Living on Lord Howe Island


Lord Howe Royalty

Posted by Dani Rourke – Friday, April 19, 2013

Arriving on Lord Howe Island by ship in 1937

I thought you might like to see some old photos sent to me by one of our guests, Murray Higgins. Murray visited Pinetrees recently with his wife, Dianne, son and daughter-in-law Neal and Brooke, and grandchildren Ella and Luke. The Higgins family have a long history of Lord Howe holidays: Murray and Dianne spent their honeymoon at Pinetrees in 1968 and Murray’s parents, Doris and Reginald, also honeymooned at Pinetrees in 1937. The whole family are scheming a return visit for Dianne’s 70th birthday in a few years’ time.  …Read More


Good enough parenting

Posted by Dani Rourke – Saturday, April 13, 2013

I thought you might like to see a photo of MV Island Trader, our fortnightly supply ship. The ship brings everything we need from groceries to new water tanks, fuel and building supplies. The ship was an especially welcome sight this morning, because I have run out of an essential parenting item: frozen spaghetti bolognese. I called the Top Shop (our local butcher) a week or so ago and was told that there wouldn’t be any more mince until the next ship. Crisis!  …Read More



Posted by Dani Rourke – Saturday, March 30, 2013

Being busy is the new black. When we say: “I’m so busy!” we are really saying how important we are. It can become quite competitive after a while. It isn’t enough anymore to do your job and look after your kids, have dinner with your husband and stay on good terms with your parents. To qualify as “busy” you have to multi-task. Every time you do a load of washing, you need to take a photo of it with Instagram and post it on your Facebook page using your iPhone at the same time as having an important phone conference on the way to your personal training session or driving your kids to junior chess all the while “connecting” with your (Facebook) friends, eating organic food which is grown within 100km of your home, doing yoga, drinking two litres of water a day and getting enough sleep. Being busy is also the excuse we give for almost everything. It’s what we say when we know we’ve done the wrong thing and we’re not prepared to admit that we are lazy or self-centred. As in: “I’m sorry I didn’t remember to feed your dog while you were on holidays for two weeks, I’ve been so busy”. …Read More


The day after Cyclone Sandra

Posted by Dani Rourke – Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Luke is a terrible weather nerd. He checks the forecast online, in four or five different places, at least a couple of times a day. He knows what time the BOM will release its latest forecast, and he’s at the computer waiting for it to load. He has favourite websites for short, medium and long range forecasts as well as for wind, swell and rain. He reads weather blogs. He still checks the snow forecast daily, even though he hasn’t been skiing since 2004. He looks up the latest weather observations and compares them to yesterday’s forecast. He even owns a barometer (seriously – how nerdy is that?). …Read More


Tropical Cyclone Sandra

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We’ve had a few close calls over the years – TC Pam in 1974, TC Yali in 1998 and TC Wati in 2006, but TC Sandra is, well, here. The first big gusts came through at lunch time, and we’re expecting conditions to worsen over the next 12 hours. The eye of the storm is just off to the east of the Lord Howe, so we won’t experience any dramatic changes in wind direction. Instead, we’re expecting gusts up to 150km/hr from the south. Also, the swell is forecast to peak at 8m tonight with ‘abnormally high tides’, so the Ned’s Beach shed may get a wash. …Read More


Autumn fashions at Pinetrees

Posted by Dani Rourke – Saturday, March 09, 2013

Occasionally our guests arrive without their luggage. Sometimes the bags have been sent to Melbourne by mistake, but, more often, it’s because the weather is tricky and Qantas is obliged to carry extra fuel. At Lord Howe airport, Qantas issues a survival kit (a toothbrush, a razor and an XL Qantas t-shirt in ever-stylish grey marle) and $100 to spend at Larrups, Lord Howe’s answer to Rip Curl and Billabong.  …Read More


Follow my blog from 2011 - 2012

Posted by Dani Rourke – Thursday, March 07, 2013

I've just moved - as most bloggers do. If you're interested in the early years of our ultimate seachange, then please have a look at previous posts at …Read More

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 85 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but recently escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance?

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