Have you wondered what it’s like to sail the ocean for days, not knowing if you will ever see the land on the horizon? That was the experience of an unlikely band of mutineers on board HMS Bounty nearly 230 years ago.
After sailings for days and weeks, they finally saw an island popping up in the distance. Once on the shore, the mutineers burned down their ship, never to be found. Nowadays, we know this place as the Pitcairn Islands, and the descendants of the mutineers still call it home.
Located 3000 miles from any continent, this land is among the most remote inhabited places in the world. Pitcairn Island’s population stands at just 50 proud people. Once a safe-heaven for a band of mutineers, the Pitcairn Islands are now on the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to primarily untouched nature.
Every year tourists and explorers go on a long journey to see the Pitcairn islands. What brings them to these remote shores? Is it the allure of adventure and discovery? Maybe it is the wild nature of the tropical islands or the people of Pitcairn who have a story to tell? Let’s delve deeper to find out!
The Pitcairn Islands is a British Oversea Territory located in the south of the Pacific Ocean. There are four islands in this group: Henderson, Ducie, Oeno, and the Pitcairn propper. The archipelago is the remnant of ancient volcanoes.
Secluded from the main sailing routes, the Pitcairn Islands are relatively hard to reach. Tourists and explorers wondering how to get to Pitcairn Island have several options at hand. They can sail to the islands from Tahiti on board the supply ship; the journey will take approximately 32 hours. Boarding one of the few cruise ships that sail by the islands is a more convenient way of travelling to Pitcairn. Of course, adventurous yacht owners can sail to Pitcairn Island on their own.
Despite the time it takes to get there, the Pitcairn Islands are a one-of-a-kind destination for tourists. The diverse ecosystem is one of the increasingly rare places on Earth with minimal human impact. The unique, relaxed rhythm of life on the Pitcairn will surely wash away any troubles recharging your batteries to the fullest. What’s more, the islands are rich with natural and human-made wonders and provide tourists with lots of attractions.
What to See on the Pitcairn Islands
The archipelago in general and the Pitcairn Island, in particular, have many places to see and explore.
The only settlement on the island, Adamstown, is where life happens. Centred around the Public Hall, there is a school, a general store, a museum, and, just recently, a coffee shop. Tourists can expect to find the necessities and locally made souvenirs at the central square.
- The Bounty Remains.
The remains of the ship that brought the first settlers to the Pitcairn Islands are resting at the bottom of Bounty bay. The shipwreck attracts divers looking for a dose of Pitcairn Island history.
- The Pitcairn Island Museum.
Taking pride in their history, the people of Pitcairn established a museum to display the artefacts of the past. Visitors can see the Bible taken from the ship, several rusty cannons, and other objects of local importance.
- Down Rope.
The only thing Pitcairn Island lacks is an easily accessible beach. However, brave travellers can request help from locals to down rope along the cliffs to the small sandy beach on the southern edge of the Pitcairn island. When on the beach, be sure to see ancient petroglyphs left by Polynesian seafarers hundreds of years ago.
- Christian’s Cave.
Fletcher Christian used to sit on the rocky outcrop of the cave watching out for British ships, or so the legend has it. The cave is a stunning relic of the volcanic past of the island. Reminiscent of a cathedral carved out in stone, the cave is the perfect place to survey the island.
- St Paul’s Pool.
Being partially surrounded by cliffs and rocks, St Paul’s tidal pool can be enjoyed by swimmers when the weather is fine. Waves crashing on the outer rim of the rocks and occasional rainbows add to the place’s appeal.
- Henderson Island.
The island is one of the least disturbed locations in the world. Raising 30 meters above sea level, Henderson is home to rare species of flora and fauna, nine of which are found nowhere else.
- Ducie Island.
Ducie Island barely stands tall above the water. The island is lush with palm trees and is blessed with sandy beaches that stretch along its shores. What is special about Ducie Island is that it is favoured by rare marine birds who live there undisturbed.
- Oeno Island.
Oeno, also known by locals as Sandy Island, is the perfect manifestation of a tropical paradise. Oeno is covered with palm trees and flowering plants. To go there, you would need the help of a local guide who knows how to navigate the tricky waters surrounding the island.
What to Do When on Pitcairn
Pitcairn Island vacation is definitely a good idea! The more time you have to enjoy the Pitcairn Islands – the better! There are many activities for casual travellers and adrenaline lovers alike.
The waters around the Pitcairn Islands are protected as a natural marine reserve, the largest of its kind in the world. Full of vibrant and thriving marine life, these waters are perfect for casual and professional divers alike. However, watch out for Titan triggerfish as they tend to be aggressively territorial during mating season!
- Whale watching.
Whales come to the warm waters around Pitcairn islands to feed and raise their young. During the summer months, lucky visitors can see nursing humpback whales who bring their young to the islands. Tourists can observe the whales from the island’s mountains or during boat rides.
- Unique swimming.
If you want to experience what it’s like to swim in a natural tidal pool, do visit the St. Paul’s Pool. Or try going to the neighbouring islands to enjoy their shallow, warm waters.
The diverse terrain of Pitcairn island is ideal for hiking aficionados. The trails will take you across the whole island, meandering through lush tropical grows and rocky gorges. If you want to join in with nature, choose a recently created eco-trail to see blooming flowers and exotic fruits.
- Self-guided tour.
Are you feeling adventurous? Buy a map from the local tourist shop and explore the marvels of the islands on your self-guided tour. Scale the slopes and cliffs, venture deep into the groves, or find hidden vistas ― the island is yours to explore! Be careful though, some spots such as Where Tom Fell and Oh Dear are aptly named to warn the visitors of potential danger.
- Embark on a Quad Bike Tour.
Quad bikes are the primary means of getting around on the island. You can rent one to explore the islands likes the Pitcairn residents do. The bikes can take no more than two people. Having previous experience of riding them is advised.
No matter how and where you will go on the Pitcairn Islands, many amazing sites are waiting. You can gaze at the giant banyan tree growing right outside Adamstown or go see lookout points on the hills.
- See the Stars.
The Pitcairn Islands is a rare place on Earth where you can see the night sky without the haze and glare of urban life. Recently designated the International Dark Sky Sanctuary, Pitcairn Islands are the only archipelago in the world where stargazers can enjoy the stunning beauty of the southern starry sky.
- Feed Galapagos Tortoise.
Introduced to Pitcairn Island in the 1950s, five Galapagos tortoises settled in nicely. Today, only one is still alive there ― Mr Turpen. Tourists can visit and feed the gentle tortoise near the banana plantation on the western part of the island.
Explore Remote Corners of the World Like Never Before
The Pitcairn Islands are definitely a unique and fascinating place to see. Being one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth, the islands have an intriguing history. The proud islanders are welcoming travellers and readily share with them the wonders of Pitcairn. The vibrant and pristine nature of the islands more than deserve to be seeing at least once in your lifetime.
Imagine travelling to these unique islands on an equally unique ship – Ragnar. Ragnar is a superyacht explorer with unparalleled technical abilities capable of reaching the most remote corners of the world’s oceans. A licensed ice breaker, Ragnar was retrofitted to host brave travellers and explorers with uncompromising comfort.
Dive into the world of adventure while sailing onboard the vessel that embodies the excitement of voyage and discovery! Travel to the wondrous Pitcairn Islands, or go to the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic! Whatever the destination you aspire, Rangar will take you there with ease and determination!