Pitcairn Flag

Pitcairn Islands Guide

Getting there

Talk of building an airstrip on Pitcairn has floated around for decades, and in 2001 it was announced that the residents had finally agreed to surrender a good part of their farmland for this purpose. Whether construction will actually go ahead remains to be seen but such a facility would change the island forever.

There's no harbor on Pitcairn. All shipping anchors in the lee, moving around when the wind shifts. This is why most passing ships don't drop anchor but only pause an hour or so to pick up and deliver mail. The islanders come out to meet boats anchored in Bounty Bay and ferry visitors ashore in their longboats (the use of zodiacs and dinghies isn't allowed).

The landing at Bounty Bay, Pitcairn Island.

There are two open anchorages: Bounty Bay when winds are blowing from the southwest, west, and northwest; Western Harbor when there's an east wind. Both have landings, but Bounty Bay can be tricky to negotiate through the surf, and Western Harbor is far from the village. The unprotected jetty constructed at Bounty Bay by the Royal Engineers in 1976 is now in excellent condition as a lot of money has been spent recently fixing it up.

The Pitcairners are happy to have yachties come ashore in their own inflatables at the warf but they should contact the island mayor first to check how safe it is. Waves often break just outside the harbor entrance

The anchorage at Down Rope could be used in the event of north or northeast winds, but there's no way up the cliff except the proverbial rope. Gudgeon Harbor is another possibility, but be aware of the dangerous rocks lying off the south coast. The wind is irregular, so yachts must leave someone aboard in case it shifts.