I was worried about; halfway through a massive national tour, I still had over 20 shows left to play and I didn’t know if I’d done something horribly wrong to my voice.
Little did I know that I was in luck; between Zach, the islands’ resident photographer/dreamer, his family, and the rest of the community, everything would be just fine.
I got on stage after an afternoon of finding fresh thyme and turmeric, to play my shortest ever show: 6 songs. I explained what had happened, and everyone embraced me with complete acceptance and trust in my sincerity. Matty Zarb, one the islands’ local musicians, played an extra long set to help me out, without a bat of an eyelid. After meeting even more locals post show, it started to dawn upon me just how special Norfolk really was.
The next week was filled with beautiful uncrowded waves, fresh local food, campouts underneath the stars, Norfolk styled Christmas lunch’s down by the beach, mermaid pools, and one last festival styled show on a big property overlooking the ocean. Food stalls were set up, local musicians came together to create a big enough sound system, and we danced into the sunset amongst the pines.
I advise, when you do choose to go to Norfolk Island, to do 2 things. Get to know the local community; the surfers, the people, they are all kind and want to share waves and memories with you. Embrace that.
Secondly, make sure you wave at cars passing by; every single one.
As a full time traveller, its not always that you are welcomed by the local community. If you are kind, this is one of the few places that you are. And we noticed, straight away, that Zach would do a short wave to every passing car. Seriously. It was entirely habit by his part. Even though we weren’t locals, we started getting into the habit. I saw it as a simple yet fulfilling way of acknowledging the people we were sharing the island with.
So when you’re driving out of the car rental place after landing at the small local airport, make sure you’ve got your wallet and phone, and don’t forget to wave."
Story by Ziggy Alberts @ziggyalberts
Photos and captions by Zac Sanders @stuckonarockphoto
Visit Norfolk Island