The Locals' Guide - Lord Howe Island


Bay, cove, peak and pool

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Herring Pools on Lord Howe Island

Contributed by Denis Corcoran: Locals come here for the solitude, the tranquility and to escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Lord Howe. Visitors who come here, by foot or boat, wander into a wonder land comprising of a bay, a cove, a peak and a pool.

North Bay is (believe it or not) a bay in the north of the island. Another one of Lord Howe’s iconic truisms, ‘it is what it is’ type of place, like Windy Point.

The bay itself doesn’t offer any particularly spellbinding snorkeling, the exception being the shipwreck which is a couple of hundred meters from the shore. The appeal of this bay lies not in its underwater features but rather the pocket of rustic infrastructure situated just back from the beach and the bay.

This is where North Bay really comes into its own. With four BBQs in total, (both gas and wood fired) a scattering of several large park benches and an assortment of adjoining tables to prepare food, the place is well and truly kitted out for a remote luncheon.

Factor in the two toilets and two large covered shelters into the mix and stumbling upon this place is like walking into an abandoned scout camp. It has a real ‘orderly oasis’ type feel to it.

All externalities taken into consideration, North Bay has to be one of the best BBQ spots on the entire island. And yes, this author ‘bangs on about barbies’ a fair bit, but seriously, where else in NSW can you legitimately crank up a wood fired BBQ close to a white sandy beach and be surrounded by a lush wall of green rainforest?!

When you’re done ‘bayside’, a short walk to the Old Gulch spits you out into a small cove. It is here in this tiny inlet of rocks and water that the adventurous visitor has an opportunity to reach the pools.

The Herring Pools are simply magical, when the conditions are in your favour. Minimal wind, swell and a low tide, open the metaphorical gates to this geological slice of paradise. A series of deep rock pools in which you can jump into, swim about, or just slap on some goggles and watch the marine life, lie in wait.

Lastly, the peak. Commonly known as Mount Eliza, and at 147m high, the views of the island and its southern entirety are sweeping. Note, access to the summit is not permitted from September to February as it’s an important nesting area for a variety of seabirds.

It’s easy to pass away another day at North Bay. Indulge in a barbie, a swim, take a book and have a look. There’s a big bay, a small cove, a high peak and a refreshing pool.


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.