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Lord Howe Island: The World’s Last 7 Miles of Paradise

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Lord Howe Island might not be the most bizarre tourist attraction, but it definitely is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. This tiny Australian island in the Tasman Sea is just a 2-hour flight from Sydney, which you can find off Australia’s eastern coast.

The island is just 7 miles long and between .19 and 1.24 miles wide, with 3,600 acres. Just 430 miles northeast of Sydney, this unique destination is rimmed by the world’s southernmost coral reef.

Lord Howe Island is a spectacular and untouched attraction for adventure lovers, boasting abundant wildlife and pristine beaches. If you plan to visit Lord Howe Island on your next vacation, you must collect essential information to ensure a memorable adventure.

What is Lord Howe Island Known For?

Lord Howe Island, Australia

Lord Howe Island is one of four globally listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for natural beauty. There’s a beautiful lagoon featured in the middle of the island, buffered by emerald mountains that provide a remarkable framework for your journey to this unique destination. 

This World Heritage Site is undoubtedly a paradise because everything is perfect here. Everything on this island is so well kept and mostly untouched, making it an ideal location to enjoy the beauty of nature. 

You won’t find 5-star hotels or Michelin eateries here. However, you will encounter an incredible quiet paradise that will deliver an unforgettable experience. Also, surrounded by a Marine Park, the marine life of this island is plentiful and pristine.

Though getting to Lord Howe Island is no cheap task, the sight offers countless activities for all age groups to keep them busy and entertained throughout their stay on the island.

See Related: Best Quiet Greek Islands to Visit on Holiday

History of The Last Paradise

Aerial view of Lord Howe Island in Australia
unicusx / Adobe Stock

Lord Howe Island may be tiny, but it reflects a fascinating history. The island includes a Lord Howe Museum covering its history, local heritage, shipwrecks, and nature.

The island was discovered by Europeans in 1788 by Royal Navy Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball. He named it after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Howe. It was first settled in 1834.  

You can learn everything about this paradise island at the Lord Howe Island Museum. If you’re interested in the deep history of this incredible place, do not skip a visit to the museum.

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Interesting Facts about Lord Howe Island

Aerial view of Lord Howe Island in Australia
Worldwide Pictures / Adobe Stock

Known as the “last paradise” of the world, Lord Howe Island is located around 600 km east of the Australian mainland. The island has long been famous for its lush forests, pristine natural atmosphere marked by volcanic peaks, coral reefs, serene lagoons, and prolific bird & marine life. Here are 10 top interesting facts about this UNESCO World Heritage Site are as follows: 

  1. Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball of HMS Supply first named this island in 1788. 
  2. It is crescent-shaped – 2 miles wide and 7 miles long, encompassing around 4.62 square miles. 
  3. The island’s current population is around 380 residents, with tourists limited to just 400 per day. 
  4. It is home to around 90 coral species and 500 fish species.
  5. The signature plants of this island are – palm trees. 
  6. This island has no vicious animals, including stinging insects, dangerous sharks, and snakes. 
  7. Ned’s Beach is the most famous swimming spot on the island. 
  8. The island features the most famous plant – the Kentia palm. Highly popular with hotels worldwide, this is a beautiful decorative plant for indoor settings.
  9. Lord Howe Island Airport was opened in 1975.
  10. The island features two volcanic mountains in the south – Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower. Mount Gower is the highest section of the island.

See Related: Best Time to go to Mackinac Island

Choose “The Last Paradise” As Your Next Travel Destination

Lord Howe Island

The uniqueness and beauty of Lord Howe Island make it an inviting destination for tourists across the globe. Since this paradise offers lots of activities, everyone has the chance to have a great time here.

From couples to families to friends and others, this magical island is a perfect destination for a relaxing, nature-filled escape. Couples looking for a romantic getaway can rent a beachside bungalow, enjoy the island’s wilderness, and do water activities to fulfill their adventurous side.

Families with kids can enjoy a leisurely bike ride on the main street, Lagoon Road. With 8 miles of street space, properly marked bike tracks, and low-speed limits, bicycles are the easiest way to travel around this island. You can use bicycles from your lodge or rent one from local bike rental shops.

Take a bike, ride to the beach to dip into the ocean, and find something to eat. You can also wander around the island to explore its beauty. If you prefer two feet over two wheels, walking to any destination on the island is super easy. 

Top Attractions of Lord Howe Island

There are several attractions to visit on Lord Howe Island, and some of them are as follows:

1. Ned’s Beach

Ned's Beach

Ned’s Beach is definitely one of the best spots on Lord Howe. The beach is famous for its insane beauty and fish feeding. Walking, snorkeling, and outdoor BBQs are some popular activities that you can do on this beach. 

2. Lagoon Beach

Lagoon Beach

Boasting crystal clear water, this beach features fish and coral near shore. Surrounded by incredible natural beauty, this is a perfect place to walk, sunbathe, swim, kayak, snorkel, and paddleboard. 

You can rent your desired equipment at the seashore to enjoy your favorite activity. Also, as Lagoon Beach is sheltered, it makes an ideal stop for people who are uncomfortable in deep water and want to enjoy the view. 

See Related: Things to Do in Long Beach

3. Mount Gower

Mount Gower

If you’re a mountain person, do not skip a visit to Mount Gower. This mountain is another beautiful attraction of Lord Howe Island, surrounded by clear waters and lush greenery. 

The exciting part about Mt. Gower is that it is the highest point on Lord Howe Island, standing tall at 875 meters. Also, it is rated as one of the best day walks in Australia

4. Lord Howe Island Museum

Lord Howe Island Museum

Lord Howe Island Museum is a must-visit for collecting background information about the island and its natural history. The place features so much info, impressive displays, and helpful staff. 

The information in the museum can give you a deep insight into the island’s local history. The museum is next level on this sleepy island. You will also find a cafe with internet access here. 

See Related: Museums in the US You Need to Visit

5. Lord Howe Island Walking Trails

Lord Howe Island Walking Trails

Regardless of your fitness level, there are several incredible hikes to explore on this spectacular island. Some of the most visited walking trails lead to Goat House Cave, Kim’s Lookout, Malabar Hill, Intermediate Hill, and Mount Gower. 

No matter which one you cover first, all these hikes offer panoramic views of the best-kept beauty of this place. 

Moreover, if you’re looking for a good, flatter hike in wet weather, you can go for Stevens Reserve. This 1.2 km track is an ideal introductory walk to learn about the scenic flora and fauna of the island. 

Things to Do on Lord Howe Island

Best Things to Do on Lord Howe Island, snorkeling

Lord Howe Island sits at the conjunction of five major ocean currents, which allow tourists to see a unique mixture of sea life that is hard to find anywhere else. Though you have listed things you want to do on the island, the real adventure begins when you land at the island’s airport.

Here’s a quick list of things that you can do with your family and friends on Lord Howe Island:

  • Hike to the top of Malabar Hill to enjoy the view of the sunrise. It will take you around half an hour to reach the top.
  • Head up to Kim’s Lookout to watch the sunset. This is one of the highest points on Lord Howe, and it also offers views of Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower.
  • Take a day to hike to Mount Gower, the highest point on the island. This 8-hour-long hike is one of the best things to do on Lord Howe Island.
  • Hike to the Goat House Cave. Getting to the cave usually takes up to an hour and a half.
  • Go snorkeling with the turtles.
  • Take a boat tour to explore the island.
  • Hand-feed the fish on Ned’s Beach.
  • Look out for shooting stars in the night while lying on Ned’s Beach and Blinky Beach.
  • Cycle around the Lord Howe Island. It generally takes 20 minutes to cycle from one corner of the island to the other.

In addition, the island also offers several other activities, such as scuba diving, wakeboarding, windsurfing, paddleboarding, birdwatching, and fishing.

Birdwatching on the island

When it comes to water sports, scuba diving is the crown jewel available on the island. Untouched coral reefs, caves, volcanic drop-offs, and trenches only enhance the awe-inspiring underwater views.

You can also consider exploring Rabbit Island, Old Settlement Beach, and other beaches of North Bay to cherish nature’s beauty.

See Related: The Island of the Dolls: What to See & Do

Accommodation on the Lord Howe Island

Accommodation on the Lord Howe Island

Unlike other sub-tropical destinations, Lord Howe Island has a fixed limit on the number of visitors it can accommodate every night. The tiny Australian island can host only 400 visitors simultaneously, helping it maintain its laid-back lifestyle. It also offers visitors the chance to truly get away from the hustle of modern life for a while. 

You can find around 18 accommodation options on the island, including bungalows, guest houses, rental apartments, and lodges, allowing you to pick one that meets your needs. Some of the accommodation options on the island are as follows:

1. Arajilla Retreat

Arajilla Retreat

This is a family-owned and operated property in the island’s northern part. The facility has 12 luxury suites, some featuring two bedrooms, making them comfortable for families and friends.

2. Capella Lodge

Capella Lodge

This lodge is a premium luxury retreat committed to providing guests with the ultimate island castaway experience. It includes nine modern suites that reflect the pristine natural environment of Lord Howe Island.

3. Admiralty Apartments 

Admiralty Apartments 

Located at beautiful Ned’s Beach, this property is a newly built luxury accommodation on the island. It offers two contemporary spacious apartments with private decks, allowing guests to enjoy water views through the palm forest. 

4. Somerset Apartments 

Somerset Apartments Garden
Image by

Sitting in the island’s center, this property is close to the nearby shops and restaurants. You can walk and bike to your desired place anytime.  A few minutes from Ned’s Beach, guests staying at this property can walk to the beach to snorkel, swim, and hand-feed the fish. 

Additionally, since the island has a tourist bed limit of 400, booking your hotel simultaneously while making flight reservations to ensure you get a place to stay is mandatory.

The best part? If you visit this island during the off-season, you can find rooms at the best available prices, starting at just $55 per night.

See Related: How to Experience the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Dining Options on the Lord Howe Island

Interior of dinning room in Arajilla Restaurant, Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island / Facebook

Regarding dining options on Lord Howe Island, you’ll find several contemporary dining establishments that offer a full-service experience. Multiple lovely eatery spots exist, including Coral Cafe, Arajilla Restaurant, Sunset Bar & Grill, Thompson’s Store, and Anchorage Restaurant.

You can visit any of these places to try different foods and beverages. You can also place online orders for your favorite ingredients at your desired address if you have a self-service kitchen to cook in.

With 11 beautiful beaches on the island, we recommend you try local seafood, as you will find a wide variety. Simple, fresh, healthy, and delicious is what you will get in the cuisine here. 

Also, grilling kingfish on the beachside with your family and friends is truly an out-of-this-world experience if you’ve never done it. Such small things make this island even more special!

The Best Time to Visit Lord Howe Island

The Best Time to Visit Lord Howe Island

The right time to visit Lord Howe Island is from September to May. You can also consider making a plan for winters (from June to August in that part of the world) as the weather is usually sunny and warm during the day, without being scorching. 

Also, winters on this World Heritage-listed paradise offer a range of activities that reflect the biodiversity and wildlife of this island. 

See Related: Best Beaches on the East Coast of Australia

Weather on Lord Howe Island 

Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird in Lord Howe Island, Australia
Grantat / Adobe Stock

Lord Howe has a subtropical climate, with rain, mild winters, and warm summers. The island experiences a gradual transition from winter to summer conditions and vice versa. 

The average maximum temperature in winter lies between 17 and 20 Celcius (62 and 68 Fahrenheit). Conversely, in summer, the average maximum temperature on the island ranges between 24 and 27 Celcius (75 and 81 Fahrenheit). 

If we’re talking about the rain on the island, you risk seeing rain any time of year. The driest months are generally between October and March, with January being the driest.

How to Get to Lord Howe Island

Panoramic view of Lord Howe Island Coasts in Australia
Zorro Stock images / Adobe Stock

Remote and world heritage listed – Lord Howe Island is the best-kept secret of Australia. Located between New Zealand and New South Wales in Australia, getting to this green wonderland might be challenging. However, this paradisiacal location is worth a visit! 

Wondering how to get to this island? Well, there are two ways to get to Lord Howe Island. Let’s look at them:

1. Get to Lord Howe Island by Boat

Get to Lord Howe Island by Boat

If you’re an adventurous soul, one option to get to Lord Howe is taking a boat across the Tasman Sea. Sounds pretty exciting, right? Well, it is! Thrilling!

If you own a private boat, you’re all set to sail. But you can charter one from the mainland if you don’t have one. Boat rental prices may vary widely depending on the type of boat. But don’t expect to pay under $1,500 for one day. 

Also, since it’s a 5-day journey from Sydney, you might need boating experience and all the necessary certifications to ensure you can fill in on the crew.  Moreover, you must contact the Lord Howe Island Board to request a mooring spot by applying online before setting sail. 

Since the island has only 16 public mooring spots, you must reserve one in advance. Though mooring rates fluctuate hugely, the average cost is $50 for a night. 

Furthermore, the mooring is around 1 km from the beach, so you need a dinghy to get to the shore. As this option to get to Lord Howe is a little challenging and complicated, keeping it as your Plan B is recommended. 

2. Get to Lord Howe Island by Air 

Get to Lord Howe Island by Air 

Besides boating, air transportation to the island is the only means of transportation. Sydney and Brisbane are the only two airports that serve flights to this paradise. 

Also, you will see that most of the flights are from Sydney, as flights leave every day. Whereas, if you’re traveling from Brisbane, you must wait until the weekend for the direct flight. Moreover, booking a flight to the island with Qantas Airlines is ideal as it is affordable and convenient. 

PRO TIP: A roundtrip flight may cost around $650 to $1,250. However, you can get cheap air tickets during the winter season by making prior reservations. We recommend you check out Skyscanner or (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) too!

See Related: Ways to Book an Around the World Ticket

Plan a Trip to Lord Howe Island

Plan a Trip to Lord Howe Island

The island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and more than 75% of the island’s natural vegetation remains intact. From pristine beaches to gorgeous sunrise & sunset views to unmatched greenery to breathtaking scenery, this is a must-visit tourist destination, especially for nature lovers. 

The island contains some of the world’s rarest birds, 241 species of indigenous plants, and around 1,600 native insects. Though there are hundreds of insect species, the Lord Howe Island Phasmid is one of the most spectacular and rare native insects.

Beyond its extraordinary marine life and relatively undisturbed terrestrial wildlife, the eco-tourism and sustainability of the island help it maintain its almost pristine natural environment. 

Young or old, with family, friends, or alone, Lord Howe Island offers something unique to everyone in a completely accessible and affordable way. This island should be on your bucket list for this year’s visit. Visit Lord Howe Island, Australia, to make the most of your holidays!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any other names for Lord Howe Island?

Yes. This beautiful island is also known as Ball’s Pyramid Area, part of the Mutton Bird Islands and the Admiralty Group.

Are there any threats to Lord Howe Island?

Sadly, yes. The small size, isolated geographical location, and limited access make this island an area for various standard and identifiable threats to the ecosystem. Some well-known threats are climate change, marine debris, and pest species.

How many days are enough to explore Lord Howe Island?

If traveling to Lord Howe Island for the first time, you need 4 to 5 days to explore the island’s endless beauty. As this World Heritage-listed paradise offers so much to its visitors, people from around the world visit this island every year.

From multiple-day hikes to scuba diving, exploring caves, snorkeling on the coral reef, and feeding fishes on Ned’s Beach, you need to spend a minimum of 4 days to enjoy the striking natural beauty of this breathtaking tourist destination.

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