Yough Pioneer Tours

The Curious Case of Palmerston Island

Having grown up in the south-east of the United Kingdom, I’m no stranger to jokes about inbred folk! For us, the quintessential interbreeders were from the place called the Isle of Sheppey, so much so that there was even a spoof website. I digress, well a little anyway.

Generally speaking, we all looked at these things good-heartedly, assuming that no place was actually like that, and then Pitcairn happened, where a third of the island essentially got locked up for being nonces. For whatever reason, one probably being that I seriously need a hobby, I got to wondering if there was a place even more messed up than Pitcairn Island? Then I found Palmerston.

Palmerston Island is a small island that is kinda part of the Cook Islands, which themselves are kind of part of New Zealand. Kind of part of both, as while they do not exactly have an army and a navy, they are very much a desert island off doing their own thing.

Discovered by the British, they were gifted to a man named William Masters. When given said island Mr. Masters decided to bring his wife AND her two sisters.

Having not been present during the said conversation, one can only assume it went as such.

Masters – Hey I’ve been given a tropical island, wanna move there.

Wife -Quality time with my husband? Sounds great, when do we leave?

Masters – Well, I was thinking, your two sisters don’t have much going on, can we bring them too?

Wife – Hmmmm, I guess, but you’re not going to try and bang my sisters are you?

Masters – nahhh, what makes you say that?

Much like the scorpion and the duck story, I think it was a duck, but the one where the scorpion bites the duck, and they both drown, well Masters indeed boned the other two sisters, eventually taking them both as extra wives or as we say in football parlance, a classic hat-trick. Thus a community was born.

As of today, there are over 1000 direct descendants of William Masters, and EVERYONE on Palmerston Island is a direct descendant of him. Pretty messed up eh!

Visiting Palmerston can only be done via private boat, but the locals are amiable and treat visitors like family (no pun intended). There are no hotels on the island, almost no use for money, and there is little contact with the outside world.

And despite what you might read about how bad incestuous relationships life on Palmerston for its participants is improving, you could say they are coming into their own (sorry).

Forget your 193 clubs, if you want to be a truly impressive traveller, Palmerston Island is where it is at!

While we are not currently arranging tours to Palmerston Island keep an eye on our International Tours for a future addition.

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