Living on Lord Howe Island


Christmas on Lord Howe Island

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Santa comes to the kids on Lord Howe Island

Every year I have to make a hard decision. Some may say they would know the answer automatically, but doesn’t it become difficult when you have to decide which side of the family you'll spend Christmas with? Annually my options are: A) spend it with my Mum and her family on our family farm on the New South Wales Mid North Coast, or B) spend it with my Dad and his family on Lord Howe Island.

You’re probably wondering why I’m complaining, right? I can just hear you saying “just split it up equally, one year on and one year off.” It’s really not that easy, Lord Howe just has this electric vibe in summer time. Like the vibe of that first kiss with someone you really like under the moonlight. And let's be honest, the farm doesn’t have this kind of vibe. Of course, I still love my Mum and her family so much that it hurts me not to be with them at this time of year. In saying this, something tells me that I won’t be making countless stories with first kisses and moonlight vibes in a small sleepy country town, so I’ve been opting for Christmas on the island at this stage of my life.

Yes, I have been told countless stories from Islanders and visitors rehashing fond memories of their summers on the island over the years whether it was their first holiday, honeymoon or meeting their husband over here years ago. One of these stories includes my Nan’s, who will be shown within the ‘Meet the Islanders’ section on the Pinetrees website.

Anyway so this year and for the past few years whilst I have been at university in Sydney, I have decided to fly back to the island for the whole summer period. There is this serious pull that many Islanders and visitors living on the mainland feel, it’s like an itch you can’t scratch until that moment the Dash 8 pulls to a screeching holt on the tiny airstrip. A sense of relief and excitement washes over you as the door is cranked and that cool tropical breeze enters the cabin. You’ve made it.

A Christmas on Lord Howe is like no other, there is something happening every single night whether it be a quiet BBQ at Ned’s with your family, a raving joint 40th birthday party, a sunset cruise, a singalong with the old Islanders at the Bowling Club or the big Christmas tree for the children the day before Christmas. The island is simply pulsating and unrecognizable from the dead of winter. I love it, but some people dislike it, as they would prefer the peace and tranquility of slower months. However, I believe that it’s a season to be sociable; it’s a season to be merry and connect with people you wouldn’t normally connect with and a prime example is of the Christmas Day gathering down at the Lagoon. This year I wandered down to the boatshed after an amazingly long lunch with my family, which you can see in the photo. I was sensationally stuffed and felt even more content be able to celebrate a stunning afternoon in the sunshine with families who had descended upon one family’s boatshed from all ends of the island. There was music, food, slippery slides and water activities, and the best part was that truly anyone could celebrate this merry holiday together in paradise.

Contributed by Lena Thompson

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but 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? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

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