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Plan your dream trip to Lord Howe Island

Snorkelling, Lord Howe IslandCREDIT: Destination NSW

From its coral reefs to its mountain peaks, Lord Howe Island will dazzle you.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Plan your dream trip
to Lord Howe Island

Snorkelling, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Destination NSW

From its coral reefs to its mountain peaks, Lord Howe Island will dazzle you.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Less than two hours’ flight from Sydney, Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed paradise. Measuring less than 11km end to end, and barely 3km across, this crescent-shaped island only allows 400 visitors at any one time. So every traveller who’s fortunate to come here has an opportunity to explore its dazzling reefs and verdant forests in uncrowded bliss. Here’s how to make the most of your visit.

Where to stay 

No matter where you stay on Lord Howe Island, you’ll only be minutes away from the island’s beaches and rainforests. Next to the island’s idyllic turquoise lagoon, Pinetrees is one of Australia’s oldest family-run businesses. Its owners have lived on Lord Howe since 1848, and the lodge is now run by the family’s sixth generation. Rates include all meals and afternoon tea.  

Towards the southern end of the island, Capella Lodge provides luxury accommodation in which designer chic meets laidback beach-house style. The property underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2018 and its nine suites have stunning views towards Mount Gower, as does the expansive lounge and gourmet restaurant. 

At the other end of the island, Arajilla Retreat is a luxury property near Old Settlement Beach with 12 suites, its own restaurant and an ayurvedic wellness spa, while centrally located Blue Lagoon Lodge provides choice studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, with tennis courts on the property and a general store conveniently located next door. Other accommodation choices include Howeana Apartments, which provides classic beach house-style living at Ned’s Beach, and adults-only Broken Banyan, where one-bedroom apartments have private verandahs. Tucked away in a secluded tropical forest by the lagoon, Bowker Beach House offers contemporary and convenient accommodation. 

What to do on the island 

Cycling is the main form of transport on Lord Howe, with the island’s limited number of cars (and 25km/h speed limit) making it an enjoyable way to get around. Some lodges offer complimentary bikes for their guests, but you can also rent them.

If you’re more of a walker, you’ll love the network of trails that lace the island. Popular walks include the Muttonbird Track — the only place on the island where you can see ground-nesting masked boobies — and the scenic Max Nicholls Track to secluded North Bay. Kim’s Lookout is famous for its panoramic views of the lagoon, reefs, mountains and plunging cliffs, and an ascent of Mount Gower (875m), an eight-hour guided experience, is one of Australia’s top day hikes.  

With 14 species of seabird breeding on the island and 130 permanent and migratory bird species to be spotted throughout the year, Lord Howe is among Australia’s premier bird-watching destinations.  

See boobies, terns, noddies and shearwaters at Clear Place, Muttonbird Point, Malabar Hill and Mount Eliza, and keep an eye out for endemic woodhens. The island is also the winter breeding ground for the providence petrels that wheel in the sky in huge number. 

After a big day exploring the island, treat yourself to a soothing and restorative treatments at one of the island’s spas. Capella Spa at Capella Lodge offers ‘post climb’ treats for weary legs, while Arajilla Day Spa offers treatments based on ayurvedic methods. 

Lord Howe Island Highlights CREDIT: Destination NSW

Highlights from the pristine Lord Howe Island.

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Lord Howe Island Highlights CREDIT: Destination NSW

Highlights from the pristine Lord Howe Island.

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Pinetrees Lodge, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Pinetrees Lodge

Pinetrees Boatshed at Pinetrees Lodge, Lord Howe Island

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Pinetrees Lodge, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Pinetrees Lodge

Pinetrees Boatshed at Pinetrees Lodge, Lord Howe Island

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Yellow-breasted Robin, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Zach Sanders

A yellow-breasted robin on Lord Howe Island.

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Yellow-breasted Robin, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Zach Sanders

A yellow-breasted robin on Lord Howe Island.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Fun on the water  

Tropical and cooler waters collide in the ocean around Lord Howe, resulting in the world’s southernmost fringing coral reef. Home to more than 90 coral species and over 500 species of tropical, subtropical and temperate fish, it’s a playground for scuba divers and snorkellers. More than 100 dive sites lure divers of all skill levels, and Pro Dive Lord Howe Island can take you to the best spots.

Boat tours are also available (with the likes of Reef N Beyond Eco Tours) to those who’d rather keep their feet dry. Don’t miss a trip to Balls Pyramid, a volcanic stack rising 552m from the ocean that’s a wonder of geology and natural history. 

On the northeastern side of the island, Ned’s Beach is known for the colourful fish and occasional turtles that inhabit the crystal-clear waters. Just wade in and hand-feed mullet, butterfly fish and stingrays, or snorkel the shallow reef to see giant clams and corals. Also on the eastern side of the island, Blinky Beach is a great spot for swimming, fishing, snorkelling and surfing. At Old Settlement Beach on the northwest coast, swim among turtles as they come in on the high tide to feed on seagrass.  

Lord Howe is also a top destination for big-game fishing for yellow-fin tuna, wahoo, marlin and more. The island’s abundant waters are home to plenty of other delicious fish, too, including whiting, trevally, bonefish, Australian salmon, spangled emperor, bluefish and wrasse.  

Where to eat and drink 

Arajilla has sophisticated dining with an emphasis on the island’s freshly caught fish. While meals are included in the tariff for guests, visitors can also enjoy the likes of yellow-fin tuna, snapper or kingfish in the beautiful setting. Pinetrees also welcomes non-guests, especially to its occasional food and wine weeks that feature celebrity chefs. Four-course dinners generally feature the best of the island’s ocean produce in recipes influenced by the four corners of the globe.  

Other island dining options include Coral Cafe, popular for its homemade breakfasts, lunches and thrice-weekly dinners, and Anchorage Restaurant, which has an in-house bakery and offers delivery of barbecue packs to a beach barbecue of your choice. Note that the Lord Howe Island Board (council) ensures that the island’s barbecues are always stacked with firewood ready to sizzle your sausages! 

When it’s time for a sundowner, try The Crooked Post, a small bar serving island-inspired cocktails in a historic building overlooking the lagoon. 

Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: tom-archer.com

Man stand up paddleboarding off Lagoon Beach with views across to Mount Lidgbird.

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Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: tom-archer.com

Man stand up paddleboarding off Lagoon Beach with views across to Mount Lidgbird.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Arajilla Retreat, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Destination NSW

Meal created by executive chef Ben Crompton at the Arajilla Retreat restaurant, Lord Howe Island.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Arajilla Retreat, Lord Howe Island CREDIT: Destination NSW

Meal created by executive chef Ben Crompton at the Arajilla Retreat restaurant, Lord Howe Island.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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