Lord Howe island is situated 555km offshore from Australia. It is part of a system or underwater plateau known as The Lord Howe Rise. Middleton Reef, Chan Reef & Elizabeth Reef are the other reefs in this chain. The most southern coral reef chain in the world. Elizabeth Reef has only been visited by 200 people ever. A day sailing away from Lord Howe Island & visited by some of the Lord Howe locals charter boats, Elizabeth Reef is an enigma.
A friend of mine recently visited Elizabeth Reef on his way to Lord Howe. A wide variety of fish flourish on this untouched coral cay. The fishing is spectacular in clean, unfiltered waters with huge Yellow Fin, the endangered Black Cod & 311 different species lurching in the depths surrounding this mysterious reef.
Elizabeth Reef is exposed at low tide, meaning you can stand on a narrow strip of powder white sand on this cay, way out in the middle of the ocean in complete solitude. The water is the clearest & cleanest in the world, the converging tropical & temperate ocean currents seeing to that. A British sailor was rescued & winched to an RAN Sea Hawk helicopter from his stranded yacht in 1974, many other ships have been wrecked on this unforgiving reef. Some are visible & lay to rot atop of the reef. A days sailing from Lord Howe Island, maybe you could arrange a trip at your accommodation, it certainly would be an adventure.
Leanda Lei Apartments are set amongst beautiful tranquil garden’s & lawns that take in the view of Mt Gower & Mt Lidgbird. Only a 400m walk to Lagoon Beach & its natural treasures & 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 & a modern studio. All the modern comforts with a slice of island history at this fabulous location – go to http://www.leandalei.com.au/ for all the details of tours, accommodation & all-inclusive package deals.
Lord Howe Island’s position allows for a wide variety of watersports. If the wind is offshore the conditions can be perfect for an un-choppy SUP or a surf on one of the many reefs. When the wind is up, kite-surfing & windsurfing is on. One side of the island is always offshore, the other on. There is always somewhere to fish, somewhere to sail or enjoy the many watersports available. Try Lobster diving or spearfishing. 500 different species of fish reside on LHI. Fluorescent fish flow on the tropical currents that run through caves, trenches & incredible volcanic underwater rock formations.
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 & 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/
Kayaking & canoeing are part of the pleasures on water. Fitness & fun in one. The crowds on LHI are always limited, only 400 can visit at any one time. Only 350 lucky locals live here, so you’ll never be stressed by crowds. Family holidays are popular as kids can swim or snorkel safely straight off the beach. You can hand feed tame fish at Ned’s Beach. The family can take a glass bottom boat out to view the sea life. A round island trip is always a fun way to spend a day.
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 in a position of privacy & luxury seclusion right on the beach. Go to http://admiraltyapartments.com.au/ for all bookings & further information.
Nature & land lovers can explore the island hiking one of the many spectacular walking tracks. All walks are graded for fitness so you can wander along sea level tracks or head up a challenging mountain trek to see nature in all its glory at this time of year. Breathtaking views await you.
You will get a good view of the reef breaks & spectacular sunsets from Blue Lagoon Lodge. Choose from studio or 1 & 2 bedroom apartments just minutes from the shops, restaurants & the magic beaches. This welcoming great value accommodation is friendly & inviting. Go to www.bluelagoonlodge.com for bookings & details
‘Bikes are the main mode of transport for locals & visitors alike. Top speed on motorized transport is 25km per hour. Everybody waves as they go past here. Everyone says hello, kids can go shoeless to school. Island style. Hire your bikes from Wilsons Hire Service, booking ahead is advised especially during school & 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.
Community Markets are a festive experience on the second Sunday of each month. Fresh local produce, hand crafted pandanus baskets, arts & crafts by talented locals unique to this island are for sale.
Only 2 hours to perfect pacific paradise, no need for a passport or a visa. No need to lose money on the foreign exchange rates. A place to forget your mobile phone and your internet addiction. A rare isle of serenity in a hyped-up connected world.
The air is clear & the sky full of birds. You can languish in rainforests soaking in the primeval atmosphere. Lay for hours on white sandy beaches. Float freely in currents of bliss. See natures wonders on Australia’s own Galapagos. Spend hours at lunch eating gourmet foods washed down with Australia’s finest wines. This is what life was meant for, but if you need to balance this out with physical activities LHI is ready for you. Ocean swims, yoga retreats, diving courses, fitness weeks, eco tours, trekking excursions, cooking holidays, mountain climbs & adventure weeks can all be had go to www.pinetrees.com.au for their range of incredible activities.
Rockfest takes place in March. Free concerts & bands all over the island. Rock out on the Rock. Lord Howe Bird-watching Week is also held in March, with 14 different species of sea birds mating on the island in their hundreds of thousands. A bird watching spectacular.
And after an active day head back to Waimarie Apartments, which 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. http://waimarielordhoweisland.com.au/
The island is blessed with mountain peaks & rugged cliffs. Hiking, trekking, mountain climbing & eco-watching can be combined together in the Seven Peaks Walk-a 5-day guided adventure from beach to mountain through Lord Howe’s challenging terrain. After each walk return to the comfort of Pinetrees for a hot shower, icy cold beer & a chef prepared gourmet 4 course dinner with superb wines. Challenge yourself by day, push your limits then relax the night away in luxury, the perfect mix go to www.pinetrees.com.au.
See sea turtles swim at Settlement Beach. Watch turtles do what turtles do, every day. LHI runs on its own island time. There are no ATMs, no predators, no crime, one policeman, one police station, honesty boxes & a completely laid back lifestyle.
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.
Over 80% of LHI is native forest & has been preserved by the people who settled here & the locals who live here now. You can thank them for this Natural Wonderland when you get here – its waiting for you.