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Henderson Island - Latitude 24.22 S - Longitude 128.19 W

Henderson Island Website Logo

Space Shuttle Image of Henderson Island UNESCO Photo of Henderson Island

Left: NASA Photo STS008 Date Taken: 09/05/83  Right: UNESCO

Contents of this website

Desert Island Banner

Henderson's History Henderson's Geography Henderson's Flora and Fauna
Why am I interested? First hand accounts. Links and Books.
Map of the Island. Pictures of the Island. The Monkey Story

Click here to see the REAL TIME Henderson Island weather

Air Photo of Henderson Island
               Air Photo of Henderson Island

Henderson Island is an unihabitated raised reef island, 9.6 km long by 5.1 km wide with an area of 36 square km, in the Pitcairn Island group of the SE Pacific. The island's perimeter is 26.4 km; of this, 16.5 km is encircled by a fringing reef. It is 168 km ENE of Pitcairn. Henderson Island is the largest island in the Pitcairn Island group, one of the remotest groups of islands in the South Pacific, with no major land mass within a 5,000km radius. The group comprises four islands, with Henderson lying 200km east-north-east of Pitcairn, 200km east of Oeno and 360km west of Ducie. Only Ducie, and the Chilean islands of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and Sala y Gomez lie further to the east within Polynesia. The Pitcairn group is a Dependent Territory of the United Kingdom governed by the British High Commissioner in New Zealand, and a 10 member island council of H.M.S. Bounty descendants on Pitcairn Island. Henderson Island is (British) Crown Land.

The Pitcairn Islanders visit Henderson Island occasionally to collect miro wood (Thespesia populnea) for curio-making.

The only other visitors to Henderson Island are scientists visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for it's endemic species of birds and plants in a near pristine system.

Henderson lies in the south-east trades, and total recorded rainfall for the period from February 1991 to January 1992 was 1623mm. Average monthly maximum temperature, during the same period, ranged from 29.6C (February) to 24.2C (June); average monthly minimum temperature ranged from 22.2C (February) to 15.7C (June).

Steve Waldren (Botanic Garden Curator/Administrator), Trinity College Botanic Garden, Dublin, who spent three months on Henderson Island in 1991 (and who returned to the island in June 1997), has sent the following comment:

While the Polynesians and later visitors have had some effect on the island, particularly bird populations, the vegetation of the island interior is almost entirely undisturbed. It should remain that way. While it is obvious that many folk would like to visit this exotic and wonderful island, it could easily be inadvertently damaged by visitors, the major threat being the introduction of non-native plants and animals. For example, it is well known that the non-native Polynesian Rat has a massive effect on the breeding success of various petrel species. You might also point out that visitors to Henderson must have permission of the Pitcairn Island Council.

New Map of Henderson Island 1997

Detail of a new colour map of Henderson Island. Click here to see the full sized version. This map has been made especially for this website by Jean-Pierre Langer of the Principality of Monaco.

Jean-Pierre Langer of the Principality of Monaco has made a collection of very detailed colour maps, especially for this website, based upon Admiralty charts. They can be seen in the links in this section in gif format, and are also available for download from this site in Adobe PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat 3.0 or greater). The PDF format maps have much more detail than the maps in .gif format. The PDF files are also available for download in English and French versions from the links below.

  • Map of Henderson Island
  • Map of the Pitcairn Group
  • Maps of Pitcairn, Ducie and Oeno Islands

  • New Photo of Henderson Island 1997

    New Photo of Henderson Island taken June 1997 by John and Lynn Garry Salmon
    Read about John Salmon's
    visit to Henderson Island June 12-15, 1997

    It feels like we are discovering the place for the first time. Of course many (well, at least a few) other people have been here, but right now, we're the only people for hundreds of miles, and we may be the only people to visit this particular part of the island for many months or years.

    Landing on Henderson Island.

    John and Jean Frazier visited Henderson, Oeno, Ducie and Pitcairn Islands in April of 1998. They have written a report of their visit - including many illustrations! Read their story! This is a unique opportunity to see photos from Ducie Island!

    Henderson Island during a storm. All the pictures I have previously seen of Henderson Island are in lovely sunshine. A tropical paradise. But, Ina Koys has sent me a picture taken last year onboard the British brigantine Eye of the wind which tells a very different story! See this picture!

    Oeno Island. Ina Koys has sent me a series of pictures of Oeno Island. See what Ina Koys describes as the Pitcairner's Holiday Camp.

    Visit Oeno Island! Slide show of pictures from Oeno Island
    Visit Oeno Island! Ina Koys' description of her visit to Oeno Island

    The Wreck of the Clipper Wildwave on Oeno Island in 1858. Read the Diary of Capt. Josiah N. Knowles!

    An interesting footnote to the history of the Pitcairn Islands: The island group is named for the son of the man involved in the shot heard round the world incident - the first Battles of the American Revolution! Other revolutionaries, who also fought against British injustice, then populated this island: The Bounty Mutineers!

    Major John Pitcairn 1722-1775

    New information about the skeletons found on Henderson Island in 1958!
    Click Here

    "Robert Tomarchin, a 27-year-old U.S. citizen and his pet ape Moko" - in 1957 .
    Photo courtesy of
    Dr. Herbert Ford , of the
    Pitcairn Islands Study Center at Pacific Union College.

    The Monkey Story: Read the true story of Robert Tomarchin and his chimpanzee Moko. They were left on Henderson Island by a Canadian yacht in 1957!

    The Monkey Story

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    This website is maintained by:
    Mark Winthrop, Copenhagen Denmark