Adventures on Pitcairn Island

by Benjamin Kerns

May 23, 2019

© Seaphotoart |
The Tiputa Pass in French Polynesia is legendary among divers, home to reef sharks, lemon sharks, hammerheads, manta rays and even bottlenose dolphins, which gather once a day to frolic in the waves.

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Pitcairn Island is a remote patch of land between Eastern Island and French Polynesia, and Britain’s only inhabited territory in the Pacific. At only 15 square miles and a population of 50, it doesn’t exactly come to mind as an adventurous tourist destination. However, this tiny island is hiding some incredible opportunities.


The Eco Trail is a wonderful hiking trail that meanders through most of the island’s stunning tropical flora and fauna, boasting species you won’t find anywhere else. It also passes rock formations and breathtaking ocean views before climaxing at the climb to Christian’s Cave.


If you’re looking for ways to cool off after a long hike, locals and visitors tend to spend their days swimming in St. Paul’s Pool. This natural tidal pool is carved into the side of the island and boasts crystal-clear waters and great snorkeling. You’ll also find plenty of spots to fish nearby, or you can hop on one of the island’s famous Longboats to go a little further out to sea.


Pitcairn Island is home to numerous whales. In fact, it’s believed the waters surrounding Pitcairn are now a popular breeding ground. You can spend the morning floating on a boat in search of them, or simply rest along the shores and you’re sure to see some moms and their calves hanging around. Beneath the waters, you’ll find two incredible dive sites. Both the HMS Bounty and SS Corn Wallis wrecked off the island’s rocky shores, and are ripe for exploration.


Finally, you’ll want to check out the famous Down Rope. The hike trails 700 feet down Pitcairn’s only sandy beach cliff, and hides ancient Polynesian petroglyphs carved into the cliff’s base. A local guide is required to traverse the trail, so seek one out ahead of time to avoid danger.



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