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Pitcairn Islands

Updated on September 11, 2014

The Remote Pitcairn Islands

Yes, you can get there from here, but it is extremely difficult. The Pitcairn Islands are a very isolated chain of four volcanic islands in the south Pacific Ocean. The islands are a British Overseas Territory (formerly a British colony), the last remaining in the Pacific. Only Pitcairn Island - the second largest - is inhabited.

The Pitcairns are most famous for being the home of the descendants of the Bounty Mutineers and the Tahitians who were with them. This story has been relayed in several books and movies. With roughly 50 inhabitants,The Pitcairns are also notable for being the least populated jurisdiction in the world.

Public domain photo courtesy Wikimedia/NOAA

pitcairn islands
pitcairn islands

Like many tropical islands, the weather in the Pitcairns is remarkably consistent, with the average temperatures varying just nine degrees from summer to winter.

Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikimedia/makemake

pitcairn islands location
pitcairn islands location

History and Background

Wikipedia Info

The original settlers of the Pitcairn Islands (Ducie, Henderson, Oeno, and Pitcairn) were Polynesians who appear to have lived on Pitcairn and Henderson for several centuries. Although archaeologists believe that Polynesians were living on Pitcairn as late as the 15th century, the islands were uninhabited when they were discovered by Europeans.

Ducie and Henderson Islands are believed to have been discovered by Europeans on January 26, 1606 by Portuguese sailor Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, sailing for the Spanish crown, who named them La Encarnación ("Incarnation") and San Juan Bautista ("Saint John the Baptist"), respectively. However, some sources express doubt about exactly which of the islands were visited and named by Queirós, suggesting that Queirós' La Encarnación may actually have been Henderson Island, and San Juan Bautista may have been Pitcairn Island.

Ducie Island was rediscovered in 1791 by the British Capt. Edwards aboard HMS Pandora and named after Francis, Lord Ducie, a captain in the Royal Navy. It was annexed by Britain on December 19,1902, and in 1938 it was formally incorporated into Pitcairn to become part of a single administrative unit (the "Pitcairn Group of Islands").

Henderson Island was rediscovered on January 17, 1819 by a British Captain James Henderson of the British East India Company ship Hercules. On March 2, 1819, Captain Henry King, sailing aboard the Elizabeth, landed on the island to find the king's colours already flying. His crew scratched the name of their ship into a tree, and for some years the island's name was Elizabeth or Henderson, interchangeably. Henderson Island was annexed by Britain and incorporated into Pitcairn in 1938.

Oeno Island was discovered on January 26, 1824 by U.S. Captain George Worth aboard the whaler Oeno. On July 10, 1902, Oeno was annexed by Britain. It was incorporated into Pitcairn in 1938.

Pitcairn Island itself was discovered on July 3, 1767 by the crew of the British sloop HMS Swallow, commanded by Captain Philip Carteret (though according to some it had perhaps been visited by Queirós in 1606). It was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, a fifteen-year-old crewmember who...(read more)

U. S. Government Public domain image courtesy CDC

This 1916 photo shows the happy population of Pitcairn Islanders in their 'Sunday best' outfits

Public domain photo courtesy Wikimedia

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church of Adamstown

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church is one of the oldest buildings on Pitcairn Island. The Church is located in Adamstown, the island's only town, and therefore its capital.

Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikimedia/makemake

Pitcairn Poll

Do the Pitcairns sound like a place you would like to visit?

See results

Picturesque Bounty Bay at dawn

Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikimedia/makemake

Virtual Tour of the Pitcairn Islands

Official Flag of the Pitcairn Islands

Public domain image courtesy Wikimedia/Dbenbenn

Historical Weather

Average temperature and precipitation, by month, for the Pitcairns.

Average Temperature Years on Record: 44


68 °F----73----73---73---71----68--- 66----66--64---64----66----68---71

Average Precipitation Years on Record: 58


64.2 in---4.5---5.5---4.7--5.2---5.2---6.1--5.9--4.9---5.4---5.4--4.8---6.4

Feel free to comment here. Thanks for visiting.

Any Thoughts on the Pitcairns?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What an interesting lens about a little-known island group. Thanks for making this.

    • TheHealthCabin profile image


      5 years ago

      My sister is actually living on Pitcairn at the moment. Great lens, Thank you.

    • takkhisa profile image


      6 years ago

      I am glad because from this lens i knew something new.

    • manutara69 profile image


      6 years ago

      Very informative lens. Thank you for sharing.

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image


      6 years ago

      It is worth to visit. Thanks for sharing

    • Inkhand profile image


      6 years ago

      Pitcairn Islands looks like an interesting place to visit.

    • RawBill1 profile image


      7 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Great lens. I am adding this as a featured lens on my Norfolk Island Lens so that my readers can read more about the link between the two islands.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      One of the things in life that have always fascinated me. Great lens; I'll be visiting again!

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      7 years ago from Idaho

      Your no fool, great lens Happy April Fools Day Blessing to you!

    • joanv334 profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing!

    • dwnovacek profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful and informative lens. I certainly would like to travel to the Pitcairns!. Angel Blessings to you!

    • TeacherSerenia profile image


      8 years ago

      So where does Fletcher Christian from the HMS Bounty fit into the story? Didnt he and his mutineers land on Pitcairn island?

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 

      8 years ago from USA

      Many years ago, I designed a travel poster for The Pitcairn on a class assignment. Little did I know that forty years later, I would be here learning about it. Thank you for providing such a wonderfully informative lens about this remote corner of the world.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow- with just 50 inhabitants how do they manage life - I mean you need a doctor, a grocer , a milk-man ,a farmer, a sportsman and others to carry out your daily routine life. What about a school or college ? I would really love to go in such a peaceful place

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 

      9 years ago

      nice lens! thank you for joining with it the best islands' guide. keep up making nice lenses


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