THE TRIP

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Pitcairn Island -

The au­thor’s sea pas­sage, ac­com­mo­da­tion and ac­tiv­i­ties were ar­ranged through the Pit­cairn Is­land’s tourism coordinator (tourism@pit­cairn.pn), a use­ful first port of call for prospec­tive trav­ellers.

Get­ting there

The au­thor flew with Air Tahiti Nui (0844 482 1675, www.air­tahit­inui.co.uk) to Papeete, Tahiti, via Los An­ge­les. Flights from Lon­don Heathrow cost from £1,580 re­turn, with flight times from 19.5 hours. Note: an ESTA (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov) is re­quired to tran­sit in the US.

From there, a four-hour flight with Air Tahiti (www.air­tahiti.com) took him to Man­gareva in the Gam­bier Ar­chi­pel­ago, which costs XPF79,452 (£476) re­turn and co­in­cides with Clay­more II’S sched­ule, with a wait­ing wa­ter­taxi (XPF1,000/£7.40) to ferry pas­sen­gers to Rikitea to meet the wait­ing ship. The cargo-pas­sen­ger ves­sel then takes from around 30 hours to reach Pit­cairn, cost­ing NZ$5,000 (£2,617) re­turn. This in­cludes a cabin, which solo trav­ellers may have to share, and all meals. Stays on Pit­cairn are typ­i­cally four or 11 days, depend­ing on the Clay­more II’S ro­ta­tion.

Get­ting around

Nowhere takes long to reach on Pit­cairn, either on foot (the is­land has nice hikes) or by quad bike, for which new ar­rivals must sit a driv­ing test – ap­ply at po­lice@pit­cairn.gov.pn. Wher­ever you stay can usu­ally hire you a quad for around £30 per day.

Cost of travel

The cost of get­ting to Pit­cairn is ex­pen­sive, so many trav­ellers will likely com­bine a visit with a stay in fab­u­lous French Poly­ne­sia, to make it worth­while. Once on-is­land, lit­tle cash is re­quired as there’s not much to spend it on. Pre-booked home­s­tays range in price from £64 to £160, with all meals in­cluded.

Guid­ing ser­vices and quad bikes may be charged ex­tra, and the driv­ing li­cense (a cute sou­venir) costs NZ$10 (£5.25). Be­fore the ship de­parts, Pitk­ern­ers set up stalls in Adamstown sell­ing in­ex­pen­sive me­men­tos rang­ing from wood carv­ings to lo­cal honey and Pit­cairn stamps. The sole food out­let, Andy’s Bounty Pizze­ria, has piz­zas from NZ$12 (£6.30).

Ac­com­mo­da­tion

Trav­ellers will need to book a stay in Tahiti (French Poly­ne­sia) when fly­ing to and from Man­gareva. Manava Suites Ho­tel (Tahiti: +689 40 473100, www.manava-suite-re­sort-tahiti.com) is a beach ho­tel with huge rooms and sea views at Puna’auia, close to Fa’a In­ter­na­tional Air­port. B&B dou­bles cost from XPF25,080PN (£185).

On Pit­cairn, Flat­land (pit­cairn­girl@hot­mail.com) costs Us$200pn (£144) for a lovely an­nexe flat with kitchen and ve­randa; all meals are in­cluded, as is a fridge stocked with drinks.

For all ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions on the is­land, visit www.visit­pit­cairn.pn.

Food & drink

Pitk­ern­ers eat plenty of meat and fish, par­tic­u­larly lo­cal catches of nanwe or tuna. How­ever, most cook­ing here tends to con­sist of more hearty English-style cui­sine, typ­i­cally served in big portions.

Wild pro­duce in­cludes bread­fruit, while Pit­cairn’s fruits are fan­tas­tic, in­clud­ing de­li­cious pas­sion­fruit, guava, pineap­ples, co­conuts, pa­paya and abun­dant mel­ons. Spe­cial is­land dishes are fish­balls, and pi­lai, a boiled green ba­nana staple.

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