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Armchair traveller: Kings Beach

24-Apr-2013

Lord Howe Island has 11 named beaches and probably the same number of unnamed coves, inlets and bays. Most people visit Ned’s to feed the fish and snorkel, Old Settlement to swim with the turtles, Blinky to surf, Cobby’s for a BBQ and Lagoon Beach to relax. The more adventurous guests will discover Middle Beach and North Bay. If my maths is right, that leaves a large number of beautiful beaches, coves and inlets that are very rarely visited. Even locals forget about them.

Yesterday afternoon, we went for a walk to Kings Beach. Yes, we had to cross a paddock, roll under an electric fence, and negotiate a steep bank dotted with Mutton bird nests (we do live on an enormous sea bird rookery), but even those ‘challenges’ were, well, easy. If our 2 year old and 4 year daughters could do it, then chances are, you could as well. And the rewards? Apart from the view, the soft afternoon light and the perfect fine grain sand, the beach was absolutely deserted (you could say secluded, but with kids…). There were no foot prints other than ours, and we’re in the middle of NSW school holidays. I don’t know where the 350 locals and 400 guests on the island went yesterday, but none went to Kings Beach.

Kings Beach is not remote. It’s about 5 minutes from our house, and guests who ride to the Little Island gate or Lovers Bay go very close. You sometimes see local fishermen catching Lord Howe Island garfish for their lunch, or casting poppers to hook a kingfish on dusk, but other than that, it may as well be off the map. And that’s a shame because it’s an amazing place. We’ve seen some of the best remote beaches in NSW – Wairo, Conjola, North Era, Delicate Nobby and Brays come to mind, but none come close to Kings Beach! Yes, fighting words I know. Unlike those beaches, you can jump in the water at Kings with a mask and snorkel and see dozens of species of coral and fish. There’s a great coral ledge and beautiful coral gardens, and with the proximity to the South Passage, the fish seem larger than in other parts of the lagoon.

Exploring anywhere on the west coast of Lord Howe in the evening is a must. The sunset is stunning most days (and sometimes we see the ‘green flash’), but the best part is the colour of the mountains. A few hours before sunset, they are lovely shades of saturated green and as the sun descends in the western sky, the colours change from green to orange to red to purple then pink. The days with high cloud around are the most amazing. Think of the photos you’ve seen of Uluru at dusk, and then add subtropical rainforest and ocean.

Next time you visit Lord Howe, make sure you explore Kings Beach late in the day…

Sisters above Johnsons Reef - Lord Howe Island

Afternoon stroll in the grass - Lord Howe Island

Negotiating the bank - Lord Howe Island

Discovering the feeling of perfect sand - Lord Howe Island

Fancy a walk? - Lord Howe Island

Family time - Lord Howe Island

Developing some balancing skills - Lord Howe Island

Mt Lidgbird - Lord Howe Island

Dani and Elsie - Lord Howe Island

Storm clouds at sunset - Lord Howe Island

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