Living on Lord Howe Island


Are you a hopeless romantic?

Posted by Dani Rourke – Sunday, February 22, 2015

Are you a hopeless romantic? I am, well … sort of. Luke doesn’t think that I’m romantic at all, because I get impatient watching sunsets (and looking at Luke’s seemingly endless sunset photos). But, in my defence, I’ve watched When Harry Met Sally about 300 times, and I never get sick of it. And when I meet a couple who are obviously totally in love with each other, I can’t help asking how they met.  …Read More


Discovery Day climb to Goat House

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Thursday, February 19, 2015

Family outing to Goat House

Nits! Probably the worst four letter word in our house. An early call advising of an outbreak of nits among the local school kids meant a sudden readjustment of Discovery Day.  …Read More


Is Pinetrees haunted?

Posted by Dani Rourke – Monday, February 09, 2015

Look out for some of our ancestors on Lord Howe Island

Whenever something spooky happens at Pinetrees we blame it on Captain Tom. Thomas Nichols, my great-great-grandfather, was the master of a whaling ship, Aladdin, from Hobart. In the one photo I’ve seen of him, he has a hairstyle and beard just like Ned Kelly’s.  …Read More


Super Yacht Season on Lord Howe

Posted by Dani Rourke – Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Serious superyachts on Lord Howe Island

A few years ago, one of our waiters resigned and left Lord Howe to do a super yacht course. The course was marketed to young hospitality professionals who wanted to work in the glamorous super yacht industry. It was based in Cairns, and anyone who completed the internationally recognised 6-week course was pretty much guaranteed a job on a super yacht and a fascinating career spent in places like Monte Carlo, the Caribbean and the Dalmatian Coast. Apparently, lots of super yacht owners employ graduates of the course to be location scouts and try out fancy restaurants, 6 star hotels, dive sites and shopping districts for them, because they’re too busy to do their own research.  …Read More


Keeping score

Posted by Dani Rourke – Monday, January 05, 2015

Dad has been naughty!

Have you ever noticed how often your kids copy you? It can be disconcerting, embarrassing or downright humiliating at times. Before we had kids of our own, I remember our friends’ little boy putting his red balloon in the naughty corner in the kitchen and making it stay there for quite a long time, shouting at it if it moved. When he was a bit bigger, the same little boy said to Luke with a sigh: “I’ve been playing all day. I just want to sit down by myself and put my feet up for five minutes”. Of course, it sounded just like his mum after a long day at work. We looked at her straight away and it must have been an accusatory sort of look. She blushed and quickly changed the subject and sent her little boy off to wash his hands and have some afternoon tea. …Read More


First day of school on Lord Howe Island

Posted by Dani Rourke – Thursday, February 06, 2014

Elsie's first day of schoolElsie started school this week at the Lord Howe Island Central School. I still can’t quite believe it!

Elsie went to a Transition class at the school for half a day each Wednesday last year, so she knows the school and the kids well and there were no tears at the school gate. We were also lucky to have a quick visit from the ever-reliable Nanna and Pa who came all the way from Sydney to help with last minute preparations for the big day. Nanna is a school teacher, and she quickly produced her own permanent marker and labelled all of Elsie’s uniforms and other school things in perfect black teacher-writing. She also has extensive knowledge of kindergarten etiquette. Nanna was the one who bought the bottle green undies to go under the school uniform. She thinks of everything.  …Read More


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

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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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