Lord Howe Island – A Eco Conscious Place

02/11/2014

Lord Howe Island - A Eco Conscious Place

Lord Howe Island – A Eco Conscious Place

They say a couple of days in an island restores the soul. Long stretches of white sand along beautiful ocean means relaxation. Just kick off the shoes and sink your toes into the water. Australia is blessed with 8222 islands and they are very special places. Each is a little world unto itself: a unique experiment in life, an opportunity for animals and plants to operate differently.

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island

David Attenborough once wrote that Lord Howe is “so extraordinary it is almost unbelievable…Few islands, surely, can be so accessible, so remarkable, yet so unspoilt.” And indeed, it is. As far as untouched paradises go, Lord Howe is quite literally one of the world’s best. In 1982, this was the first island on the planet to be inscribed on the World Heritage List – a privilege that’s only been extended to four other island groups since.

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Unless you have access to a boat, the only way to get to a Lord Howe Island holiday is to fly. And  despite first impressions, Lord Howe is not Hawaii. For starters, it’s just 10km long and 2km wide, and it is small on the population front, too – just 400 visitors are allowed on the island at any one time, making any stay feel secluded and exclusive, perfect for a romantic getaway. Arriving by air ensures you’re properly acquainted with what is widely regarded as the most beautiful island in the entire Pacific, before you even step off the plane.

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With few cars, a maximum speed limit of 25 km/h and no high-rises or mobile phone coverage, the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island transports you back to childhood summers where days stretched on forever.

The twin peaks of Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower are real mountains that dominate the island’s southern end. You can then make out a 6 km-long blue lagoon encircled by the most southerly coral reef in the world. Behind this are isolated beaches accessible only by sea kayak, on foot, and populated by hundreds of thousands of seabirds.
But Lord Howe is not just a pretty face.
It is recognised to be the Galapagos of Australia. People talk about the Galapagos Islands because of Darwin’s connection, but there’s more diversity on Lord Howe Island and it’s so intact – the island is very much as it was when it was first discovered. Due to its isolation, the island is an “in situ” conservation of many rare and endemic species – almost half its 241 native plant species are found nowhere else in the world; the same goes for both the island’s reptiles, a skink and a gecko, and almost a thousand insect species.

double rainbow

Things To Do:

  • Climb Mt Gower, the ‘Everest of Lord Howe’. Although the trek to its summit plateau, at 875 m, can only be done with a guide, it is still widely regarded as one of Australia’s toughest day walks. It takes a full eight hours of walking and clambering, much of the track is unmarked and there are sections so steep that fixed ropes have been put in to help you climb up – and down. It’s a full-body workout and the rewards are worth it.
  • SCUBA diving and snorkelling trips and sunset cruises in the lagoon .
  • Fish-feeding at Ned’s Beach is free; just BYO stale bread and toss it to the metre-long kingfish that come to the shallows every afternoon.
  • Go birdwatching
  • Pick up a copy of A Rambler’s Guide to Lord Howe Island from the museum and walk the island’s many trails.
  • Climb Mt Gower with Sea to Summit Expeditions or take a combined glass-bottomed boat and snorkelling tour with Lord Howe Environmental Tours
  •  Arrange a boat transfer to an outer surf reef

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