01.04.2024

LORD HOWE ISLAND

Lord Howe Island, located in the Pacific Ocean, is a magical place about 600 kilometers from the coastline of Australia. It owes its exceptionalism to its unique ecosystem and low number of tourists, making it peaceful and allowing visitors to fully commune with nature. Thanks to its biodiversity and relatively diverse terrain, visitors can be including to go scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking, renting kayaks or fishing. Despite its small size, the islet offers many attractions and Every nature lover should find something for self here.

Lord Howe Island, Australia
Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

 

DESCRIPTION

Lord Howe has about 460 square kilometers, and not far from it is the Balla Pyramid, measuring about 560 meters high. It is the tallest natural rock pinnacle in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island belongs to the state of New South Wales, which is the oldest and most populous state in Australia. It is also the largest marine protected area in this state. The island is a de facto narrow volcanic strip that is surrounded by several small islands. It is the remnant of an in the dim and distant past extinct shield volcano that dates back millions of years. In this place also is the farthest world’s southernmost coral reef. Lord Howe has been settled since the mid-19th century and currently has a permanent population of about 350 people. Thanks to the small number of people who live here and the limited number of tourists (no more than 400 visitors are allowed here at one time), the place is still a wild where humans are only guests and can feel of local nature. The place is one of the most like among Australians thanks to its beautiful landscapes and amazing views.

The waters here are home to more than 500 species of fish and more than 90 corals. Many of these animals are endemic creatures, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world but here. Lord Howe Island and its surrounding waters, which were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List (the first in New South Wales) in 1982. Around the islet, the depth is around 40 meters, while a few kilometers from the shore the walls of the island suddenly go down vertically to a depth of more than 4 kilometers. The entire waters of this unique place are managed within the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, which was established in 1999 and covers an area of almost 46,000 hectares. The island is also home to some 200 species of birds such as the brown noddy, black noddy, white-tailed tropicbird red-tailed tropicbird, among others, which feed on local fish.

There are several tour companies on the island that organize excursions with their glass-bottomed boats, so tourists can admire the beauty of the local reefs. There are also organized fishing trips in the local waters, and you can catch, among others, yellowfin tuna, giant seriola or sailfish. A popular activity in these areas is also kayaking (the best spots are North Bay and Old Settlement Beach) and scuba diving, for example, near the Balla Pyramid where you can see a fish called Ballina Angelfish, found only in this place. Some of the more exotic animals in the waters here are green turtles, blacktip reef shark, grey reef shark, whitetip reef shark or stingrays. On Blinky Beach, meanwhile, surfing is quite popular. Hiking is also very popular on the island, including hiking to the highest of the local mountains, the Gower, which measures 875 meters high. From the top of this hill, there are spectacular panoramic views of the entire island.

Lord Howe Island, Australia
Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

 

MARINE PARK

The park was established in February 1999 and is remarkable in every way. Its surface has about 110,120 square kilometers. On its territory there are the Elizabeth and Middleton coral reefs, which, along with the reefs surrounding Lord Howe Island, are the southernmost coral reefs in the world. Therethrough that mixing here drifts of warm and cool waters makes many species of fish and corals are found only here.

The main reason why the Lord Howe Island marine park was established here, except, of course, for the unexceptional and beautiful ecosystem, was the often fishing in these waters, which contributed to the depletion of biodiversity in the local Pacific Ocean. It considered that the creation of the park would limit these effects, and it is now managed by the New South Wales Marine Parks Authority.

Thanks to its crystal clear waters, as well as its unique and diverse geographic location, the reserve is considered one of the best dive sites in the Southern Hemisphere. The lack of crowds means that marine animals are not afraid of people, making it an ideal place for underwater photography and filming of ocean life.

Lord Howe Island, Australia, shark
Author Percita, source flickr (photo edited).

 

WHERE THERE IS LORD HOWE LOCATED

Lord Howe is located about 550 to 615 kilometers off the northern coast (information depends on source) of New South Wales and about 700 kilometers northeast of Sydney. It is located in the Pacific Ocean in the tropical zone. The territory belongs entirely to Australia and can only get there by air.

Data given approximately (own study based on mapy.cz).
Lord Howe Island, source Google Maps.

 

BEST TIME TO VISIT THE ISLAND

Lord Howe Island is a paradise for nature lovers at any time of the year. Summers here are warm with little rain, and this makes it the best time for diving. Winters, on the other hand, are mild, and the weather is good for walking and biking around the island. Keep in mind, that in winter and spring there can be strong winds, and there is also more rainfall during these seasons than in summer. The average water temperature is 25 °C in summer and 18 °C in winter.

HOW TO GET TO LORD HOWE

The only way to get to the island is by a two-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane. Flights take place daily. On the island can accommodate a maximum of 400 tourists at the same time, so make sure you have a confirmed accommodation reservation before arranging a flight. You can find guesthouses here. Lord Howe Island Airport (LDH) is located about 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles) from the island’s main town and serves domestic flights. Often, it is the case that the guesthouse where we have purchased accommodation offers transportation to the airport in the price of the accommodation. A limited number of rental cars are available on Lord Howe, but most of the island can be explored on foot or there is an option to rent a bicycle.

Flight prices from Sydney to Lord Howe Island can be found here and here.

Lord Howe Island, Australia, coral reef
Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

DIVING TIPS

At terrain Elizabeth and Middleton reefs, visitors should keep to exercise extreme caution, as unexploded bombs have been reported at both reefs in the past.

Do not swim at night alone, under the influence of alcohol or immediately after a meal.

Always check the water depth and currents, e.g., online, at the place where you plan to dive.

Be sure to read the signs on the beaches and listen to tour guides.

As a precaution, the day before you dive, you can go to the SharkSmart website and check shark activity off the coast of Australia. That way, we will be more certain if sharks are coming to the areas where we want to dive.

Lord Howe Island, Australia, fisches
Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

USEFUL LINKS

Marine Adventures – organizing glass-bottom boat cruises.

Lord Howe Environmental Tours – organizing snorkeling trips off the island’s coast.

Reef N Beyond – organizing trips to Lord Howe’s coral reefs.

Source Google Maps.

 

TIDBITS

  • In 1999, Lord Howe Island Marine Park was the third marine park to be established in New South Wales.
  • Lord Howe Island is only 11 kilometers long.
Lord Howe Island, Australia
Author sydneydawg2006, source flickr.

SUMMARY

Lord Howe Island Marine Park is a truly remarkable and fascinating place for nature lovers. With its diverse ecosystem and rich flora and fauna, this place is one of a kind.  Never mind whether you’re an avid diver, birdwatcher or simply a tourist who loves spending time in nature, there’s something for everyone on Lord Howe Island. It is worth remembering this place and marking it on your map as a place worth visiting.

Author Percita, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

Author Natalie Tapson, source flickr.

SEE ALSO

Cat Ba Island, sunset, Vietnam

CAT BA ISLAND

Tham Lod Cave, Thailand

THAM LOD CAVE

Hallasan is volcano on Jeju Island in South Korea

HALLASAN

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