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Adamstown

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Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia Pitcairn Islands Adamstown

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Introduction

John Adams' Grave

John Adams' Grave

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Adamstown is the capital and only settlement of the Pitcairn Islands. The town only has about 40 to 45 permanent inhabitants making it the smallest capital in the world. Recently 7 of them were sentenced to several years in (a New Zeland) jail because of sexual abuse of children. In fact, all residents are some sort of family of each other and most of them have the crew of the Bounty as their ancestors. People have access to internet, telephone and television and have radio contact as well. Every now and then a cargo or cruiseship anchors in the bay on the northcoast of the island where Adamstown is located. Most of the visitors only stay for the day but if you want to stay longer, it is possible when you let the local people now before you arrive. Be sure to arrange your transport back though because you will be stuck for weeks, if not months.

For more information before you visit Adamstown and the Pitcairn Islands, check the Governmental website of Pitcairn. Or try the Visit Pitcairn website.

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Neighbourhoods

Adamstown is small, both regarding area as well as the number of people living here. There are no official neighbourhoods. Most public services are located at or near the central square, which is about half way between the Landing (harbor) and the school at the other end of town.

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Sights and Activities

The Pitcairn Island Museum

The Pitcairn Island Museum houses a collection of artifacts from the Bounty (for example a bible which belonged to Fletcher Christian), and other interesting items from the Bounty mutineers. Other things include stamps and even issues of National Geographic featuring the islands. It is located a few steps up from the central square in a fairly new building and even has airconditioning, which is quite unique on Pitcairn.

The Bounty Remains

The Bounty Canon

The Bounty Canon

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The remains of the Bounty, which was burned in 1790 lie some 3 metres underwater in Bounty Bay. Divers are able to access the wreck. The Bounty's anchor and a small canon can be seen in front of the Public Hall in the town square.
A larger canon can be seen about a hundred meters east from the square along the main road.

The grave of John Adams

John Adams was the last surviving muntineer, after which the capital has been named. The grave is a little east from the central square, a short walk up a hill.

  • Thursday October Christian's House is the oldest remaining house on the island, built by Fletcher Christian's first son.

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Events and Festivals

Every year on January 23, "Bounty Day" is celebrated. On this day, there is a large community dinner and the burning of a model of the Bounty, combined with other festivities.

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Weather

Adamstown has a moderate subtropical climate with rarely any real cold nights or hot days. The lowest temperatures ever recorded are around 10 °C, the highest 34 °C. On average, August is the coldest month (19 °C) while February is the warmest (24 °C). The slightly cooler months of June to September are also the driest. From November to March, there can be heavy downpours and as a result the 'roads' in Adamstown become muddy slides. Occasionally, hurricanes can strike the islands in this period, but mostly they are not more than heavy tropical storms, rarely causing severe damage.

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Getting There

By Plane

There are no options of getting to Adamstown by plane.

By Boat

The Landing

The Landing

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For more information about getting here by boat, check the main Pitcairn Islands article. Operators who go here are, Ocean Voyages and Soren Larsen. Also, there are some supply ships that travel regularly to Adamstown, as well as some cruiseships which anchor in front of the Landing.

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Getting Around

By Foot

All areas are easily accessible on foot, although some parts are rather steep and can be muddy.

By ATV

Quad bikes are the way to go around Adamstown, even for short distances. The main road from the Landing to the central square is paved and there are plans to pave it further towards the school. All other roads are sandy and either dusty (dry season) or muddy (wet season).

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Eat

The General Store

The General Store

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There is one general store in Adamstown, usually open during 3 mornings a week for an hour or so. You will most likely have full board at your local host's home. Still, on Friday night you can have diner at the Christian Cafe.

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Drink

Alcohol was prohibited on Pitcairn prior to 1991. Still, licenses to import alcohol for your own consumption or drink at local homes is now available to tourists for NZ$25 and is valid for six months. Don't expect to buy alcohol locally in the general store. At Friday night you can have some alcoholic drinks at the Christian Cafe. Also, several locals have some alcohol available upon request.
From May 2009 onwards, tourists probably won't need any permit anymore to drink alcohol.

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Sleep

For now, there are no official places to stay, other than at the homes of the local people. Unless you are visiting on an organised trip, you have to apply for a visiting permit first and be sure to arrange places at the home of one of the locals. The current official rate is 70 US dollar a night, including room, 3 meals a day, drinks, laundry service and internet. Not bad for what you get, actually quite cheap.
Groups may be housed at a government-owned cottage known as The Lodge.
More recently chalet accommodation is advertised on Mike and Brenda's Place.

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Work

There are no jobs available to non-residents. There are however a few professional services like teachers, nurses and/or social workers needed but they are hired by the New Zealand government.

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Learn

Primary school

Primary school

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Adamstown only has a kindergarten and primary school. All of the children leave the island around the age of 14 to go to school mainly in New Zealand. Just a few of them come back at all living on the island.
As a result, obviously there is no possibility to study in Adamstown.

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Keep Connected

Pitcairner just closed the post office

Pitcairner just closed the post office

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Internet

There is a single satellite internet connection on Pitcairn, which can be accessed via a free wireless connection throughout Adamstown. Almost all locals have internet access, which you are able to use when you stay there. The country's top level domain (tld) is .pn.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Satellite phones and a single public phone are the only telephones on Pitcairn. Locals communicate with ships via VHF radio.

Post

Due to the lack of physical connections, the postal service via New Zealand is infrequent and can take months for delivery. The post office is open 3 days a week for an hour each day.

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This is version 15. Last edited at 2:48 on May 31, 13 by Peter. 3 articles link to this page.

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