Why Visit Lord Howe Island Group – Best places to see in Australia
Lord Howe is not an easy place to get to.
A remarkable example of isolated oceanic islands, born of volcanic activity more than 2,000 m under the sea, these islands boast a spectacular topography and are home to numerous endemic species, especially birds.
Lord Howe Island Group – How to get there
Lord Howe Island is approximately 2 hr direct flying time with QantasLink from Sydney (daily), Brisbane (weekends) and Port Macquarie (weekly, seasonal).
Connecting services are available from most Australian state capital cities. This flight is one of the most expensive domestic flights in Australia.
Be aware that there are baggage weight and piece restrictions for all flights into Lord Howe Island. Service is by small aircraft.
Lord Howe Island Group – How to Visit
Travel on the island is primarily on foot as there is little that is very far away. There is/was a mini van that functions as a “bus” to transport you towards the airport, golf course (9 holes) and the mountainous (Mt. Lidgbird – 777m or 2,549 ft. and Mt. Gower – 875m or 2,870 ft.) south end of the island.
Bicycles (bikes) are also used by many to get around. Be advised that Lord Howe Island is part of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) and therefore NSW laws prevail. Those riding a bike are required to wear a helmet and the NSW constable residing on island can (and may) ticket infractions. Bikes and helmets are available for “hire” (rent).
Regardless of where you go on the island, if you anticipate that you might not return to your accommodation prior to the commencement of sunset, ensure that you carry a “torch” (flashlight) as you will need it. There are no streetlights on the island and dark is “DARK” once the sun sets. Get caught once and you will never again forget your torch. The island is small, but there is much to bump into when you cannot see.
What to see in Lord Howe Island Group
Look around, it is a beautiful place. The views from all vantage points are amazing.
It is reasonably inexpensive to hire a small, fixed wing, aircraft to make a flight out to, and around, Balls Pyramid, the remnant of an extinct volcano that juts out of the ocean about 23km (14 miles) SE of Lord Howe Island. As there are also boat charters to this, the World’s tallest sea stack at 551m (1,807 ft.) tall, you have an opportunity to experience some of the Australia’s best snorkeling and scuba diving adventures.
On September 28th, 1948, a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Catalina flying boat crashed on Malabar Hill (towards the north end of the island) killing 7 RAAF crew members. Remnants of the aircraft still litter the crash site and, unfortunately, bear the signs of abuse (graffiti) attained over the years.
The story of the incident is available on-line and there are still residents who were present when the crash occurred. The walk to the crash site is not particularly strenuous and you will be exposed to a bit of the island history.
For an entirely different experience, don’t miss the return of the shearwater (locally known as mutton) birds at dusk each evening. The adult birds fly far out into the ocean to feed and to gather food for their young (residing in underground burrows until they are about three months old). When the birds return from their long journey they are at, or sometimes past, the point of exhaustion, and many “crash land” on the shore line. An amazing spectacle.
What and where to eat in Lord Howe Island Group
There are no “formal” restaurants on the island. Dining establishments are, generally, attached to guest residences and if you chose to eat at a particular location, you must make reservations prior to noon of that day, so that the facility can prepare sufficient food to accommodate those who will attend that evening. Menus are somewhat limited.
Tip: Do not forget to take your “torch” (flashlight) with you. You will need it to get to your guest house.
All guest houses offer the use of outdoor BBQ’s (grills), generally within steps of your accommodation. We frequently chose to “eat in”, as meats (from the frozen food case) were available at the small market(s) as were vegetables.
Where to sleep in Lord Howe Island Group – from budget to best lodging
There are limited choices on such a remote place, however services are good. Make reservations well in advance.
- Arajilla Lodge, Old Settlement Beach,Lord Howe Island NSW 2898, tel. +61 2 6563 2002 (email@example.com, fax: +61 2 6563 2022), . Doubles $650-$865.
- Capella Lodge, tel. +61 2 9918 4355 (fax: +61 2 9918 4381), . Doubles $550-590.
- Lorhiti Apartments, tel. +61 7 3366 8000 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 7 3366 8377). Doubles $90-250.
- Pinetrees, tel. +61 2 6563 2177 (fax: +61 2 6563 2156) . Doubles $300-310
For a map of of best places to see in Australia, and the location of Lord Howe, please check the map below.