Lord Howe Island
It was easy to imagine we were Peter Pan or the lost boys flying accross a magical ocean full of Pirates and mermaids as we flew in to this isolated island in the middle of the Tasman Sea – Between Australia and New Zealand, 600 km east of Port Maquarie, and 900km from Norfolk Island. Lord Howe Island is a Neverland if I ever have seen one.The coral coastline glistened, sparkling like a fine glass of champagne, ready to be soaked up and sipped down. I held my breath as we flew in to the air strip which runs all the way accross the width of the 2km wide, 11km long island, crossing my fingers that this 12 seater aeroplane has a good set of brakes. This World Heritage listed island with a population of 350, only allows 400 visitors on the island at the time. It certainly is an island of unspoilt beauty. Arriving at the airport we were quite thrilled to find our hosts had left us a car with the keys in the ignition waiting for us to drive ourselves home when we arrived. Soon to learn bicycles are the best way to get around as everything is just a hop, skip or a jump away.
Lord Howe Island has such a variety of activities which seemed to suit every mood – As long as living in paradise was high on the agenda! From days spent lolling around the lagoon, to swimming with the turtles, scuba diving in the coral reefs (soooo many fish – And sharks!) snorkelling with Manta Rays, feeding the fish at Neds beach, birdwatching, or climbing Mount Gower. There was not a single day short of activities!
Lord Howe Island is so far from anywhere that the islands animal and plant life has resulted in a diverse range of flora and fauna which are found only on Lord Howe! It is world heritage listed, and you can see why, with pristine beaches and crystal clear water. All waters surrounding Lord Howe have been declared a Marine Park with more than 500 species of fish, and 90 species of coral.
We really had stepped off the edge of the earth, a paradise that felt so faraway from anywhere, full of so much beauty, it was nearly surreal. Lord Howe Island I will definitely be seeing you again!
Must do’s at Lord Howe
Dive and/or snorkel the Lagoon (watch out for sharks! Was excited to say this was my first time diving with reef sharks)
Feed the fish at Ned’s beach (giant mullet, wrasse, emperor fish, and king-fish)
Swim with the turtles at North Bay
Climb Mount Gower (warning: Not for the faint hearted, this walk takes guts!)
Loll in the crystal clear waters full of total bliss
Best Guide to take you bushwalking:
Jack Shick from Sea to Summit Expeditions is an unreal guide to take you up Mount Gower (rated one of Australias top day walks). Best to go with a guide, as this walk is not for the faint hearted! Jack follows in the footseps of his grandfather, and his father, both mountain guides before him. The islands rare flora and fauna on this walk will blow you away, if you make it to the top, it looks like a magical fairyland covered in moss and lush plant life like you would not believe.
Ph: (02) 65632218
Best place to go diving:
Prodive Lord Howe Island, Shed 2, Lagoon Road
Ph: (612) 65632253
Any surprises on Lord Howe?:
There is no mobile phone reception, and hardly any internet, so it really does give you the chance to truly getaway from everyday life. It really is as they say “the last paradise”.
Thank you to my beautiful mum for taking me on the trip of a lifetime!