The Locals' Guide - Lord Howe Island


Mt Gower Trek

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Lord Howe’s best guide, and ex-park ranger, Dean Hiscox, will help you ‘enjoy’ one of the hardest days of your life. We’re not joking. Even if you’re fit and experienced in rugged mountain terrain, you’ll still have a tough day. Savvy mountain guides call it ‘type two fun’, which means challenging at the time, but fun in hindsight. The climb from sea level to the summit is 875 vertical metres, but most of the climbing is rope supported on slopes between 40 and 65 degrees. The traverse across the Lower Road is arguably the most spectacular 400 metres of hiking in Australia, but don’t look under your toes – there’s lots of air between you and ocean far below. If you reach the summit (most likely in cloud), you’ll experience the Mt Gower cloud forest - an endemic forest community that’s more like temperate rainforest in Tasmania. It’s an amazingly delicate and beautiful ecosystem for such an unforgiving location. In autumn and winter, you’ll have thousands of Providence petrels around you, literally, defending their burrows and looking for mates. It’s hectic, loud, funny and absolutely relentless. Some of the birds will chase you down the ropes and nibble on your ankles. If you suffer from ornithophobia, go to the beach instead.
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The Herring Pools

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Tuesday, April 02, 2019

On your next walk to North Bay (and assuming it's low tide and a south wind), scramble around the eastern rock ledge to the Herring Pools - a series of coral lined rock pools complete with at least 30 species of fish. Once you swim in each pool (you’ll need a mask), and hopefully convince someone to carry your gear back to Old Gulch, then jump off the ledge and swim 300 metres back to the boulder beach. Warning – once you’re in, you’re in – and it’s deep. The Herring Pools are one of our secret gems.
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Meet the locals - Ben Waters

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Thursday, March 28, 2019

Ben Waters, surfer and artist, lives the dream life. He surfs Lord Howe’s perfect waves, mostly alone, and then returns to work on his commissioned artworks. Ben’s connection to Lord Howe is through immersion – in every sense of the word.
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Malabar at Sunset

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Malabar is one of Lord Howe's iconic walks, and many guests reach the summit during their stay to see the vast area of cobalt blue ocean. But it's all about timing. Our suggestion is to make the most of the Lagoon during the day, and then climb Malabar in the evening (make sure you take a torch). It's one of the more special experiences you'll have - anywhere!
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Meet the locals - Erin Mayo

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Erin 'Ernie' Mayo, Ranger, has the best job on Lord Howe Island. When he’s not exploring the remotest pockets of the island, far from where people ever go, he’s abseiling off 200 metre cliffs and flying in helicopters. Before work, he catches big kingfish and tuna off the rocks and reflects on just how good life can be. You probably won't meet Erin on Lord Howe because his team work behind the scenes to keep our World Heritage island in pristine condition.
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Trailer - Locals' Guide to Lord Howe

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Locals’ Guide to Lord Howe Island is written and photographed by a collective of island locals who love their home and have knowledge to share. To date, 60 of the best locations and activities are described in detail, with more content coming every week. …Read More


Meet the locals - Dean Hiscox

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Saturday, November 24, 2018

Dean Hiscox, Mt Gower Guide, has seen more of Lord Howe Island than most people. As the park ranger for 16 years, Dean explored the remotest parts of Lord Howe on a daily basis. He guided the expedition that rediscovered the Lord Howe Phasmid on Balls Pyramid, and climbed the infamous Razorback. These days, Dean guides (and sometimes “skull drags”) guests to the summit of Mt Gower - arguably Australia’s hardest day walk - and runs, swims, kayaks and free-dives in his spare time to maintain his fitness. Join Dean on one of his ‘normal’ days, and let his story inspire you to greater things….  …Read More


The Locals’ Guide to Lord Howe Island is written by Denis Corcoran, Pia Funch, Luke Hanson, Geordie Tennant and Dani Rourke. We regularly visit the island’s iconic locations (and our secret spots) in different conditions, seasons and times of day (by foot, bike, kayak, boat and snorkel), and hope to share our experiences with you. If you need some travel inspiration, details on locations and the best activities, or just a brief online escape from your daily routine, then read our posts about life on Lord Howe Island.