If you can’t get to the Galapagos Islands, you can get virtually the same unique ecosystem experiences on Lord Howe Island. This isolated archipelago is home to stunning natural attractions, from pristine forest to a complete array of birds and other creatures that can be found only here.
Best of all, hardly anyone actually lives on Lord Howe Island so you get a true feeling of isolation and adventure when you visit.
The ancient volcanoes that shaped this island are a huge part of the Lord Howe Island experience. At both ends of the island are a handful of dramatic peaks, the highest of which, Mount Gower, rises 875 metres above sea level. Mountain climbing and trail hiking are two of the highlights on this island.
When working out what to do on Lord Howe, there are many other recreational activities available, too.
Most people spend at least one day cycling the refreshingly quiet roads that wind around the 12km length of the island.
There are amazing natural attractions at both ends of Lord Howe Island, ranging from the very challenging to the wonderfully casual.
The entire island is enveloped by the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, a large area that protects the entire coastline of the island.
As you can imagine, the scuba diving and snorkelling here is sublime. The planet’s most southerly coral reef system ensures a rare and pristine underwater experience.
The seas are also ideal for windsurfing and kite-boarding thanks to steady offshore winds that blow every day.
Sea kayaking is another fine way to get to know the island from a watery perspective, and those who enjoy fishing will discover one of Australia’s most spectacular and most challenging fishing environments.
The same goes for bird watching. This island is home to 14 seabirds that flock here in impossible numbers. Around 130 other bird species call Lord Howe Island home, making this a hot spot for ornithology.
Manmade attractions are the only thing this island is lacking. There is just enough infrastructure to ensure a pleasant visit, such as a 9 hole golf club and bowling club, but don’t expect to do any high street shopping.