Travelling to Lord Howe Island takes less than 2 hours. It is our closest island. Home to the worlds most southern coral reef, its pristine waters are home to over 500 different species of fish. These beautiful reefs offer us many pleasures. While splendid colourful fish shine underneath, beautiful peeling waves break over their shallow ledges. These clean crystal cylinders offer those who surf great un-crowded rides. Watch kite surfers ride majestically over the silver sea flying high over the breaking walls of water. Water so clear and clean, it is almost in a class of its own. Winter can be the time for the swells to hit, but there are waves all year round. Some breaks take a long paddle, as they are off the outside reefs; others are close to shore or on beaches. It wont’ be crowded as only 400 visitors are allowed on the island at any one time. Kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing, paddle boarding and of course diving are some other pleasures one can take advantage of in this pacific paradise.
Diving here is A-grade with over 50 dive sites apart from the famous Balls Pyramid, fluorescent fish flow on currents from the tropics that run over caves, trenches and other volcanic formations.
Snorkeling just off the beach in the calm see-through lagoon offers all the family a special pleasure. There is nothing better than snorkeling with your kids. At Ned’s Beach you can take them to hand feed the fish. Take them out on a glass bottom boat or for a day outside fishing or a round island trip. So many aquatic pleasures.
Land lovers can hike around the island on one of many walking tracks. Walks are graded for fitness so you can wander along at sea level or take the hike up to Mount Gower to check out the lay of the land. Special eco and wildlife walking tours are available on the island.
Biking around the island is the locals main mode of transport. Top speed for motorized transport is 25km an hour, so cycling is an excellent away to travel around the island.
Lord Howe Island also hosts many events over the year. Here are some:
1st – 8th – The Pine Trees Jazz Festival; Wobbly Boat Jazz and Blues Band – these guys have been playing to packed houses for over 8 years
9th – 25th – The Moods who have been drawing huge crowds for over 20 years.
18th – 25th– Fireworks, this Melbourne band are world class jazz musicians
16th – 23rd the – Walking and Photography Week – fitness and photography go hand in hand.
24th – 30th July – Food and Wine Week
Community Market Day; where fresh local produce, home baked goods and handcraft all made by locals goes on sales. This event is held on the 2nd Sunday of every month.
July, August and September offer great surfing, windsurfing and kite boarding.
6th – 20th August – is the Lord Howe Island Windsurfing Fortnight. Fantastic conditions were had for this event last year. As well as the sailing there are regular nights at restaurants, BBQ’s on the beach, little bits of coaching and plenty of chilling on the beach.
Today Lord Howe Island is also a popular venue for business and scientific conventions. From the 15th – 18th August is a major one is being held here, a sold out event; Towards Global Artificial and Photosynthesis Conference is being hosted by the Australian National University centre for International and Public Law.
5th – 11th November The Lord Howe Island Golf Open – is being held with over $5000 in prizes to be won. Your entry fee of $250 includes welcome drink, players pack, all green fees, buffet lunches on playing days and the very social presentation dinner. Golf on such a beautiful island is certainly one of life’s great pleasures. Of course on other days a casual hit around the nine holes is always an option.
The Chicken Run at the Lord Howe Island Bowling Club is held on Thursdays at 4pm. A regular event loved by all.
29th October The Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race 2011 starts at Gosford on the 29th October racing across the Tasman Sea to Lord Howe Island a distance of 416 nautical miles.
This is the only category 1 ocean race in Australia, other than the Sydney to Hobart at 628 nautical miles. It is a qualifying race for the Sydney to Hobart. This tough race is across open waters in the Tasman Sea, sailing in a north east direction. The size of the fleet is limited and only experienced sailors take part. This race is a classic with yachts leaving Broken Bay, rounding Terrigal and then heading straight across the mighty Tasman Sea. Celebrations are spontaneous as the yachts appear off Lord Howe Island and the local friendly welcome mat comes out as spectacular yachts moor off shore.
On Christmas Day Santa comes to Ned’s Beach to give presents out for the local kids and their visitors.
So apart from all the solo pursuits that are abundant all over this unique island, visitors can be a part of the many different events of Lord Howe Island. Its up to you to take part.