Few Australians have ever been (and many, I’m sure, would be hard pushed to locate it on the map) but Lord Howe Island is a gem.
A two hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane, the World Heritage Listed island – which is just as much a part of New South Wales as Sydney or the Blue Mountains – is Australia’s very own South Sea island. Dominated by volcanic highlands, with soft meadows and woodlands on the ground floor, and fringed by a lagoon with the most southerly coral reef on the planet, it is a place of stunning natural beauty.
With endemic species of wildlife found nowhere else on earth (including a flightless bird), no wonder Sir David Attenborough called it ‘so extraordinary it is almost unbelievable.’ No more than 400 visitors are allowed on Lord Howe at any one time. It is an island not unlike a Tresco in the tropics.
With a population of around 360, one policeman, no mobile phones, hardly any cars and a speed limit of 15mph on the six miles of road, it is a place to escape, to borrow a bicycle, hike the trails, swim and snorkel from gorgeous beaches, fire up one of the communal barbecues and indulge yourself in one of Australia’s most luxurious hotels, the Capella Lodge, with contemporary ‘beach house’ looks and eleven rooms enjoying the most spectacular views on the island.