Lord Howe Island is a hub of activity for visitors and locals a like. The water temperature is just perfect. The air is clear and the sky full of birds. The sea full of fish.
Lovely Lord Howe usually portrayed as a laid back idyllic location with stunning bays, crystal lagoons and mighty mountain backdrops is also host to many physical challenges, mighty swims, hard course runs and high level physical activities.
If you find relaxing on a postcard perfect beach beside a coral lagoon is not your speed, then this is your island.
Some find it hard to just languish in lush rainforest listening to the chill chirps of the wondrous rare birds on this floating ark in the south pacific.
Others have difficulty floating aimlessly over iridescent coral amongst the rainbow coloured fish.
While it might be quite suitable for many to spend hours eating fresh seafood at an oceanside location laughing and killing time at long lunches with bottles of fine wine, there are others whose body clock runs at a faster pace, who’s heartbeat needs acceleration, who’s need for speed is always calling.
Ocean swimmers should book straight away for the Lord Howe Island Ocean Swim Week with Phil Clayton. Each day is a swim of 1.5ksm around the coastline, through places never seen before in this unique way. This World Heritage marineland is your home for a week of challenging experiences. Swim under vertical cliffs that rise up 200 metres from the sea, amongst hundreds of fish, over superb vibrant coral on the outer reefs of the lagoon. There is nothing else like this in the world. Some of the most perfect beaches on the planet are your training ground. Find the swimmer inside go to www.pinetrees.com.au for your bookings. 30th Jan – 3rd Feb & 13th – 17th Feb. Phil Clayton is your expert guide through these wonderful weeks.
The Lord Howe Community Markets are held on the second Sunday of every month at the LHI Central School. Beautiful local handmade Pandanus baskets, locally grown produce, art works, handicrafts and for the kids there is face painting – a great fun experience with the locals.
Snorkelling, diving, inside or on outer reefs is world class on LHI. Aquamarine lagoons are home to over 500 species of fish, so snorkelling is a dream come true.
Undersea canyons and tunnels lure divers from around the world. Home to the world’s southernmost coral lagoon, this is really where the south pacific begins. Outside is for the adventurous, inside the sparkling lagoon is for everyone. You can hire a snorkel and googles from the honesty box on the beach!
The reef system is protected marine park so there is no pollution, coral decimation and fish are in abundance. Humans have had no impact here unlike other reefs around the world.
And after an active day head back to Waimarie Apartments, which are located 1.5km to the main shops and 150m to Lagoon surf beach for a stay in one of their spacious one bedroom self-contained fully equipped holiday apartments. http://waimarielordhoweisland.com.au/
Getting or keeping fit on LHI has never been easier. The best way to get around LHI is by bike and you can ride for miles, through dark shadowy pine forests along coastal roads, up hills to spectacular lookouts and by the blue lagoons. Hire your bikes from Wilsons Hire Service, booking ahead is advised especially during school and public holiday periods. They have late model cars as well. You can hire all your snorkelling gear from there – go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When cycling the island, please remember to wear your helmet or you might end up in the one cell, at the one police station booked by the island’s one policeman.
The island has become a popular destination for conferences with many important societies holding events during the year.
Trekking is for all levels with graded walks marked around the island. Trek through spectacular gullies full of primate rainforest vegetation and through special places like the Valley Of The Shadows.
Leanda Apartments are set amongst beautiful tranquil garden’s and lawns that take in the view of Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird. Only a 400m walk to Lagoon Beach and its natural treasures and walking distance to the main attraction on this peaceful yet active isle. Long established as the first purpose built guest house on the island, the refurbished accommodation consists of self-contained apartments and a modern studio. All the modern comforts with a slice of island history at this fabulous location – go to www.leandalei.com.au for all the details of tours, accommodation and all inclusive package deals.
You can sail there, each year, numerous cruising yachts visit LHI, anchoring in the lagoon and welcomed by the locals. At this time of writing no race for yachts is on schedule, although the Gosford to LHI yacht race was a classic tradition with over 20 yachts competing annually.
Surfers are some of the adventurous sporty types that roam the rock. Clear blue water lures them away from their crowded mainland homes on second honeymoons, family trips and chillaxing rendezvous. Most breaks are over reef, some within paddling, and others by way of boat drop. Hire a board or bring your own, be cool and don’t drop in on the locals. A friendly unfussy place to surf with a backdrop of mountain tropics to reflect on from the break. Locals hold competitions throughout the year.
You will get a good view of the reef breaks and spectacular sunsets form Blue Lagoon Lodge. Choose from studio or 1 & 2 bedroom apartments just minutes from the shops, restaurants and the magic beaches. This welcoming great value accommodation is friendly and inviting. Go to www.bluelagoonlodge.com for bookings & details.
Lagoon Kayaking is a great fitness test, especially if you are not use to paddling. Organise a trip from where you are staying. Kayak to the outer islands or just along the beaches and lagoons. It’s a fun way to keep active on LHI.
Stand up paddling is another sport taking off on LHI. Paddle and keep fit at the same time. Head to outside reefs, islands or across the lagoon. The scenery from out on your board is breathtaking.
Bowlers love their game, head to LHI Bowls Club for a friendly game or light refreshment.
Pine Trees Lodge, 120 years old and recently refurbished is in a prime location, opposite the lagoon beach, where sunset cocktails are the norm, BBQ and picnic baskets can be arranged on one of your adventures.
Pinetrees Lodge has wellness weeks, yoga holidays, food and wine weeks, swimming weeks with ex-Olympic guides, eco-tours, trekking excursions, cooking holidays, adventure weeks and much much more. http://www.pinetrees.com.au/
You can opt to relax, sunbathe, take a dip in the azure sea or snorkel through the schools of fish over the coral reefs. At Ebbtide Apartments all your snorkelling gear is provided as are backpacks, picnic packs and beach towels for all your daily adventures. They have a selection of Liquor and local fish packs with complimentary vegetables, herbs and fruit from their lavish garden, they even have wireless internet and iPods docking stations if you really need them! All of this set in 2.5 acres of Hibiscus, Paw Paw, Frangipani and the local Kentia Palms, choose from 3 garden units and 2 free standing units to book or look go to http://www.ebbtide-lhi.com.au/
Lord Howe Discovery Day Celebrations take place on Saturday 18th February, with a traditional fish fry & novelty fun events.
Rockfest is a buzzing week in March. Free concerts & bands showcase themselves in different locations throughout LHI. March 18th – 25th 2017.
Lord Howe Island Bird Week is also held in March form the 18th, you can see 14 species of seabirds breeding here in hundreds and thousands. A bird watching spectacular.
This island is a blessed with mountains, hills & rugged cliffs rise up from pristine beaches. Hiking trekking & eco – spotting are popular with visitors. The Seven Peaks Walk – a 5 day guided adventure from beach to mountain takes you through Lord Howe’s challenging terrain. Experienced hikers need to be of good fitness. www.pinetrees.com.au for all the details.
The Mount Gower Trek starts as a bushwalk and ends like a grade 3 moderate rock climb. This strenuous 8 hour up and back climb requires a good level of fitness and is challenging for all ages. This guardian of Lord Howe Island requires respect and this trek is not for those that suffer from vertigo. The exposed sections can get quite slippery though the view from the summit makes the energy spent seem worthwhile. From here you will see natures majesty unfold underneath you and as you climb you will greeted by strange birds that only live here, nowhere else on the earth.
Hand feeding the fish is always popular and it is most amazing at how tame these fish of size are. Ned’s Beach is where this happens and to get some feed you need to put a coin in at the kiosk there. A little bit too much fun!
Adjacent to the spectacular Neds Beach, Admiralty Apartments are LHI’s newest luxury accommodation. These 2 spacious private apartments are surrounded by tropical gardens, stylishly appointed with everything a couple could need. Go to http://admiraltyapartments.com.au/ for all bookings and further information.
Swim with the turtles at Settlement Beach, you can watch turtles do as turtles do here most every day. Take a walk and combine it with some turtle watching here.
Oceanview Apartment’s is a LHI business operated by decedents of the original settlers of the Island. They offer superb accommodation close to all the restaurants, stores, post office & only 100 metres to the jetty on the bay. There is a tennis court, swimming pool, games room & access to water equipment like Kayaks, paddle boards, snorkelling & fishing. This is the perfect place to stay with so much on offer. The Charter boats can also be arranged for guests. The BBQ area is perfect for cooking those fresh fish you just caught; or while you’re here why not organise a few S.U.P. or stand up paddle boarding lessons available from the Oceanview boatshed on the Lagoon foreshore – go to http://www.oceanview.nf/ for all the information about living the life in paradise.
LHI is an island where everybody waves to you as they go past, kids go to school barefoot if they please and there is no crime to report.
There are no ATMS, honesty boxes, a speed limit of only 25kph and no predators, be they beast or human. Only friends here!
For a friendly stay, many of our regular visitors to LHI recommend Hideaway Apartments, close to the walking tracks, beaches & shops. Fully equipped with a BBQ for al-fresco dining. Choose from the cottages or 5 spacious 2 room apartments with all facilities. 02 6563 2054 for further details.
You will be overwhelmed by things to do on this forested, sub-tropical green rock. Be as active as you can or do nothing at all. Trek, run, swim or lay in the sun. It’s always fun on LHI.
Picture credit Pine Trees Lodge
Picture Caption 1: Getting ready for the Ocean Swim Event
Picture Caption 2: Trekking and bird gazing