It is 8 June 1856 and a small group of 8 families (194 people in total) arrive on a new island, they have left the only home they have ever known.

Imagine setting sail….to some remote land out in the colonies called Norfolk Island.

Cramped conditions, kids, parents working together for a new beginning.

I imagine there were feelings of excite, fear of seeing nothing but the blue ocean, boredom, seasickness…perhaps terror and determination rolled into one.

Their strength must have been nothing short of amazing.

Their new home is a gift from Queen Victoria, Norfolk Island is where these Pitcairn islanders will now settle.

They are the descendants of Fletcher Christian, his fellow mutineers, the three Englishmen who later joined their settlement and all their Polynesian partners.

Bounty Day is celebrated by Norfolk Islanders every year on 8 June, a celebration of their history and shared experiences.

The locals can be found down at Kingston in the morning, dressed in traditional garb, where they re-enact the arrival of their descendants.


The Islanders then walk en masse to the war memorial and on to the historic cemetery where favourite hymns are sung and hand-made wreaths are laid in memory of notable ancestors.

Following this, all families make their way to their own family tables, set up within the walls of the old prison convict ruins, for the Bounty day picnic.

Watching these celebrations is a wonderful and different experience for tourists and something we at Oxley Travel would absolutely recommend.

You can choose to do a Bounty Day tour which will include a picnic lunch, or just stand back and watch, either way, it is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Norfolk Island’s first European settlement began 68 years before these Pitcairn settlers arrived.

This first settlement began on 6 March 1788 when Lieutenant Philip Gidley King arrived on the island.

He had sailed from the Sydney colony with a group of 22 settlers, their aim, to stop the French from claiming the island.

These first settlers included fifteen convicts (9 males, 6 females) and seven free men.

Foundation day on 6 March each year and is a celebration of this arrival.

It is very popular with first fleeter descendants who can trace their family history back to one of the 22 settlers.

The morning has a re-enactment, in full dress, of the British arrival, raising of the Union Jack with first settler stories read out by local school children.

Foundation day remembers the effort, toil, and labour that those first settlers endured creating a settlement from nothing.

Are you a descendant of one of these settlers?

Ask us how you can find out!