Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island
See below for all journeys to Lord Howe Island
National Geographic has named the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island one of its best destinations for 2021 as part of their annual Best of the World list. With its pristine beaches and coral reef, unique ecosystem and abundant wildlife it is truly an untouched paradise.
Located just under a two hour flight out of Sydney, the crystal blue waters that surround Lord Howe Island are a unique mix of warm tropical and cool temperate ocean currents and home to over 450 fish species and 90 species of coral, many of which are only found here. Formed some seven million years ago by an underwater volcanic eruption it has shaped this amazing island into what it is today. It has also shaped the sea floor with its many caves, shelves and trenches making it a perfect destination for divers.
There are over 15 pristine white beaches located around the island’s coastline, with one of the most popular being Blinky Beach. Located on the eastern side and home of turquoise blue water and the best surfing spot on the island, it’s also great for swimming and picnicking and if you’re there at low tide you might just discover its hidden sea cave.
A unique opportunity to view some of this amazing natural diversity is at Ned’s Beach. This special purpose zone allows visitors to hand feed a variety of fish, from spangled emperor to bluefish. It’s a great experience to get up close to marine nature. It’s also an idyllic beach for kids, with golden sands and calm waters – great for paddling and snorkeling.
Lagoon Beach is home to the world’s southernmost coral reef, come here for some snorkeling and swimming amongst its underwater gardens or bring a picnic and enjoy the sun setting over the ocean.
Old Settlement Beach is a quiet beach situated on the north of the island. It’s famous for it’s turtle population who may just come right up to you to say hello.
From guesthouses, self-contained apartments and luxury lodges which includes the premium luxury retreat of Capella Lodge – designed and inspired by the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, there are accommodation options for all budgets. But book as early as you can, as there are only 400 visitors allowed on the island at any one time, accommodation is limited and can sell out months in advance.
Lord Howe Island is an outdoor adventurers dream destination with plenty of outdoor activities to keep you active. As a diving and snorkeling paradise, with over 60 dive sites located in the Lord Howe Island Marine Park you won’t find any better in Australia. Off the coast of the island is the world’s tallest sea stack (vertical rock formations separated from the main shoreline, surrounded by sea). This 551 metre tall basalt rock is home to an underwater world with some of Australia’s best diving and snorkeling with caves to explore and many marine creatures to see. Just a 15 minute boat ride away are Admiralty Islands, volcanic rock formations off the north coast of Lord Howe and home to coral reefs, large schools of fish and diving depths of up to 40 metres. If you are a certified diver then this is a must with around 25 dives sites here to be explored.
Other water sports to enjoy are paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking – head off the island by kayak and paddle to nearby Blackburn Island. This tiny island is also known as Rabbit Island (no, there aren’t any rabbits), hike to the top for a great view back to Lord Howe. Take a tour in a glass bottom boat, with such high visibility you are sure to see turtles and plenty of fish. Or just do your own thing and relax on its many pristine beaches.
Apart from water activities there are dozens of walking and hiking tracks to explore, with two thirds of the 11 kilometre long island Permanent Park Reserve. From the challenging hike of Mount Gower – only accessible with a guide, taking around 8 hours to complete and rated as one of the best day treks in the world, to the more moderate Malabar walk – commencing at Neds Beach it takes you to the summit of Malabar Hill.
And let’s not forget about golf, with one of the most visually spectacular golf courses in the world. This 9-hole course has developed and expanded into one of the most picturesque and challenging courses in Australia. The golf club offers gear for you to hire, so no need to bring your own.
Being Australia’s premier bird watching destination. Lord Howe Island has 14 species of seabirds breeding here in the hundreds of thousands. Depending on the time of the year you can witness Shearwaters returning to the island every day at dusk, in one of the world’s most extraordinary avian sights and the Providence Petrel, one of the world’s rarest birds. The island also boasts more than 130 permanent and migratory bird species. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars.
For spectacular stargazing you can’t beat Lord Howe Island. Being 600 kilometres off the coast the stars shine bright here with no manmade light pollution. The Milky Way can be seen with the naked eye in all of its spectacular glory.
Not only is Lord Howe Island one of the most spectacular islands in Australia, if not the world they also have their very own award winning gin. Manufactured on the mainland but using botanicals from the island, Lord Howe Island Distilling Co. uses native wild bush lemons and hibiscus. The lemons were planted on the island over 180 years ago by early settlers. A perfect way to end the day on Lord Howe, with G&T in hand.
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