Pitcairn Islands Travel Guide
Introduction to Pitcairn Islands
An archipelago situated further from any continent than any other group of islands, visiting the Pitcairn Islands is a bucket list experience for many dedicated travellers.
Coming here is no easy task: planes don’t fly here, as there are no runways on its rugged terrain, and it lies beyond the accessible range of helicopters. As such, you will be limited to either hopping on the quarterly supply vessel which sails from Mangareva in French Polynesia, or by visiting aboard a private yacht or cruise ship at other times.
While it lacks many of usual hallmarks of everyday life in modern civilization, making the effort to come here will put you in touch with people who are more in tune with what it means to be human than many folks we interact with on a daily basis. On this point, a trip here is worth it on this count alone.
Cultural Attractions in Pitcairn Islands
After docking in Bounty Bay and being greeted by islanders, make the Pitcairn Island Museum your first stop. Established to chronicle the history of this tiny speck of land in the midst of the South Pacific, it contains artifacts and documents which effectively tell the intriguing backstory of this British outpost.
From stone tools used by Polynesian predecessors before the arrival to items taken off the HMS Bounty by the original mutineers before they sank the boat, you’ll be here longer than you planned.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask the curator about any aspect of life on the island throughout its history; of all the people living here, they are the most knowledgeable about the past of the Pitcairn Islands by far.
After reading up on the past of the Pitcairn Islands, insert yourself into present-day affairs by stopping by Christian’s Cafe for a coffee or a pint. Due to the dwindling population base here, the hours of operation are rather limited, opening at 6:30 pm on Fridays only.
If you can time your visit to be here on that day, though, you’ll have plenty of local residents eager to learn about what is happening in the world beyond their shores as you are to learn about their daily lives.
If you have your diver’s certification, doing a descent to the Wreck of the HMS Bounty is virtually a mandatory activity you should do during your visit to the Pitcairn Islands.
Committed to the depths of Bounty Bay after the ship’s crew usurped control from its captain, it is largely intact, with only a few artifacts recovered from the boat (only display in the aforementioned museum).
Currents can be strong, so ensure you have the skill required to dive in challenging conditions before slipping beneath the waves to discover the resting place of the most infamous ships of the Age of Sail.
Other Attractions in Pitcairn Islands
If you are surefooted and looking for a good view of the island and the ocean, climb up the trail along the cliff face above Adamstown until you reach Christian’s Cave.
Named after the leader of the mutineers (Fletcher Christian), it is said he spent a great deal of time here gazing out towards the horizon, dreading the day the British Navy would appear as dots in the distance.
With the discord which raged between fellow mutineers in the years that past, it also made a good hiding place when he felt he was in danger. Today, it is an excellent place to admire the view of the green island below, and the seemingly infinite ocean separating the Pitcairn Islands from more populated parts of the world.
Want to go swimming during your time in the Pitcairn Islands? Unfortunately, there is isn’t anything closely resembling a beach here, and the waters off its coast face the open South Pacific, making for dangerous currents.
However, locals have been able to count on St. Paul’s Pool over the years as a place where they could go to cool off and relax without having to worry about the swift waters of the ocean.
Constantly refreshed by the relentless swells of the Pacific, but guarded by tall walls of volcanic rock, it is safe to swim and snorkel here. Past visitors have even managed to catch lobster in the deep portions of the pool – catch one and you’ll have a tasty dinner to cook up back in town!
Seeking out a place so relaxing that married couples on the Pitcairn Islands have gone there for their honeymoon? Ask locals about going on an excursion to Holiday Island. This is the name given to it by residents – formally, it is called Oeno Island, but once you pull up to this coral atoll, you’ll see why they chose they nickname they did.
Ringed by brilliant white sand, lazy palm trees, and the gorgeous water the South Pacific is rightly famous for, this place will give you the TLC time you’re craving if your trip to this part of the world only includes a visit to the Pitcairn Islands.