Living on Lord Howe Island


Middle Beach via Transit Hill

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Sunday, January 14, 2018

Contributed by Pia Funch: It’s around 5PM and it’s starting to cool down on this warm wind-less summer day. It’s the perfect moment to head out for a spontaneous walk before it gets dark. There’s no such thing as street lights on Lord Howe Island so you actually have to be street smart around here before you decide to take a late walk.

I pack a little bag with some water and my head torch (just in case) and head out. The breeze is refreshing and clouds are signalling the chance of a bit of rain. I walk to the liquor store and find the start of the track to Transit Hill. I still haven’t decided my complete path for the afternoon but this is a good place to start. The green scenery unfolds straight away where one of the island’s only two horses, Meko, is grazing peacefully in the middle of the path. I continue after a short cuddle and it only takes five minutes of walking before the track splits in two: Transit Hill to the right. I decide to continue straight, which is the short-cut track to Anderson Road and Middle Beach. On a bike, I would have had to take another route and ride up the infamous Joy’s Hill. On foot, this little track named Bowker Avenue cuts the way to Middle Beach by half.

I soon reach Anderson Road and turn right passing a few adorable houses on my left. A few 100 metres later the Middle Beach track starts. I start jogging and zigzagging through the bush track, and not long after, the sound of the ocean starts echoing through the Kentia palm forest. I pass the lookout with the panoramic view of Middle Beach and the Pacific Ocean and follow the steps down towards the beach. Palm trees in all sizes close in on the trail and I feel utterly alone in this world.

I finally reach the beach and the sight I was waiting for. The secluded and pristine Middle Beach on a high tide. Waves are coming in from both sides of the little bay whilst the middle part is choppy and going in all directions. On a calm low-tide morning, the sight would have been very different. The air is misty and salty and the colours of the sea are in dark blue shades rather than being turquoise and clear. I’m reminded of the force of nature and why this beautiful beach should be enjoyed with caution. Sometimes, I spend an hour with the beach, sometimes a whole afternoon. Today, a ten minutes break with the sea will do.

After Middle Beach the track continues to the Valley of the Shadows and Clear Place. However, it will soon get dark so I better head back. I walk back along Anderson Road and just before reaching Bowker Avenue, another short-cut to the left through a little gravel path and a grass field will lead straight to Transit Hill. The sky is now orange and I’m met with a view of the sun slowly setting over the lagoon. From here, turning left will lead to Blinky Beach, turning right will lead to the start of the track. On a casual afternoon run, three different beaches guide the way.

This is how to spend a spare hour on a normal Tuesday afternoon on Lord Howe Island where nothing is ever really “normal”. It’s exactly the way it should be.

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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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