Nevertheless, it was an environmental disaster, and the process of recovery needed to be set in motion. Before any large scale replanting could take place, earthworks needed to be carried out to prevent further erosion of soil from the gullies.
Whenever there was a helicopter "in town", we took advantage of the opportunity to carry equipment and materials to parts of the island. Otherwise everything needed to be transported by boat and up the steep rock climb to reach the main part of the island.As well as replanting of native vegetation, there has been a good deal of natural regeneration, and at times, the formerly Uluru-style island actually has a glow of green.
There is good recovery of vegetation in the valleys, through re-planting and natural re-generation
It was most exciting when a native Abutilon plant, thought to be long extinct, was found still growing in a remote corner. This plant has now been propagated and grows in many Norfolk gardens. Another plant native to the island, the Phillip Island Hibiscus, is propagated in many mainland nurseries.
Looking back to Norfolk Island at sunset
One cannot help wondering if the day will ever come when Phillip Island has buildings, and people living on it. Will it become the ultimate eco-tourist destination, or perhaps a place where people actually live, a sort of outpost for Norfolk Island? If it had not been for the pigs and goats and rabbits, would there be people living there today, perhaps the more wealthy who enjoyed their "get away from it all way of life, and who could afford boats to come and pick up supplies regularly from the mainland .
There are many people on Norfolk Island who have never even visited this little island, so near yet so far away. They are content to watch it from Kingston, and the beach at Emily Bay, and just admire its strange and stark beauty.