10 things to do on Lord Howe Island

Undiscovered and unspoiled by man for almost 7 million years, Lord Howe is a diamond amongst the rough seas of the pacific. The island with UNESCO world heritage status only allows 400 visitors at any time, so you should feel like a VIP the minute you step from the plane onto the narrow runway which stretches the breadth of Lord Howe.

With a motor speed limit of only 25km/hr you’re not going anyway fast, so sit back, relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery and discover flora and fauna you won’t see anywhere else on the planet. Once you’re settled in, here are 10 things to do on Lord Howe island:

1. Have your breath taken away on the arrival flight

The descent and landing onto Lord Howe in one of the tiny QantasLink propeller planes is the type of scenic flight experience you’ll never forget, akin to flying over the Grand Canyon or the Heart Reef in the Whitsundays. After you catch glimpse of the island on the horizon, you’ll feel like you are approaching the setting to a new Jurassic Park movie. Landing over Blinky Beach, seeing the bubbling waters come so close that you feel you can almost touch the waves is a thrilling experience. Get your camera ready!

Arrival into Lord Howe and view of coral reef

2. Explore the pristine reef

The world’s most southerly coral reef is home to over 500 species of fish and 90 different types of coral in the crystal-clear lagoon to the west of the island. We visited in the winter and braved a snorkelling trip when the water was a cool 18oC but were rewarded with exquisite visibility and the sighting of two galapagos sharks. For those who don’t want to get wet, the glass-bottom boat trips come highly recommended.

3. Climb Mount Gower

Rated as one of the best day treks on Earth, the 8 hour return hike up Mount Gower (875m) provides incredible views topped with an adrenaline rush from rope-assisted climbing sections and narrow pathways beside sheer drops down to the ocean.

4. Bike to the “CBD”

The tongue-in-cheek “CBD” is a small stretch on the main road which is home to the Post Office, supermarket, town hall and couple of souvenir shops and cafes. Grab a coffee and cake at one of the cafes to refresh you following your exertion.

Coffee in the CBD

5. Visit the tallest rock in the world

Take a day’s boat trip to Balls Pyramid and be amazed at the sheer size and grandeur of the gigantic rock jutting from the waves. Spot an array of seabirds and dolphins en route and be prepared to capture it all on your camera.

6. Walk to Little Island

Imagine you are the first explorers on the island as you walk along the easy 40 minute return track to Little Island which hugs the sparkling coastline through natural forest. Take a packed lunch or a bottle of wine and pause to take in the spectacular vistas. In the winter you can call down the rare and friendly Petrels (seabirds) who may even sit in your lap.

Walk to Little Island

7. Spot a woodhen and see the kentia palm

Lord Howe is the only known home to the woodhen, a flightless bird saved from extinction by local conservationists. It is also world-renowned for being the native growing spot for the kentia palm, the most popular palm for the past 140 years. If you are keen to learn more about the flora and fauna on the island join a tour with local naturalist Ian Hutton (who also does an evening talk each Friday in the library at the Capella Lodge).

Spot a woodhen

8. Feed the fish at Ned’s beach

Voted Australia’s cleanest beach in 2005, Ned’s beach has a stunning setting and is an excellent place for snorkelling. It’s also home to some very friendly (and hungry) fish who will literally jump from the waves to receive the food you can purchase at the kiosk.

9. Play a round of golf at the island club

Make friends with the locals as you play 18 holes on one of the most charming and challenging courses in Australia. Course experience is key so aim where the locals are hitting and not where the flag is!

10. Dine at, or stay in, the Capella Lodge

Part of the Baillie collection of luxury Lodges, the Capella commands the island’s million dollar views over Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower. The rooms (in particular the Lidgbird suite) are beautiful places to relax, but if you aren’t staying you can still enjoy the awesome views from the restaurant along with your meal made up of the island’s freshest produce, home-baked breads and flavoured butters (paprika, saffron, cumin) and deconstructed desserts.

Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower

Comments (3)

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  1. Dave Pope says:

    That’s a great article.

    Capella Lodge really is a beautiful property and a perfect part of any luxury holiday to Australia.

    Great to see an article promoting something other than the obvious down under

    Dave Pope

  2. Sanjayant Sahasrabuddhe says:

    It’s really nice to read about Lord Howe,I was there in 1985,when my ship had propeller problem,but looks lot has changed now,have they abolished the culture of Friday Fish Fry,is the butcher still sell’s fuel?Is the wine shop still under Town council?
    It is really nice to recall things down memory lane.
    Hope island is still having old world charm,and not and will not get spoiled like other such locations.
    Greetings and thanks to residents of “LH”

  3. Chris says:

    Stunningly beautiful. A place I was unaware of until coming across this post.So much to do for the keen outdoors enthusiast like me, but also for peace and reflection. Thank you.

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