Pitcairn is of volcanic origin; it is approximately two miles long and one mile wide, and reaches an elevation of 340 meters (1,100 feet) at its highest point. Pitcairn’s area is approximately 1,200 acres (1.75 square miles). It has a rough, rocky, cliff-dominated shoreline with no safe harbor or anchorage. The land is hilly, but fertile (nowhere giving easy access to the sea), and the sea is rich in fish.
The main crops consist of arrowroot, sweet potatoes, yams, beans, tomatoes, cabbages, pineapples, melons, citrus and bananas. Apart from poultry and a few wild goats, there are no farm animals. Wide varieties of foods, as well as other material needs, are shipped from New Zealand.
The climate is sub-tropical, generally warm, sunny and moist with a fairly steady breeze. The mean monthly temperatures vary from 19ºC (66ºF) in August to 25ºC (77ºF) in February; the absolute range is 10ºC (50ºF) to 34ºC (93ºF). The average annual rainfall is about 2.5 meters (81 inches) – July and August being the driest and November the wettest. Relative humidity is about 80%.
The Pitcairn Island group – consisting of Pitcairn Henderson, Oeno and Ducie – are governed as a British colony through an administrative headquarters in New Zealand.