The Locals' Guide - Lord Howe Island


A weekly plan for Lord Howe

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Sunday, February 18, 2018

Contributed by Pia Funch: Lord Howe Island is like one big playground. The coral reef surrounding the island is the world’s most southerly with many unique diving spots yet to be discovered. 875 metres above it, the Mount Gower walk is famous for being one of the best day walks in Australia. And for the traditional sun, sand and sea lovers, the island’s vast amount of postcard beaches are never more than five minutes away. It’s pretty obvious that Lord Howe Island is incredibly unique and pristine. Everyone lucky enough to experience it can live happily ever after knowing that they once connected with what they call the last paradise in the world.

How do you manage to experience everything that Lord Howe Island has to offer in just one week? After almost two years living here I decided to spend a week creating an itinerary for what a week on Lord Howe Island could look like in the right weather conditions. There were so many things to do that I simply couldn’t fit in. But that’s not always a bad thing because then you have an excellent excuse to come back.

Monday. Easterly wind. Partly cloudy.
Go on a coral viewing and snorkel tour on a glass-bottom boat and experience the colourful coral gardens in the lagoon. After lunch, bike towards the southern tip of the island to Little Island at the foot of Mount Lidgbird and immerse yourself in this Jurassic world. Have a sunset picnic while calling the Providence petrels aka the birds that fall from the sky.

Tuesday. Easterly wind. Cloudy.
Go for a 3-hour introductory dive and experience the adventure of diving in one of the most pristine marine environments in the world. Have a nice break and then walk the Malabar Hill and Kims Lookout track starting from near Neds beach. Finish your walk at Old Settlement Beach where you can snorkel at Sylphs hole and swim with curious Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles.

Wednesday. Westerly wind. Sunny.
Start the day watching the sun rise at Middle Beach and walk through the Valley of the Shadows. Have some Tarzan fun with the giant Banyan trees on the way and enjoy the lush essence of the Kentia palm forest. Continue straight to Transit Hill and watch the morning colours from the platform at the top. Finish at Blinky Beach and watch the waves or go for a refreshing swim. Go for an outer-reef snorkelling trip in the afternoon and swim with tropical and temperate fish, turtles and Galapagos sharks.

Thursday. South-westerly wind. Partly cloudy.
Watch the island from a cave 400 vertical metres up Mount Lidgbird. The Goathouse Cave walk is challenging but the treasure at the end of the rainbow is worth every step. Spend the rest of the day on the other side of the island at Neds Beach. Pack a BBQ and enjoy the day in the sanctuary zone where you can snorkel and feed fish straight from the sandy beach.

Friday. Southerly wind. Sensationally sunny.
Go to magical North Bay and experience total remoteness. Take a boat tour, kayak or hike there from Old Settlement Beach. Walk up 120 metres to the top of Mount Eliza and get some incredible panorama shots of the island and the surrounding ocean. Head over to Old Gulch at low tide and play in the rock pools.
Finish your day with a magical sunset BBQ under the pines with a pink palette sky.

Saturday. Northerly wind. Raining.
Visit the museum and learn about the old flying boats and the island’s World Heritage environment. Then go for a walk through Stevens Reserve - a one kilometre loop walk through lowland forest and an old arboretum of Hoop pine and Blue gums. Get first-hand knowledge about the trees found on this little cosy track, and who knows, maybe you can spot some glowing mushrooms on the way. Another thing you can spot after a good rain is the waterfall running down the slopes of the southern mountains. There’s even one near the track to Little Island.

Sunday. Westerly wind. Sunny.
Walk the Muttonbird Point/Rocky Run/Boat Harbour/Intermediate Hill Loop.
Spend the morning enjoying the changes of scenery and the feeling of being completely isolated from the rest of the world. This 3-4 hour walk will take you through bird-watching platforms, Pandanus forests, rocky creeks, a pristine rock beach (remember your swimmers to go for a swim at Boat Harbour) and have a sandwich lunch with an incredible view of Mount Lidgbird. Finish the journey at the top of Intermediate Hill and watch the planes land on your way home.


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.