The Stunning World Heritage Listed Lord Howe Island

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We are heading to Lord Howe Island next year for a family holiday so will report back first-hand on what sounds like an extraordinary Australian destination. ED Kevin Parker

Lord Howe Island is a beautiful World Heritage Listed Australian island located in the Tasman Sea, east of Port Macquarie. It is characterized by sandy beaches, subtropical forests, and clear waters. The island covers an area of 5.618 square miles and has a population of 347 people as of 2006.

To get to Lord Howe Island from the Australian mainland, you can take a flight. QantasLink offers regular flights from Sydney, and there are also regular flights from Port Macquarie and Newcastle. The flight duration is approximately two hours, making it a convenient and accessible destination.

In terms of visitor numbers, there are restrictions in place to preserve the island’s natural beauty and protect its delicate ecosystem. Only 400 tourists are permitted on the island at any given time. This limitation ensures that the island does not become overcrowded and allows visitors to fully enjoy its tranquility and natural surroundings.

What to Do?

You won’t get bored on Lord Howe Island. You can relax on the beach or go for a hike. The island is known for some of the world’s best day hikes, including the challenging 8-hour Mount Gower trek. At the end of the hike, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the island, its lagoon, and the vast Pacific Ocean.

The island is also a great place for snorkeling. It’s home to the world’s southernmost coral reef, filled with colorful corals and fish. You might even see a sea turtle while you’re exploring the waters!

When it comes to beaches, Ned’s Beach is a favorite. Here, you can feed schools of fish by hand. This beach is also a great spot for snorkeling and surfing, and you can easily rent equipment there. If you’re looking for a family-friendly beach, Lagoon Beach is a good choice. It’s close to cafes, picnic areas, and a small museum. For a quieter experience, try Old Settlement Beach, where you might see green and hawksbill turtles.

Stunning-Neds-Beach-Lord-Howe-Island
The Stunning Neds Beach Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is committed to protecting its environment and doesn’t allow cars. This helps reduce the island’s environmental impact. The island is home to unique species, like the Lord Howe Island stick insect and the Lord Howe Woodhen. You can learn more about the island’s unique ecology and conservation efforts on an eco-tour.

Keep in mind that Lord Howe Island is a living ecosystem. It’s important to respect the local plants and animals during your visit to ensure that this beautiful place remains untouched for future generations to enjoy.

Rich Biodiversity

Lord Howe Island is known for its rich and diverse flora and fauna, both on land and in the surrounding marine environment.

Flora of Lord Howe Island

The vegetation on Lord Howe Island ranges from exposed coastal grasses and heath to lush mossy rainforests, shrouded in mist. The island is home to a variety of unique and endemic plant species. Some notable examples include the Lord Howe Island Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana), which is native to the island and highly valued as an indoor plant worldwide.

lord_howe_island_hibiscus_brian_walters_Lagunaria_patersonia
Lord Howe Island Hibiscus. Credit Brian Walters

Other endemic plant species include the Lord Howe Island Hibiscus (Hibiscus insularis), Lord Howe Island Orchid (Dendrobium moorei), and Lord Howe Island Banyan (Ficus macrophylla subsp. columnaris).

Fauna of Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is home to a diverse range of animal species, including birds, reptiles, and insects.
The island is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 170 sea and land bird species visiting or residing on the island. Visitors can enjoy observing various bird species, including the Lord Howe Woodhen (Gallirallus sylvestris), Lord Howe Island Currawong (Strepera graculina crissalis), and Lord Howe Island Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis tephropleurus).

Two species of reptiles, the Lord Howe Island Gecko (Christinus guentheri) and the Lord Howe Island Skink (Cyclodina lichenigera), are indigenous to the island.

The island is also known for its unique insect species, such as the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect (Dryococelus australis) and the Lord Howe Stag Beetle (Lamprima insularis).

The Lord Howe Flax Snail is another endemic species found on the island.

Marine Life of Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is renowned for its diverse and vibrant marine ecosystem.

The island’s marine park is home to over 500 fish species and more than 80 coral species, making it a paradise for snorkelers and divers. Snorkeling just a few meters from the shore allows visitors to witness the incredible diversity of fish, coral, algae, and associated marine creatures.

The marine communities at Lord Howe Island are globally unique, containing thousands of tropical, subtropical, and temperate species, including some endemic to the area. The marine park supports several thousand species of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the region, and new species are still being discovered.

Lord Howe Island offers a remarkable opportunity to experience and appreciate the beauty and biodiversity of both its terrestrial and marine environments.

Where to Stay?

You’ll find a variety of places to stay on Lord Howe Island, from luxury lodges to cozy guesthouses. To make sure you have a place to stay, book your flight and accommodation at the same time. QantasLink offers regular flights to the island, which you can book online. If you want to make your trip planning even easier, consider buying a complete holiday package, which includes flights, accommodation, and activities on the island.

It’s worth noting that due to the limited number of visitors allowed on the island, it is advisable to book your accommodation well in advance to secure your preferred option.

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