Living on Lord Howe Island


Christmas at Lord Howe

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Friday, January 03, 2014

Christmas on Lord Howe Island
Just before Christmas, one of our guests who was checking out said that he was disappointed that there wasn’t much Christmas spirit on Lord Howe. We were all a bit shocked. The Lord Howe Islanders love Christmas; we sing, we eat and drink too much and we wonder who will play Santa. But, like pretty much everything on Lord Howe, Christmas is kind of non-commercial. In fact it’s so low-key that one of our housekeepers went to the shop to buy some Christmas chocolates or candy canes to leave in the guests’ rooms on Christmas morning and failed to find anything suitable.  …Read More


Lord Howe in July

Posted by Dani Rourke – Sunday, July 21, 2013

Winter on Lord Howe Island

It can get cold at Lord Howe, honestly it can. On winter nights when we light the log fire at Pinetrees it gets down to 18 degrees or so. And some days, when I’m waiting at the airport to meet the plane in my shorts, it can feel quite chilly. Like everyone else, Lord Howe Islanders talk about the weather a lot. We say “beautiful day today” or “isn’t it freezing?”… although I once made the mistake of saying “isn’t it freezing?” to Ana, who’s originally from Estonia, and she said “no”. Not surprising, really.  …Read More


Plane spotting

Posted by Dani Rourke – Saturday, June 15, 2013

A big plane on Lord Howe IslandThere are a lot of plane nerds at Lord Howe. The airstrip is short and if the weather is looking a bit tricky and the landing might be an “interesting” one, there can sometimes be a hundred people lined up along the airstrip to see the QantasLink plane land. (Yes, I know, it might also have something to do with the fact that there isn’t much entertainment here on a winter afternoon).  …Read More


A mysterious mass migration

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Saturday, June 01, 2013

Lord Howe Island is part of Australia, indeed New South Wales, but we’re a bit different. While we have no dream of self-government or semi-autonomy (is that how you describe Norfolk Island?), we do have a healthy disrespect for mainland authority. So often, when mainland regulations are applied to Lord Howe, they just don’t work. This list of examples is endless, and includes bans on buying local meat and milk, bag limits for recreational fishing and state-wide fire bans which are enforced on Lord Howe even during periods of cool, rainy weather. …Read More


Could you live without the internet?

Posted by Dani Rourke – Monday, May 06, 2013

 Imagine seeing this every day!

I love the internet – how did we ever live without it? No piece of information is too unimportant or too obscure to find. I spend hours on YouTube and reading blogs. Yes, you guessed it, mummy blogs. And it’s pretty amazing to be able to order books, clothes, vacuum cleaner bags or even a taxi or a holiday without leaving my desk. I wouldn’t describe myself as addicted to the internet – our internet speed at Lord Howe is a bit slow for that and I’ve never invented a virtual life for myself or done anything with Twitter or Instagram – but I’m amazed and thankful that we have it and I wouldn’t want to live without it. …Read More


ANZAC Day on Lord Howe Island

Posted by Dani Rourke – Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day on Lord Howe Island

I’ve always loved the ANZAC Day service at Lord Howe. It’s held every year at 11:00am at the cenotaph on Lagoon Road, just outside the Gower Wilson Memorial Hospital. Lagoon Road is closed off for an hour or so and there’s someone on “point duty” making sure that no one accidentally rides their bike through the service. The crowd starts to gather around 10:45 and almost everyone attends. There are a few seats for the oldies, a microphone and a PA system and an organ on the back of a truck. Sprigs of rosemary are handed around and people mill around on the road and chat until the march begins.  …Read More


Lord Howe Royalty

Posted by Dani Rourke – Friday, April 19, 2013

Arriving on Lord Howe in the old days

Arriving on Lord Howe Island by ship in 1937

I thought you might like to see some old photos sent to me by one of our guests, Murray Higgins. Murray visited Pinetrees recently with his wife, Dianne, son and daughter-in-law Neal and Brooke, and grandchildren Ella and Luke. The Higgins family have a long history of Lord Howe holidays: Murray and Dianne spent their honeymoon at Pinetrees in 1968 and Murray’s parents, Doris and Reginald, also honeymooned at Pinetrees in 1937. The whole family are scheming a return visit for Dianne’s 70th birthday in a few years’ time.  …Read More

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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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