With a lagoon that looks like Bora Bora’s and mountains towering to the heavens that are home to species of animals and birds you won’t see anywhere else on this planet, is it any wonder Lord Howe Island became World-Heritage listed?
That there can be so much to see on a strip of land 11 kilometres by two kilometres (at its widest point) defies belief. For this is one of the world’s last paradises, enjoyed by a very small number of visitors each year (restrictions apply on the number of tourists allowed in, ensuring Lord Howe’s uniqueness continues forever).
Framed by crashing surf, Lord Howe Island is home to the world’s southern most coral reef. However, on Lord Howe Island you have the choice of swimming in its protected lagoon, or taking a short walk to the other side of the island to sand-bottomed beaches, where at times the surf crashes right to shore. But experiencing nature at its finest is not even Lord Howe’s strongest drawcard. It’s the people, a fascinating collection of fourth-fifth-and sixth generation locals and artistic drop-outs from the mainland, who create an ambience of such friendliness and character they’ll have to drag you kicking and screaming to your plane ride out.
Why you’ll love Lord Howe Island
Because the natural beauty served up on Lord Howe Island is as good as anywhere in the South Pacific; be it perfect, blue lagoons, untouched bushland, empty, perfect swimming bays or the unusual alpine forests to be found at the top of Mt Gower, Lord Howe Island will be one of the most striking islands you’ll ever visit.
Best suits the couple who
Love the simple things. If you need to be enter tained constantly on holiday, Lord Howe Island is not the place for you. Lord Howe is for couples who appreciate life at its simplest; morning swims in sunny lagoons, snorkels by off-shore reefs, meeting locals at beach-side cafes and walking through nature understanding that many species of plants and animals grow nowhere else on the planet.
When is the best time to go to Lord Howe Island?
The ideal time to visit Lord Howe Island is during the months of September to May, which is considered the Australian spring, summer, and autumn. During this time, you can expect the best weather with warm temperatures and pleasant sea breezes. It is also the perfect time for swimming and snorkeling as the water is at its warmest. However, even during the winter months of June, July, and August, you can still enjoy warm and sunny days on the island. Additionally, visiting during winter offers the advantage of a quieter atmosphere.
Top romantic things to do on Lord Howe
Lord Howe Island has some of the world’s best day walks, but many are guided. Take a break instead for a day with your partner and find your own way – with a picnic hamper. Find the best views over the lagoon – with not a soul around – at Salmon Bay, stop for a swim inside the lagoon at Lovers Bay or make the two kilometre walk west to the sand-bottomed beaches of Middle, Neds and Blinky Beach – no doubt they’ll be yours to experience alone.
Watch sunrise at the top of Malabar Hill
If you want to witness a breathtaking sunrise, head to the top of Malabar Hill. To make the most of this experience, set your alarm clock 45 minutes before sunrise and embark on the Malabar Hill trek. The trail is relatively easy and well-marked, taking around 30 to 40 minutes to reach the summit. Bringing a torch or using your phone for illumination during the early morning darkness is advisable. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with numerous fantastic vantage points to watch the sunrise over the horizon. Since it’s still early and few people are ever on the island, you’ll likely have the hill all to yourself. The entire excursion can be completed in approximately two hours, allowing you to return in time for breakfast. It’s truly a remarkable way to start your day!
Hike Mt Gower
The Mt Gower hike on Lord Howe Island is a challenging and rewarding adventure. Standing at 875m high, Mt Gower is a prominent feature of the island’s landscape. The hike takes approximately 8 hours and is considered one of the top 10 best hikes in Australia. Due to its difficulty and low number of hikers per year, it is necessary to go with a guide who can navigate the trails. The cost for a guided hike is around AU$100 per person. Many visitors come to Lord Howe Island specifically to conquer Mt Gower and experience the breathtaking views from the summit.
Hit the water
If you’re looking for some beach and water activities on Lord Howe Island, you’re in luck! With 11 beautiful beaches, a stunning lagoon, and 10 surfing spots, there’s plenty of opportunities to hit the water. Make sure to buy reef-safe sunscreen from the operators along the lagoon to protect the delicate ecosystem. Blinky Beach is a popular spot for both swimming and surfing, while Old Settlement Beach offers the chance to spot turtles during high tide. Ned’s Beach is a great option for uncertain swimmers and children, as you can simply wade into the water and admire the coral, giant clams, stingrays, wrasse, and mullet.
Snorkel and dive
Lord Howe Island is home to a unique and diverse underwater ecosystem where tropical and cool waters converge, creating the world’s southernmost reef, teeming with rare corals, over 500 species of fish, and majestic green and hawksbill turtles. Snorkellers and divers have a plethora of breathtaking spots to explore, such as Erscott’s Hole and Lagoon Beach, which are easily accessible and offer stunning marine life. For a more adventurous experience, one can venture further to The Horseshoe, where vibrant neon-hued corals await, or explore Comets Hole, where encounters with stingrays and rock lobsters are possible. For the truly daring, summer night snorkelling offers a thrilling and unique opportunity to witness the underwater world in a whole new light.
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