The Locals' Guide - Lord Howe Island


Stevens Reserve

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Saturday, July 14, 2018

Stevens Reserve on Lord Howe Island

Contributed by Pia Funch: Stevens Reserve is a 1.2 km loop trail located near the “CBD” on Lord Howe Island. The trail is a perfect introductory walk to get to know the island’s magnificent flora and fauna. If you haven’t already acquainted yourself with some of the endemic species on Lord Howe Island, this is a good place to start. The walk is easy and the entrance is conveniently located right opposite the parking area next to the boatsheds. Stevens Reserve is to Lord Howe Island what Central Park is to New York City, but without the people, noise, rubbish and flanking skyscrapers. It’s also a natural botanic garden with interpretive signs to explain the trees, birds and local history.

The trail is covered by a canopy of trees. If it’s too hot and sunny, go for a walk in Stevens Reserve. If it’s raining, go for a walk in Stevens Reserve. Either way, it’s always a safe bet.

We love to use Stevens Reserve as a running track. It’s late afternoon and the sun has been out all day so I’ve decided to go for a run under the cool shade of the banyans. Almost immediately, I find myself ducking down and looking up, surrounded by trees of all sizes. The trail is narrow and slaloms its way through ancient trees and their large roots. The outside world is just a few metres away, but everything seems pristine and ancient. Two Woodhens and an Emerald dove are the only friends I meet today. Both are endemic species. During the late afternoon, the golden rays of the sun are beaming through the leaves of the Curly palms, the Thatch Palms and the hanging roots of the Banyan trees. All endemic too. The small forest is truly showing off its magic and I decide to stop my run and walk the rest of the way, to soak it all in. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow so I’ve already decided to come back if it does. Rumours say that glowing mushrooms can be found along the trail after heavy rain so I wouldn’t want to miss that either. So much paradise in such a little forest.


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.