Living on Lord Howe Island


Living without internet

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Thursday, December 28, 2017

Contributed by Pia Funch: Lord Howe Island is a small South Pacific island about 600km from mainland Australia. The island is surrounded by the most southern coral reef in the world and is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for its outstanding natural beauty. To make a long story short, it’s so pristine and perfect that guests often leave feeling like they’ve been existing in an unreal and magical place.

“We have to go back to the real world”- they say.

Since coming to Lord Howe Island a year and a half ago, this simple sentence has turned my everyday-life upside down. When I hear it, I can’t help but wonder what the concept of the “real world” means. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the concept of the “real world” is related to the specific situations that most people deal with in their daily lives as opposed to what happens in novels and movies. So what does Lord Howe Island have that makes it “unreal”?

Apart from being perfect, there is actually one factor that differentiates the island from many other beautiful destinations. There’s no phone coverage and limited internet. Can you imagine?

Australians spend an enormous amount of time on smartphones – talking and surfing the internet. A visit to Lord Howe requires some adjustments to your habits (or did I mean addiction).

Locals and regular guests have a long list of activities that they do instead of exercising their fingers on their smartphones. Here are a few to try…..

10. Get creative
Studies have shown that relaxation is good for creativity and mental stimulation. So relax and let your mind wander. Who knows, maybe you’re the next Elon Musk, Gaudí or J.K. Rowling.

9. Play a game of tennis, cricket, lawn balls, football, pool or backgammon
Or combine them! Our personal favourite is soccer tennis in the late afternoon.

8. We don’t snap our espresso martinis
Without access to social media every minute of the day, we care less about trends.

7. Read a book
To sit or not to sit under a Kentia palm and read a good book…

6. Watch the sunset
Each sunset is different on Lord Howe Island. Lagoon Beach provides the best picture-perfect frame for a blissful hour of watching the light show.

5. Dinner and talk
Have a proper conversation with someone while enjoying local kingfish sashimi. There are no smartphones on the table.

4. Walk Stevens Reserve, Valley of the Shadows or Transit Hill
These three walks are excellent examples of a good way to spend a spare hour during the day, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. Emails versus exercise, fresh air and a sunset? Tough choice.

3. Star gazing
“Let’s go and watch the stars” is a common line around Pinetrees in the evening.

2. Go for a swim, surf or a snorkel
A swim in the lagoon, a quick surf or a snorkel at Neds is for many island residents THE best way to spend an hour on a sunny day. Revitalised, refreshed and wholesome in an instant!

1. Watch the kids play 
There’s nothing better than hearing the laugh and seeing the smiles of children as they climb trees, splash in the salty water or collect shells. “They’ll be better off playing on their Ipads” – NOT. 

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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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