Are you a marathon addict who has done the Sydney to Bondi, the Seven Bridges and the Sydney Marathons? Have you swam the Sydney to Manly cross harbour a number of times? Have you trekked through National Parks all along the NSW coast, sailed the Sydney to Hobart, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge? If your answer is yes to one or all of the above, you had better book a holiday to Lord Howe Island pronto.
Lovely Lord Howe usually portrayed as a laid back idyllic location with stunning bays, crystal lagoons and mighty mountain backdrops is also a hub of physical challenges, mighty swims, hard course runs and high level physical activities.
For some who travel it’s hard to sit down beside a coral lagoon, relaxing on a banana lounge wanting once again to cool down in the perfectly clean water.
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 real difficulty immersing themselves in the languid lagoons. There is something unnerving about the state of relaxation that can overwhelm as fish nibble at your toes, unafraid of your size and strength.
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.
Swimmers should book straight away for the Lord Howe Island. Ocean Swim Week with Trevor Hendy. 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. Monday 1st Feb – 5th Feb 2016 and Mon 8th Feb to Fri 12th Feb 2016 Trevor Hendy the former world and Australian Ironman Champion is your expert guide through these wonderful weeks.
The Island Discovery Day celebrations on 17th Feb 2016 start with a traditional Fish Fry held at the LHI Central School. There are track and field events for the athlete waiting for some competition, all ages are welcome. A super fun day with 3 legged race and relays and a slow bike ride for laughs.
Rockfest is a buzzing week in March. Free concerts and bands showcase themselves in different locations throughout Lord Howe. March 12th – 18th 2016.
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. Ask your accommodation for trek arrangements.
Lagoon Kayaking is a great fitness test, especially if you are not used 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.
Surfers have a number of outer reef breaks to keep them occupied. The paddle out can be murder or challenging depending on your level of skill. Local surfers hold contests through the season.
Diving on LHI is unforgettable. Over 500 species of fish of all sizes, colours and temperaments inhabit the waters of this, the most southern coral reef in Australia. Howea Divers can take you to all the right spots at the right times. Here you can do your Padi dive course whilst holidaying. Dive at Balls Pyramid, discovered by Brian Busteed, Howeas host.
With over 90 different types of exotic coral and underwater marvels to be discovered, this is life as intended. Go to www.howeadivers.com.au to book.
Golfing is a sport that gets you out walking. LHI Golf Club has a beautifully maintained course that will test your golfing skills on one of the world’s most picturesque spots. Fridays they have the 12 hole chicken run, Sundays the 18 hole competition. Dining at the club from Thur – Sun at the Sunset Bar and Grill is not to be missed after a round. Their Fish Fry is held every Tuesday and is a great way to meet the locals. Everyone is welcome, bookings required and there’s social golf all the time with clubs and buggies for hire – go to http://www.lordhowegolf.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 form 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
The island has become a popular destination for conferences with many important societies holding events during the year.
The community markets are held every second Saturday of every month at the Lord Howe Island 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.
One event that almost all of the visitors partake in for its uniqueness is hand feeding the fish at Ned’s Beach, an absolute stunning location.
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/
Walkers are in the best destination in Australia. From intertidal zones to steep hill climbs, from graded tracks to bushland and forest treks. See rare birds and animals on scenic trails you have only dreamed about. Pinetrees have a Photography and Walking Week from May the 2nd to Friday May the 6th.
The 9th May to the 13th May is May Wellness Week; a week of deep immersion in healthy living. Daily exercise in spectacular locations, healthy food, massages and yoga combined with swimming, diving, snorkelling, kayaking, golf, biking and mountain climbing – go to www.pinetrees.com.au for details on these two fabulous weeks in May.
Lord Howe Bowling Club holds open tournaments in February and March and has regular bowls every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Pop in for something to eat Saturday to Thursday or a drink every day from 4.30pm
Many visitors to LHI recommend Hideaway Apartments close to the walking tracks, beaches and shops. Fully equipped and with a BBQ for al fresco dining, choose form the cottages or 5 spacious 2 room apartments with all facilities. http://www.hideawaylordhoweisland.com.au/
Take a boat trip to the Admiralty Island only 15 minutes away for sightseeing, fishing and diving.
Yatchies should prepare for the Gosford to Lord Howe race, details are rather sketchy this year, although some other long distance events take place form the mainland to the island each year. For the best information on these, it is best to contact the yacht clubs directly.
And after an active day head back to Waimarie Apartments which are only located 1.5kms to main shops and 150 metres to lagoon and surf beach for a stay in one of their spacious one bedroom self-contained fully equipped holiday apartments.
Those who take an individual angle on their fitness may want to cycle round the islands’ 11kms of roads, but remember to wear your helmet or you might end up in the once cell at the police station, booked by the one policeman!
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.
Hand feeding the fish is always popular with most amazed 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!
Serious fisherman can head outside to the deep reefs to fish for tuna, kingfish, trevally, reef, sharks, banner and butterfly fish, morwong, cod and wrasse. Those on shore can fish land based from beach points, bays and lagoons. You can snorkel here also. You can BBQ your catch at your lodgings or at one of the many scenic BBQ spots located around the island especially for visitors.
Surfing the reefs, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking are some more ways to keep fit and active while holidaying On LHI. If you do a combination of these the wind and conditions are always right every day.
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.
Lord Howe is known for its fresh local organic produce and its fresh seafood. It is on this island where Kingfish Ceviche, seafood BBQ’s and roasted Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi is almost staples. There is no shortage of talented chefs amongst the 350 local residents and workers, many flown from the mainland for a sweet holiday cooking gin in this paradise of the pacific.
Food and wine weeks run through the year go to www.pinetrees.com for more details.
Leanda Lei 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 treasurers 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.
So come over to LHK for all the sporting action you need. Here 600km away from the mainland, where one Australia dollar is worth one Australian dollar, you can escape, feel free and come back fitter than when you left. Howe does that sound.