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Joy at Lord Howe

It has World Heritage-listed natural surroundings, and only 400 visitors are allowed at any given time.

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Imagine a tiny outcrop in the Pacific Ocean, covered in lush greenery, surrounded by aquamarine waters, home to an untouched coral reef teeming with marine life – and only 400 visitors allowed at any given time.

National Geographic has named Lord Howe Island one of the world’s best destinations.

Others describe it as ‘Just Paradise’.

Lord Howe Island Lagoon Beach

Lord Howe Island is a quick two-hour flight from Australia’s east coast. Now is the perfect time to visit – and experience the joy of its World Heritage-listed natural surroundings.

Marine life

Delight in the pristine waters surrounding Lord Howe Island, a unique mix of warm tropical and cool temperate ocean currents, home to over 450 fish species and 90 species of coral, many of which can only be found here.

Lord Howe Island coral reef

A wonderful way to see the reef, colourful fish and turtles is on a glass-bottom boat and snorkelling tour.

Hand-feed the fish at Ned’s Beach Special Purpose Zone, which is protected by a no-take area. Your guests will include eager mullet, wrasse, garfish, silver drummer, spangled emperor and bluefish, all so close you can find yourself in a swirl of colourful scales and fins!

Ned’s Beach feeding the fish

Enjoy snorkelling in the iridescent blue playground that surrounds the island, where scores of seabirds nest.

On the water

The world’s southernmost coral reef protects a crystal-clear lagoon perfect for swimming and other water sports. Plot your escape to Lord Howe to coincide with one of four Ocean Swim Weeks held throughout the year or the Summer Festival (the next event will be held in 2023).

Lord Howe Island turtles

The Lord Howe Island Marine Park is one of the best diving spots in the world, with more than 60 dive sites and many that remain undiscovered.

Marvel at the underwater world around Ball’s Pyramid, the world’s tallest sea stack (551 metres), which is home to a unique coral community with giant fan corals as well as rare Spanish dancers and the rare and protected Ballina angelfish.

Lord Howe Island Ball’s Pyramid

Hiking

The Mount Gower hike is rated as one of the country’s best day walks. A challenging eight-hour 14-km return trek, it includes rope-assisted climbs and dizzying drops, and you’ll need the services of a guide.  There are gentle walks too, such as Valley of the Shadows amid groves of Banyan trees and Kentia palms. On the Malabar Hill walk, look out for the spot red-tailed tropicbirds perform their spectacular airborne courting displays.

Mount Gower, part of the Seven Peaks Walk on Lord Howe Island

Fishing

Catch garfish from the shore or join a fishing tour and head outside the reef to catch wahoo, kingfish, trevally and yellowfin tuna. Commercial fishing is not allowed within the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, so you’ll find an abundance of fish. Be sure to check the regulations before you head out as there are sanctuary zones in the marine park and limits apply on certain species.

Lord Howe Island paddle boarding

Accommodation

Choices range from budget guesthouses, family-friendly self-contained apartments, to exclusive luxury lodges. We highlight here Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island’s premium luxury retreat.

This ultra-luxe lodge is committed to protecting its paradisiacal island habitat, home to many rare and endemic species. The Lodge uses solar panels to generate 80 per cent of power and rainwater tanks to provide 75 per cent of water, making use of natural ventilation, EcoSmart gas fireplaces that run off green energy, refillable amenity bottles, and an award-winning recycling program. Food miles are almost nil: the island’s fishermen deliver their catch straight to the lodge, to be served with vegetables from the kitchen garden and foraged sea herbs.

A night at this exclusive resort will set you back about $1000, twin share.

In association with Destination NSW

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