Bounty Day

by Norfolk Island Escapes

Norfolk Island celebrates its anniversary in June on a day otherwise known as Bounty Day. While the holiday itself may have changed through the years, the clothes, food and friendship that are a part of it all still portray the same traditions of old. Bounty Day dates all the way back to when Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on the HMS Bounty. This is the day that Norfolk Island celebrates every year in June as a part of their colorful history.

Back in 1787, Lt. William Bligh was sent to sail the Bounty to Tahiti in order to gather some breadfruit plants for the Caribbean slave colonies. The voyage wasn’t exactly an easy one, though, and a lot of disputes came about during the journey. Because of this, Fletcher Christian and a dozen of the crewmembers decided to stage the mutiny that the Bounty has become famous for. After capturing the Bounty the mutineers set Lt. Bligh and his followers adrift in a launch in which they made the  amazing voyage to Timor in the Dutch East Indies, 3,618 nautical miles in total (6,701 km; 4,164 mi).

The mutineers and eventually found sanctuary on the small island of Pitcairn, where the colony then grew. Nearby, Norfolk Island was starting to ends its days of being a convict colony for criminals, so when the Bounty’s descendants asked the British Government for a bigger home, Norfolk Island was given to them. By the time they moved to Norfolk Island, the Pitcairners already had their own personal culture and language, which are both still alive to this day.

Today, almost a third of the residents of Norfolk Island are descendants of the same settlers who came from the Bounty in June 1856. As such, Bounty Day is celebrated by Norfolk Island every June. On this day, they usually dress in their traditional costumes and re-enact the arrival of the mutineers. Wreaths are also laid out in memory of the first settlers. Other Bounty Day celebrations include picnics, sports, family reunions and other activities.

The vibrant heritage of Norfolk Island is one of the things that make it unique, though. So, if you plan on visiting the island soon, then its culture alone is sure to make an impact on you. One of the best ways to experience the island would be by eating at their island restaurants, socializing with the locals, and trying out home-cooked meals. Their theme nights are fun, too, and provide a fun way of experiencing the hospitality of the Norfolk Island locals.

Naturally, there are a lot of other things that you can do on Norfolk Island, as well. If you like to fish, then you will love the island’s clear waters that are filled with snappers, sharks, trumpeters, kingfish, groupers and trevallys. There are also a lot of diving spots that you can visit to check out the local coral, tunnels, caves and general marine life. If diving doesn’t exactly appeal to you, you can snorkel or scuba dive to enjoy the fish and colorful corals of the island instead.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gus Lim December 16, 2016 at 1:48 pm

I plan to visit Norfolk Island next year for the Bounty Day festival?
I would like to stay there for 5 days or so. I am looking for a hotel that is near to the site of the celebration and also where there are ukulele players that can entertain us.
Could you possible tell me where this hotel might be?
Thank you.

Gus Lim


Norfolk Island Escapes December 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Hi Gus,
Thank you for your enquiry, we will contact you by email.
Regards, Meg


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