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Henderson Island
Report from John and Jean Frazier
April 1998

Map of Henderson Island

We returned to the ship and travelled overnight to Henderson Island. One gets permission to land on these islands from New Zealand. We had obtained permission to land on the Northern beach of Henderson and again the weather cooperated. This beach was far closer to being sand than the coral chunks that Ducie presented.

Landing on Henderson Island. The foreground is not rock. Over time the calcium carbonate particles will bond tightly together creating large sheets of something that looks like rock.

You could walk from one end of the beach to the other, but at both the east and west end, the rock or coral of the island met the ocean and provided a boundary that would force one into the ocean to make further progress around the island.

If one walks on the North beach headed west, one comes to a location where the sand transitions into the ocean

There was a beach, but when the vegetation started it proved to be very dense and attempts to walk inland would prove to be extremely slow going due to the density of plant growth.

All shots are from the North beach on the island This is some indication of the density of vegetation.

We are trying here to show the coral along with its rough surface. The island has much coral and is somewhere between difficult and dangerous to climb on.

Coral is showing through the vegetation in places.

Typical vegetation.

A photo of caves. These are seen while walking toward the western side of the North Beach.

World Heritage marker

Close-up of Notice

This is the World Heritage marker that is about where one has to land on the North side of the island. The coral openings in the reef determine the safe entry to the island.

We did get a chance to see a Stephen's Lorikeet that is a very iridescent bird with electric greens and reds, but unfortunately there is no photo we can offer. You'd have to see it to believe it anyway.

Photos and Text byJohn and Jean Frazier

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