I've come to one of the northernmost points on Norfolk Island, where a simple stone obelisk commemorates the island's discovery by Captain James Cook in 1774.
The steep cliffs, rising from the tiny shingle beach far below, are dotted with the island's famous pine trees, while seabirds cry out as they soar and dive on the wind.
I take a moment to breathe in the air and view the site where those early sailors and explorers came ashore.
This was the spot that began the Norfolk Island story as we know it, from failed penal colony to a land thereafter occupied and made home by the descendants of the Bounty mutineers and others.
When Cook landed, he was excited by the island's plentiful supplies of flax and giant pines, and this led to the establishment of the first convict settlement on Norfolk in 1788.
Almost 70 years later, Cook's discovery would prove significant for the descendants of the Bounty mutineers when the Pitcairn Islanders were forced to abandon their home.
Fewer than 200 arrived in 1856 aboard the Morayshire and today, Norfolk remains a close-knit community of around 1700 people, many of whom still trace their roots back to mutineers Fletcher Christian, John Adams, William McCoy, Matthew Quintal and Ned Young.
The families of whalers John Buffett and John Evans were also on board, as well as George Hunn Nobbs, a man of ill-repute who found God and was granted an audience with Queen Victoria, who gifted them the island just as the penal colony was being abandoned.
The memorial is set within the island's national park, which takes up about one third of the island. I take a moment to walk part of the Bridle Track, one of 10 tracks of varying difficulty on offer, with views of the island's basalt islets, including Moo-oo, Green Pool, Cathedral Rock, Elephant Rock and Bird Rock.
Leaving the northern headlands and driving 15 minutes in the opposite direction, I arrive at the island's lawn cemetery where the remains of those same colonists and early settlers are buried.
Bordered by a simple wooden fence and bounded by the Pacific Ocean and the golf course, the Norfolk Island cemetery is serenaded by the constant sound of breaking waves and the cries of seabirds.
The headstones tell a harsh story of the times, with infant mortalities, executions, drownings and "tiphoid" fever among some of the causes of death in the early years.
Private James Wingate was 40 when he died in June of 1836.
His headstone reveals he served 21 years in His Majesty's 50th (or Queens own) Regiment and "had a good character and his death is regretted by his comrades at whose request this stone is erected".
John Baird, 28, and Thomas Bergin, 23, both "accidentally drowned by the upsetting of a boat while on guard duty" in August 1835.
Baird left behind a "disconsolate widow and infant child to mourn his premature departure".
Most graves are marked by elaborate headstones telling the story of those who died and how. Others are simply marked with a piece of the island's abundant limestone, from which the penal settlement is built.
Among the more humble and most recent graves is that of international author Dr Colleen McCullough Robinson, who died in January 2015 and whose headstone simply reads "Writer".
Nearby is the grave of "Peggie", widow of another Fletcher Christian, who died on May 12 1884 aged 64.
Death came early to many, but among the infant graves and those of young soldiers and convicts who died far from their homeland is that of Thomas Saulsbury Wright, "a native of Frodkingham, Yorkshire" who died aged 105 in February 1843, according to his headstone.
Time slips by as I continue wandering among the graves filled with artificial, as well as more recently placed fresh flowers, each gravestone a link to the past.
The wind sighs among the grass and a small child's windmill flutters on a gravesite as I leave and head back to Burnt Pine township, where the memory of those who toiled and built the Norfolk Island community lives on.
IF YOU GO
GETTING THERE: Air New Zealand operates flights from Sydney every Friday and Monday, and from Brisbane every Saturday and Tuesday. Norfolk Island Airlines operates flights every Saturday from Brisbane.
STAYING THERE: A range of accommodation is available. South Pacific Resort's Superior room with a queen and single bed starts at $160. Visit southpacresort.com.au/
PLAYING THERE: Norfolk Island tour operators offer a huge range of tours, including guided tours of the cemetery twice a week. $20 per ticket or $40 when combined with the Museum Pass.
The Norfolk Island National Park has 10 tracks and maps are freely available from the visitor centre and shops.
See www.museums.gov.nf or www.norfolkisland.com.au for more details.
The writer travelled as a guest of Norfolk Island Tourism.