A true Polynesian island surrounded by pristine waters, an endemic bird life and an array of places named strangely such as ‘Down Rope’ or ‘Tom Off’, Pitcairn island, located halfway between New Zealand and Peru, is one of the best kept secrets of the world. Not to mention a colorful history that is going to inspire even the staunchest of arm-chair travelers to leave the comforts of home behind and want to come and explore this island.
Pitcairn Island, which is one of only four last remaining islands in the Southern Pacific Ocean that still represents what was once a British domination of these waters, is the only inhabited one. Pitcairn Island’s colorful history comes from the 1789 led mutiny onboard the MHAV Bounty led by Fletcher Christian. Post the mutiny, the mutineers, led by Fletcher, including 8 fellow sailors and 19 Polynesians headed towards Pitcairn islands. The island which is one of the most remote places on Earth is a paradise of lush green vegetation, excellent climate flora and fauna.
Fast forward to 1808 and when the island was rediscovered only one of the original mutineers survived, along with 11 Polynesian women and twenty five children. The survivor’s name was John Adams. Today, almost the entire 60 inhabitants of the island are a direct descendant of the mutineers and their Polynesian consorts.
Pitcairn’s Tourism Coordinator and a Bounty descendant Heather Menzies mentioned that the attraction of Pitcairn Island is different to different people. Some are obviously overawed by the colorful history of the island. Some, on the other hand, feel reaching one of the remote locations in the world is a reward in itself. However, for most it is a combination of the rugged beauty of the island and its friendly people that makes it worth visiting the island.
Currently Pitcairn Island can be visited at least ten times a year. The journey starts by taking a flight to Tahiti. About two to three times in a few months Pitcairn’s supply ship, Claymore II meets the weekly Tuesday flight coming in from Tahiti at Mangareva in Eastern French Polynesia. The 490 km voyage to Pitcairn is covered by the 485 tonne vessel in 32 hours carrying 12 passengers and 8 crew members. This schedule allows passengers a window of opportunity to stay on the island for either 4 or 11 days.
The island has a total of 14 registered accommodations, almost all of which are homestay options from residents of the island. Meals are mostly a part of the package deal and hosts also offer other services such as guided tour of the island on a quad bike, treks to historical places and eco-trails.
Overall Pitcairn offers more than just a destination off the beaten track. It is an experience that would enthrall the truly discerning traveler. Some travelers would simply love to add it to their list of places for all the reasons that are associated with this Polynesian paradise.