Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island
World Heritage – listed Lord Howe Island, 700 kilometres north – east of Sydney, packs a stunning array of landscapes into its diminutive 1455 hectares.A surge of volcanic activity pushed the island out of the sea 7 million years ago; a splinter of land remains, measuring 11 km north to south and 2 km across. The island was settled in the 1830s but, due to its isolation, the pace of development was, at best, slow.lastbeds,
The island remains low-key and free of major tourist development. A reserve protects around 75 percent of the total land area and resident and tourist numbers are kept at sustainable levels. Travellers, lured to the island by the promise of tranquillity, white sands and tropically clear waters, might come away budding naturalists. Bushwalking, bird watching, snorkelling and eco-touring are great ways to experience the island’s natural wonders – with time – out for surfing, fishing, tennis and golf. Visitors travel to the island by regular flights from Sydney and Brisbane and around the island on foot or bicycle.cheap hotel rooms
Settlement is confined to the northern third of the island where, along a narrow bank of land, an airstrip, a few shops and miniscule network of roads service the needs of 300 or so people lucky enough to call this beautiful spot home. Some 17properties (B & Bs, scaled – down resorts, apartments and motels) accommodate the 400 visitors on the island at any one time. The island has 10 beaches, many guarded at each end by high, craggy cliffs. On the east coast are Blinky Beach and the kentia-fringed Neds Beach, with good swells in the right conditions. A band of
heavily vegetated hills and cliffs come to an abrupt halt along the northern coast, offering good views but preventing easy access to the water’s edge. hotel rooms,The world’s southernmost coral reef rims the upper half of the west coast, creating The Lagoon, a 6 km long stretch of translucent, emerald –green water perfect for diving, snorkelling and swimming. A permanent reserve protects the southern half of the island. Here, amid the mists, subtropical forests of giant ferns, gnarled trees, orchids and ragged rocks drape the slopes of volcanic mountains, which reach their peak at the summit of Mount Gower (875 m)cheap accommodation,last minute beds,
Walking is not just a recreational activity on Lord How Island, but the main means of transport. Bird watching , the other main land – based pursuit, is highly recommended and , in fact, hard to avoid so large is the number of seabirds that congregate on the island’s many cliffs and outcrops. Malabar Hill, the highest point of Lord Howe’s northern end, looms above Neds Beach. last minute deals,Red-tailed tropic birds performing aerobatic antics and island views are the rewards for 45 – minute uphill hike. A stroll beneath the 20m high banyan palms of the Valley of the Shadows leads visitors to The Clear Place, where the view is of the southern mountains and beyond to the tip of Balls Pyramid. Superb views of the impenetrable north coast unfold from atop Mount Eliza, a 30- minute clime from North Beach. Here hundreds of sooty terns breed in summer and spring, and masked boobies and black-winged petrels soar and wheel around the cliffs. The island’s ultimate trek is to the mist – covered summit of Mount Gower. The walk is eight –hours return and should only be attempted in the company of an authorised guide. The unsigned, often precipitous track threads through a diverse range of vegetation, including, near the summit, patches of what is often referred to as” Hobbit” forest , a dense subtropical profusion of stunted trees, giant ferns and wispy orchids.top hotel deals
Equipped with snorkel and facemask, visitors can get up close to the 500 or so fish species and other marine creatures recorded in the Lord Howe waters, including a number of endemics species. Accessible spots include Neds Beach, Middle Beach, Sylphs Hole and North Bay. Glass – bottomed boats regularly take snorkelers further out to Comets and Erscotts holes, excellent spots in The Lagoon. Those keen to go deeper can don scuba gear and explore the region’s intricately structured underwater landscape, with its gutter, canyons and overhanging ledges. The Admiralty Island are probably the best spot: they have a steep drop to a submerged plateau teeming with fish. Fishing is a big drawcard in these fertile waters.hotel reservations, Charter boats make regular runs to offshore waters where kingfish, trevally and red emperor are target catches; for a less adrenalin – charged experience, there are jetties from which to dangle a line, and good surf-fishing along the east coast. Surfers head for the east coast, specifically Neds, Middle and Blinky beaches, for a range of uncrowded beach break framed by a backdrop of volcanic mountains and lush forest.