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Sunday, 22nd April 2018: 10:17pm

Visiting Palmerston

Why visit Palmerston Island?

“I am so lucky and glad to be here. Coming to Palmerston is such a unique and wonderful experience. Everything is exceptional on your atoll -

        • ü  The fantastic scenery of the lagoon

          ü  The history of the community

          ü  The warmth and great hospitality of the Palmerston people

          ü  The energy to develop new projects

          ü  And the spirit to protect this paradise

           Thank you so much and congratulations to all.” Holy from France


The Place

  “We have visited many special and wonderful places in our travels but we can honestly say that Palmerston Island has been one of the very best. You have all made our visit a beautiful experience and we thank you for taking us into your company without making us feel like ‘visitors’. Thank you too for the gift of letting us share in your work and feeling that we could contribute to the wellbeing of the island. We hope that this is not the last time that we will visit this amazing place.” Brian and Meg on SV Celtic Castle.

 Palmerston Atoll is made up of six large and various smaller islets set on a reef shaped something like a harp. The magic of the reef, exquisite colours of the lagoon, tranquillity of the island, unexpected forest of huge mahogany trees, romantic swaying of the coconut trees, pure white coral sand of the beach and paths that grace the island, all contribute to the magical aura that is tangible from the moment you set eyes on Palmerston.

Add to that people who love life, appreciate the simple things in life, value people above things, and are satisfied with what they have, and you begin to imagine the unique atmosphere of Palmerston Island.


The People

 “You have made us so appreciate that it is the people who make a place memorable and cherished. You have a beautiful island with an incredible ‘soul’ … understand it… cherish it…hold on to it!” Kirk, Claire and Erik on SV Discovery 

The Hospitality

 “Thank you so much! We came to Palmerston not knowing what to expect and were welcomed by everyone with open arms. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality and for sharing your beautiful school with us.” Dean, Toast, Jaime, Mera and Aeron on SV Don Quixote.

“We have sailed across oceans across the world, hoping to make a difference with ‘MAD’. We have visited Islands, met people and experienced a lot. But it wasn’t until we came to Palmerston that it all made sense. You have all made a difference in our trip with your loving, caring hospitality that we will cherish forever. Thank you for letting us be a part of this great experience.” Crew of SV MAD

Right from your arrival on Palmerston you are welcomed into the family. As your host brings you ashore, you will be surprised at the openness and genuine warmth of welcome. You will also be amazed at the delicious variety of dishes that are placed on the table at meal times. Even if you are not particularly hungry, Polynesians show their hospitality by their food so to refuse can be considered an insult, so don’t expect to loose weight while you visit Palmerston - Enjoy!!











Visiting Palmerston Atoll

Visitors to Palmerston come in three ways – on a yacht, on a cargo boat, or on a tourist ship.  There is no airport. Aitutaki, about 24 hours journey away, has the nearest airport.  Rarotonga is a further 24 hours away.

Visiting by Yacht


William Marsters, Father, as he is respectfully referred to, introduced the hosting system way back in the 1800s.  He insisted that any visiting yachts be hosted by a family on the Island, the first one to approach the visiting yacht.  This family was to anchor or moor the yacht, transport them to and from the main island, Palmerston, for the duration of their stay, feed them, allow them to become part of their family and then send them on their journey again, all at no cost.  This tradition has remained until today. 

Read more: Visiting by Yacht

Visiting by Cargo Boat

If you are fortunate to be in Rarotonga when a cargo boat leaves for the ‘round trip’ to Palmerston, you may be able to secure passage on board the inter-island cargo boat.  These boats usually visit every three to four months with stores and supplies to the Islands.

Read more: Visiting by Cargo Boat

Visiting by Tourist Ship

Each year we have between two to six visits by tourist ship.  These usually bring between 80 to 120 tourists to our shores for the day.  Once the ship has arrived and the passage has been trialled for safety, the passengers are brought ashore by zodiacs – driven by the crew of the tourist ship and piloted by one of the local men.

Read more: Visiting by Tourist Ship