I have always been interested in Pitcairn Island, and my goal is to visit this beautiful island in the future. Getting there is quite the task, but a task well worth it. Lets explore how to get to this tiny paradise island!
A visit to the legendary Pitcairn islands will grant you experiences few others have witnessed. Untouched subtropical island environments, pristine waters, endemic flora, bird and marine life, an unforgettable sea voyage, incredible hospitality, long lasting friendships and a rare insight into the living history and culture of the people of Pitcairn Island. Halfway between New Zealand and South America are the Pitcairn Islands. Of the four islands, Pitcairn is the only inhabited one. It is one of the most remote inhabited islands on the face of the Earth. The island is home to the descendants of the famed HMS Bounty mutineers, who settled on the island in 1790. Today there are diverse people living on the island, including native from other Pacific islands and New Zealand.
Adamstown is the capital of Pitcairn and is the only village on the island.
New Zealand dollars are generally taken, but American dollars are also welcome. They generally do not accept credit cards.
Visitors staying on the island for longer than two weeks require a license from the governor, because the irregularity of transport means they're effectively residents of the island for the next several weeks or even months.
Those wishing to stay on Pitcairn for under two weeks do not require a visa or licence prior to arrival. The Immigration Officer assesses applications for short-term visitors to Pitcairn upon arrival.
Most routes around Pitcairn Island are dirt trails, generally very rugged. Walking and personal all-terrain vehicles (3- and 4-wheel "motorbikes") are the main ways to get from one place to another, and a bike is usually available for rent. Traffic moves on the left.
There are no options of getting to the Pitcairn Islands by plane, nor are there any plans to built an airport. The island's geography and size is simply one of the restrictions to provide access for (larger) planes. Even helicopters can not get to the island because distances to nearby islands are too big.
The nearest airport is on Mangareva in the Gambier Islands, 850 kilometres away. Air Tahiti is the only airline carrier offering flights to Mangareva (two flights a week from Tahiti, on Tuesdays and Saturdays). You then catch the airport taxi ferry to Rikitea village on Mangareva.
You can travel to the islands on the Pitcairn Islands government chartered passenger shipping vessel the Claymore II which departs Mangareva for Pitcairn, in as many as 4 rotations, 4 times a year.
The crew of the Claymore will meet you at the wharf in Rikitea and transfer you to the ship. 32 hours later you’ll be at Pitcairn. You can stay either 4 or 11 days on Pitcairn before going back to Mangareva.
You can also get to Pitcairn via passing cruise ships or privately chartered yachts.
The MV Claymore II visits several times each year. Ships depart from Mangareva, one of the Gambier Islands, a remote outpost of French Polynesia which has the airport closest to the Pitcairn Islands at about 500 kilometres.
The boat stays at the Pitcairn Island for 4 nights before heading back. This first trip is then followed by another one shortly after, which you can catch back if you want a slightly longer trip. After that second trip, it's a couple of months until the next boat arrives.
Ocean Voyages, Pitcairn Travel and Soren Larsen have occasional charter trips as well, but are more expensive sailing trips.
All visitor arrivals must pay a US$35 landing fee, payable to the Pitcairn Island Office, prior to arrival or to the Pitcairn Police and Immigration Officer on arrival.