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On the cover of Escape... again!

23-Jun-2013

Blinky Beach on the cover of EscapeWe just made the cover of Escape – the national travel magazine in the Sunday Telegraph. Actually, it was last Sunday but newspapers can sometimes take a while to reach Lord Howe. Can you imagine our surprise when we saw our photo on the cover? I remember taking that photo so clearly. How often do you get someone like Charlotte Dodson to do yoga poses in a stunning location in perfect weather? What you can’t see is just how razor sharp that rock is, and how serene Charlotte’s facial expression is despite the painful position (she also did a handstand on the rock, but that’s another story). We always thought it was a good photo, but never expected a ‘cover’ – that’s what professional photographers aspire to, not nerdy amateurs. And the feature article is great as well.

The journalist, Brian Crisp, is the National Travel Editor for News Limited. He’s ‘the man’ of the Australian travel writing profession. In a former life, he was Editor of the Courier Mail and West Australian, and had to walk the tightrope of editorial independence with competing pressures from business tycoons (think big media owners) and politicians (think Prime Ministers). Little wonder he sidestepped to travel writing. Nowadays, Brian is the guy who ‘reviews’ first class cabins on international flights, the latest offerings from 5 star hotels, and the occasional luxury cruise. To be honest, we were a bit scared of him coming to Pinetrees because we’re not ‘first class’, ‘5 star’ or ‘luxury’. But, luckily, Brian understood what Pinetrees is about , and I think, judging by his article ‘Pinetrees Perfection on Lord Howe Island’, enjoyed his time with us. Of course, it was helped by our dinner with Uncle Bob (remember the Extraordinary Australian?) who Brian was mesmerised by as much as me. It’s not often you hear stories about Nancy Bird, Tobruk, El Alamein and Sir Joh from someone who was there.

This is the second time Lord Howe has been on the cover of Escape in the last 10 months. We must be doing something worthwhile, because there’s plenty of choice for feature stories in the international and domestic travel markets. The most reassuring thing is that, despite the media’s push of luxury 5 star aspirational travel, the experienced travel writers still appreciate (and I suspect welcome) simple and unpretentious family-run lodges such as Pinetrees. We’re not the only one on Lord Howe – lodges such as Blue Lagoon, Somerset, Leanda Lei, Waimarie, Hideaway, Lorhiti and Ocean View all have a loyal following of guests who otherwise stay at luxury hotels in other destinations. Come and visit some time, and see why no fuss is just as refreshing as a swim in the lagoon.

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