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Legendary Pitcairn Island… More than Just a step off the Beaten Track

September 17, 2013 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

The Pitcairn Islands are a group of four islands in the southern Pacific Ocean that comprise the last remaining British Overseas Territory in the Pacific. Only Pitcairn Island, the second largest, is inhabited.

Located halfway between New Zealand and Peru, with a lush and fertile climate, Pitcairn has a colourful history.

In 1789 Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on the English vessel, HMAV Bounty and, several months later, together with 8 fellow mutineers and 19 Polynesians, sailed the ship to Pitcairn Island, one of the most remote and isolated islands in the world.

By 1808, when the tiny colony was rediscovered, all but one of the mutineers and all the Polynesian men had died. The surviving mutineer, John Adams, eleven Polynesian women and twenty-five children remained. Today, almost all of the 60 or so inhabitants of Pitcairn are direct descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Polynesian consorts.

As Bounty descendant and Pitcairn’s Tourism Coordinator, Heather Menzies explains, “For most people it is this extraordinary history which they associate with Pitcairn Island. Yet, accessible only by sea, it is the rugged beauty of the island itself and its friendly and resilient people that make Pitcairn one of the world’s best kept secrets”.

Now, at least 10 times a year, travellers can share this amazing history and discover what is truly a unique island surrounded by pristine waters, endemic birdlife and dramatic landscapes with strange place names like ‘Down Rope’ and ‘Tom Off’.

The journey to Pitcairn starts by first flying to Tahiti. 2-3 times every few months Pitcairn’s supply ship, Claymore II, meets the weekly Tuesday flight from Tahiti at Mangareva in Eastern French Polynesia.  The 485 tonne vessel, carrying 12 passengers and 8 crew, makes the 490 km voyage south-east to Pitcairn Island in around 32 hours and the schedule allows for a 4 or 11 day stay on Pitcairn.

There are 14 registered accommodation providers which are mostly home-stays with Pitcairn families. Meals are generally included and hosts can assist with a range of activities including island tours by quad-bike, visits to historical sites and eco-trails.

Pitcairn really is more than just a step off the beaten track and for the intrepid traveller definitely a place worth adding to their list!

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