LORD HOWE ISLAND
OUR LORD HOWE ISLAND
Lord Howe Island is one of four island groups in the world possessing World Heritage status – right alongside the Galapagos! Its unique environment of forest and mountains is fringed by the most southern coral reef in the world. Its remarkable volcanic geology, range of ecosystems and rare collection of plants, bird life and marine life, not to mention extraordinary natural beauty make Lord Howe a destination not to be forgotten. Lord Howe is found 700kms north east of Sydney in the Tasman Sea and is less than a 2 hour flight with Qantas Link from Sydney daily, Brisbane in the weekends and on Saturdays in autumn and spring from Port Macquarie. The Island is 11km long and 2.8km wide at is broadest point.
Lord Howe Island has approximately 350 permanent residents with visitors limited to 400 at any one time so you are ensured of a relaxed and unhurried stay in any one of the lodges set amongst the endemic Kentia Palms. Accommodation ranges from luxurious retreats and spas to self-catering cottages and motels. Your main mode of transport is by foot or bicycle although anytime you wish to dine out in one of the many restaurants or cafes, of an evening, your lodge host will drop you off and get you home again. There are a limited number of cars available for hire on the island. Fresh fish is always on the menu or alternatively you can order a pack and cook at anyone of the communal barbecues scattered around the island – stacked with chopped wood by the locals! The Bowling Club and the 9- hole Golf Club also offer set menus each week.
With 14 species of seabird breeding on the island, Lord Howe is Australia’s premier birdwatching destination. They come in their hundreds of thousands – petrels, shearwaters, tropic-birds, terns, noddys and masked boobies. Lord Howe and its surrounding islands are the remnants of a large shield volcano that has been eroded by the sea over millions of years. The differences in altitude and the range of terrain – mountains, valleys and ridges – has resulted in a great variety of plant life. More than 100 plants on the island are unique to the island’s rich volcanic soil.
The diving and snorkelling are renowned with the crystal clear water clarity. There are more than 50 dive sites ranging from ‘resort dives’ in shallow waters near the beach to spectacular trenches, caves and volcanic drop-offs. For the more experienced diver, few locations can surpass Balls Pyramid – a spectacular 550-metre spearhead of sheer, grey basalt cliffs, and where waters are alive with kingfish, canary-yellow golden drummers and (harmless) Galapagos sharks. If diving doesn’t appeal snorkelling is just as rewarding – come face to face with the fearless moon wrasse or even a green turtle.
You’ll enjoy swimming in the Lagoon and at Neds Beach, voted in 2005 as Australia’s cleanest beach. At the beautiful Ned’s Beach the fish come to you – be sure to take your own bread to feed the myriads of fish – the kids love it!
Adventurous surfers can paddle out to the reef breaks, about 1 kilometre off Lagoon Beach or head to Blinky Beach on the eastern side of the island for a clean break on some very uncrowded waters. For those who like to operate under their own steam there is no better way to explore the lagoon than by kayak. You can also hire the latest windsurfing gear. Lord Howe’s turquoise lagoon can be sailed year round, while July-September offers big wind sailing against the backdrop of the island’s spectacular volcanic scenery.
Lord Howe’s surrounding waters are home to some of the most delicious fish you could ever wish to catch, then eat – kingfish, wahoo and yellowfin tuna – to name but a few. Deep sea, reef and fly-fishing are excellent, year round, Throw in a line from a beach or rock or local boat operators cater to adrenaline-seeking anglers.
For the adventurers, walkers and hikers you can explore the island on foot and whether you climb Lord Howe’s 875m Mt Gower or take a more leisurely walk under the forest canopies you can be sure you will take home many memories from one of many tracks.
There is a weight limit of 14kg per person for checked baggage and 7kg for hand luggage on the Qantas Link aircraft to Lord Howe – however do not despair all snorkelling gear, dive gear, fishing gear, windsurfers, surf boards and more are available for hire on the island and there are 2 convenience stores for groceries and personal goods as well as a liquor store. There are also hairdressing, beauty and massage facilities. The hospital and dispensary are on 24 hour call for any emergencies.
Lord Howe’s climate is mild year round. The subtropical maritime climate produces warm summers and mild winters. Daytime temperatures rage from 25 – 28 degrees in the summer and 18-22 degrees in the winter (July/August). Generally conditions are appropriate for swimming between September and May. Walking, hiking, fishing and many other activities are enjoyed year round. There are no snakes, sandflies or stingers on Lord Howe!
To set foot on Lord Howe is to escape to the most amazing pristine environment, a safe and friendly haven for couples, friends and families – the kind of holiday experience you will never want to leave and to one you will return – believe me! I can’t wait to get back!
Australian Dollars (AUD)
Most major credit cards are accepted but not everywhere so you will need cash as back-up.
There are no facilities for foreign currency transactions. There is only 1 ATM on the island.
Electricity: 240V / 50Hz
Flying time: (to Brisbane/Sydney) approx. 3 hours from Auckland, New Zealand.
(from Brisbane/Sydney) approx. 1.5 hours
Local Time: 10.5 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Average summer and winter temperatures range between 19 and 25 degrees celcius.
* Valid passport for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay (NZ passport holders).
* A valid return or onward air ticket and sufficient funds.
Flight Weight Limits between mainland Australia & Lord Howe Island:
* 14kg per person if checked baggage
* 7kg for carry-on-baggage
* There is no mobile phone coverage on the island, phone, fax and internet is available.