The Locals' Guide - Lord Howe Island


Tropical Cyclone Sandra

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cyclone track map 1

We’ve had a few close calls over the years – TC Pam in 1974, TC Yali in 1998 and TC Wati in 2006, but TC Sandra is, well, here. The first big gusts came through at lunch time, and we’re expecting conditions to worsen over the next 12 hours. The eye of the storm is just off to the east of the Lord Howe, so we won’t experience any dramatic changes in wind direction. Instead, we’re expecting gusts up to 150km/hr from the south. Also, the swell is forecast to peak at 8m tonight with ‘abnormally high tides’, so the Ned’s Beach shed may get a wash.

The start of more serious weather on Lord Howe Island

The island community is well prepared. Pinetrees guests are all reading books, playing board games and having a long lunch. There are a few sore heads from Rockfest last night, where the Freshwater Ukulele Band entertained pre-cyclone revellers until midnight. They’re due to play again tonight, but I suspect only the very hardcore fans (and band members) will venture out.

It’s amazing what you see with your “cyclone preparation” hat on. This Bunnings $9.95 gazebo (and remnant beer jugs) from last night’s festival was an odd thing to be left on the oval. I can only guess that the manufacturers have commissioned some product testing for a ‘cyclone rating’. It’s a competitive market out there, and every bullet point on the product packaging helps. I think I know what will happen when the wind gets above 10 knots.

 Let's move inside!

This guy is a (very) keen bird watcher. When I asked if he needed a lift somewhere – anywhere – he said “no thanks, the cyclone’s not going to spoil my day”. And bravo for him. Pity the birds have sought shelter away from the interpretive sign.

Adventurous bushwalker on Lord Howe Island 

We’re house bound now so it’s time for some pink play dough, The Sound of Music and maybe some storm watching. I’ll get another post online sometime tomorrow. Stay tuned for more details…

Meanwhile, at 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.