Why Lord Howe Island is a slice of must-visit paradise

Lord Howe Island, NSW. Credit: Jordan Robbins

Mia Woolrich

Posted January 17, 2022

Lord Howe Island, a tiny World Heritage-listed island that lies less than two hours by plane from Sydney and Brisbane, feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

With only 400 visitors welcomed on the island at any one time, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled across your own private slice of paradise where you’re free to choose your own adventure.

Whether it’s exploring one of the world’s most spectacular coral reefs or hiking up a lush mountain to spot some exotic wildlife, Lord Howe is a nature lovers' dream.

Or, if putting the feet up is more your holiday vibe, the island also has you covered, offering a bounty of pristine beaches and laid-back experiences.

So, whether you want to do a lot, or do very little, this unspoilt slice of paradise is waiting, and we’ve compiled a list of the very best Lord Howe has to offer.

Take a walk

Since the island is only 11 km long, one of the best ways to admire the scenery is by foot. A leisurely option is the 1.5-hour return trip to Little Island.

This beautiful walk takes you past Salmon Beach and the subtropical rainforest at the base of the island’s highest mountain, Mount Gower.

For more of a challenge, and a very worthwhile one at that, we recommend embarking on a Mount Gower climb. Noted as one of the best day treks in the world, this demanding 8-hour walk is only accessible with a guide.

Best to be skipped by those with a fear of heights, the summit is reached with some rope-assisted climbing and dizzying drops. You’ll be rewarded at the top with some breathtaking views and you’ll also likely encounter some of the island’s rarest wildlife, including the endemic Lord Howe woodhen.

Discover the spectacular coral reef

Lord Howe is home to the world’s most southerly coral reef, and exploring its beauty is a must-do for any visitor. A laid-back option is to jump on a glass bottom boat tour, where you’ll be treated to the vibrant colours of the reef's coral and fish life without having to get we

Snorkelers will find paradise at Ned’s Beach, where you can head out to the edge of the reef to catch a glimpse of a clown fish, double header wrasse, and even a small Galapagos shark.

The clear, open-ocean water and variety of underwater geography also provides some fantastic diving conditions. The dive operator on the island offers the chance to explore a selection of 50 dive sites, with options ranging from relaxed shallow water dives to more adventurous expeditions.


snorkelling, Ned's Beach. Lord Howe Island

Enjoy some snorkelling at Ned's Beach. Credit: Destination NSW

A sport for everyone

Lord Howe has something to keep everyone entertained. Fishing enthusiasts are spoiled for choice, with a variety of charter boats ready to take you out for a couple of hours or the day.

It’s very unlikely you’ll leave empty handed, with the island’s waters being home to some big fish like kingfish, yellowfin tuna and wahoo.

Kayaking is also a great way to explore the island from the water. The clear, glassy water around the reef makes for a serene experience where the most noise you’ll hear is a gentle breeze and the occasional sea bird.

There’s also the option to take a short kayak trip to Rabbit Island, where you can hop off and go for a short hike to capture a great view of Lord Howe.

Golfers will delight in the island’s lush nine-hole course. Dubbed as being one of the most exciting in Australia, the course hugs the island’s coastline and meanders through the lush Kentia Palm Forest.


The island is perfect for fishing. Credit: Destination NSW
Test your balance with stand up paddle boarding. Credit: Destination NSW
Take a walk around Mount Gower. Credit: Destination NSW

Bask on a pristine beach

With over 15 beaches dotted around the island you’ll be sure to find a secluded nook to bask the day away.

The Lagoon is a breathtakingly beautiful beach close to the ‘action’ on Lord Howe and is the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset with little to no crowds.

Old Settlement Beach is another picturesque spot to relax the day away in peace. This is also the place to swim with the island’s magnificent turtles and explore the sea grass beds.

Make sure to bring some supplies with you too, the beachside BBQ is a great spot to cook up a lunchtime feast.


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