Step into paradise, that is, Lord Howe Island as you find yourself surrounded by lush mountains and pristine sandy beaches. Less than a two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane, this tiny island sits in the Tasman Sea just east of Port Macquarie. The island caps its tourism at 400 visitors at any one time to maintain its natural existence and is home to colonies of seabirds and coral-rich waters.
Lord Howe Island brings you the chance to reconnect with nature, and a taste of the simple life, where bikes are the preferred mode of transport and locals are indeed on island time. With no mobile phone reception, it's clear why its gentle pace and unspoilt beauty has been preserved for so many years and is sort after by so many.
Listed as a World Heritage site in 1982, Lord Howe Island showcases a rare collection of marine life, fauna and flora. The island is about 11km long and 2km wide and its shape has been slowly carved out from the eroded remnants of a seven-million-year-old volcano. Interestingly enough, Lord Howe Island has always remained as its own stretch of land, never part of a continent, with half the islands native plants unique to the island. Due to this, the island acts as an essential breeding ground for sea and land species found in the waters surrounding the island.
Spend your days snorkelling the coral reef or hiking across the vast terrain and completely indulge in the choice of activities on offer. For those who prefer land, enjoy an eight-hour hike up Mt Gower; however, the trek needs to be taken with a registered guide, with only two on the island. If eight hours sounds too long for you, the island has a variety of walking tracks catering to all abilities. For more moderate hikes, Kims Lookout and Malabar Hill are both a great choice. Then finish up at Neds Beach where you can cool off and hand feed fish like wrasse, silver drummer, garfish, and metre-long kingfish in the Neds Beach Sanctuary Zone.
For incredible views across the island walk to Transit Hill, otherwise, for some waves, Blinky Beach has the cleanest breaks on the island and is never, ever crowded. Amongst locals it’s known for its ‘champagne surf’; either hire a board on the island, or bring your own (but who are we kidding, if you’re here for the surf update your boards probably already packed anyway).
Between 11 sandy beaches, you’ll be able to swim at a new beach per day or snorkel over colourful coral reefs. With divers coming from all over the world to experience the dive sites due to its abundant marine life and crystal clear waters, Lord Howe Island has more than 50 sites to discover.
For an escape to nature and the chance to truly disconnect, why not discover Lord Howe Island's incredible mix of pristine waters, sweeping views and extensive wildlife all tucked into this quiet little island?
Lord Howe Island is home to vast marine life, and Ned's Beach is the perfect place to begin uncovering it. Walk the golden sands of Ned's Beach and experience the diverse sea life. Set in the island's northeast, this beautiful calm beach is also excellent for families.
Jump into the water or stand above and observe colourful coral and playful fish assembling off the edge of the shore. Engage with marine life up close, with Ned's Beach shelter offering a fish food dispenser for visitors to feed fish directly. In the water, you'll encounter beautiful mullet, wrasse, garfish, spangled emperor, and kingfish. If viewing from above isn't enough and you wish to swim alongside the active sea life, borrow snorkelling gear at the beach with a donation to the 'honesty box' in return.
Ned's Beach is a beautiful, pristine beach to visit and experience the untouched waters of Lord Howe Island.
Standing over Lord Howe Island at 875 metres tall is Mount Gower; the island's highest mountain. The mountain takes you on an eight-hour trek with sweeping views.
Considered to be one of Australia's best day walks, journey on rope-assisted climbs with dramatic drops and lush wildlife surrounding you. Once you reach the peak, the view is well worth the challenge with moss covered forest and ferns surrounding. On the walk, you will experience rare island plants and birdlife, along with all sorts of fauna and flora.
This 14-kilometre walk is not for the light-hearted, so if you're up for the challenge, make sure you're in good health with no previous knee or back problems. Mount Gower is located in the south of Lord Howe Island and hikes are required to be pre-booked, with limited places available. To experience the walk, arrange a licensed guide to take you through this rugged terrain.
Lord Howe Island Museum brings an array of incredible history accumulating a mix of natural history, learning resources and man-made history. Spend your day uncovering this treasure chest of archives and innovative displays.
The museum holds a display of the island's history all the way back to 1788. Significant collections include historical artefacts preserving the island's history; photographic collections with over 4,000 photographic prints, the philatelic collection featuring an airmail cover carried in 1931 and a 1d provisional stamp from 1915. You'll also find a library with books relevant to natural and cultural history and a herbarium made up of pressed and dried plants - usually only available to researchers. Step into the learning and scientific centre for details on photographs, records and research, specific to what you're looking for. After your experience, explore the gifts section made up of books or unique craft collectables for you to take home and have a memory that lasts forever to keep.