When you visit World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island (LHI), a lush natural paradise less than two hours by plane from Sydney.
You won’t see any powerlines or high-rise buildings on LHI, which is just 11 kms long and 2.8 kms at its widest. Birdsong fills the clean air and lush mountainous terrain rises up all around you. With only 400 visitors allowed at any time, and just 300 permanent residents, the pace on the island is slow. Bikes are the mode of transport and shoes feel optional by the time you hop back on the plane. You can hire bikes at Wilson’s Bike Hire. Wilsons spiel
Enjoy a gourmet getaway
Being away from mainland Australia, the residents of LHI must use their natural resources to supplement the fortnightly deliveries they receive. You’ll see locals’ vegetable patches and kingfish and other wild seafood abounds here.
Admire the scenery on foot
Get to know the island by walking some its many tracks. They range from a simple walk on the beach to a day hike – all abilities are catered for. A good intermediate challenge is Kims Lookout and Malabar Hill. Starting at Settlement Beach, you’ll hike up to Kims Lookout, enjoying incredible views, then move across Malabar Hill where you will see Balls Pyramid. It’s a natural obelisk, soaring 551 metres (1807 feet) from the ocean. Finish your walk at Neds Beach with a swim and a barbecue. Some hotels will even organise a picnic drop-off for you. If you’re still up for more, head to Blinky Beach, which is known for its incredible surf.
Hike Mount Gower
If you’re fit and up for some adventure, walking to the summit of Mount Gower should be on your list. The 14km return hike takes about 8.5 hours to walk and must be undertaken with a registered guide, of which there are just two. Your accommodation will be able to organise an experienced guide. Meander to Transit Hill for panoramic views over the island.
Get outdoors and get adventurous
There’s no shortage of adventure on LHI. If you’re a scuba diver, head to Balls Pyramid to enjoy the caves and waters at the base. Alongside dolphins, turtles and marlin, there are many rare species, including Spanish dancers, Galapagos whalers and Ballina angelfish. Golfers will be kept happy on the picturesque 18 hole golf course and anglers are well catered for, with a number of tour companies offering charters.
Enjoy the rare flora and fauna
After a volcanic eruption seven million years ago, the newly formed island became a haven for plants and seabirds. Rare flora and fauna includes 64 unique species of flowering plants and more than 130 bird species, like the endangered flightless woodhen. Watch red-tailed tropic birds court each other with backward somersaults. LHI provides the only known breeding ground for the providence petrel – at the very base of Mount Gower it’s said that you can make loud bird calls, like Sir David Attenborough did when he visited the island, and petrels might come down to investigate. Norfolk Island pines grow around the lagoon shore and you’ll find luxuriant ferns and beard-like lichen in the misty forest atop Mount Gower.
For a friendly stay, many of our regular visitors to LHI recommend Hideaway Apartments; close to 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.
At Ebbtide Apartments, all your snorkelling gear is provided as are backpacks, picnic packs & beach towels for all your daily adventures. They have a selection of liquor & local fish packs with complimentary vegetables, herbs & fruit from their lavish garden, they even have wireless internet & iPod docking stations if you really need them! All of this set in 2.5 acres of Hibiscus, Paw Paw, Frangipani & the local Kentia Palms, choose from 3 garden units & 2 free standing units to book or look go to http://www.ebbtide-lhi.com.au/
Waimarie Apartments, are located 1.5km to the main shops & 150m to Lagoon surf beach for a stay in one of their spacious one bedroom self-contained fully equipped holiday apartments.