The Commonwealth of Australia owns Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island (limited self-government), which are isolated remnants of volcanic islands that rise from submarine banks about midway between New Caledonia, Australia, and New Zealand. They were uninhabited when discovered, and the present inhabitants are chiefly of English ancestry. Lord Howe Island has 350 inhabitants, and Norfolk about 2100, many of the latter being descendants of the Bounty mutineers moved from Pitcairn Island. This Lord Howe Island must not be confused with one of similar name in the Santa Cruz group, or with Lord Howe Islands (Ontong Java) northeast of the Solomons.
Lord Howe Island (latitude 31° 35′ south, longitude 159° 04′ east) is about seven miles by one mile in size and attains an altitude of 2840 feet. Cliffs 800 feet high have been cut in nearly horizontal lava flows and furnish proof of profound wave erosion. The seeds of the native kentia palm (Howea belmoveana) form the chief export. The seeds are bought by florists the world over because of their hardiness, and the palms grow indoors with ease. Norfolk Island (latitude 29° 04′ south, longitude 167° 56′ east) has an elevation of 1050 feet and covers 13 square miles of land. Subsistence crops are raised, and formerly bananas were the chief export; now the pulp of passion fruit, guavas, and bean seeds are exports. The Norfolk Island pine (Auracaria excelsa) has been widely planted abroad for decorative purposes.