Imagine a tiny outcrop in the Pacific Ocean, covered in lush greenery, surrounded by aquamarine waters home to an untouched coral reef teeming with marine life, where only 400 visitors are allowed at any one time. It’s little wonder National Geographic named Lord Howe Island one of the world’s best destinations. There are few better places in the world to drop in – and tune out.
The pristine waters surrounding Lord Howe Island are a unique mix of warm tropical and cool temperate ocean currents, home to over 450 fish species and 90 species of coral, many of which only occur here.
A wonderful way to see the reef, colourful fish and turtles is on a glass-bottom boat and snorkelling tour. You can also hand-feed fish at Ned’s Beach Special Purpose Zone, which is protected by a no-take area.
Enjoy snorkelling in the iridescent blue playground that surrounds the island, where scores of seabirds nest. The world’s southernmost coral reef protects a crystal-clear lagoon perfect for swimming and other water sports. Plot your escape to Lord Howe to coincide with one of four Ocean Swim Weeks held throughout the year or the Summer Festival (the next event will be held in 2023).
The Lord Howe Island Marine Park is one of the best diving spots in the world, with more than 60 dive sites and many that remain undiscovered. The underwater world around Ball’s Pyramid, the world’s tallest sea stack, is home to a unique coral community with giant fan corals, as well as rare Spanish dancers and the rare and protected Ballina angelfish.
Turtle swimming in the waters off Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Island
You’ll need a guide for the challenging day trek to Mount Gower on the island’s southern end. There are gentle walks too, such as Valley of the Shadows amid groves of Banyan trees and Kentia palms. You can also spot red-tailed tropicbirds perform their spectacular airborne courting displays on the Malabar Hill walk.
Catch garfish from the shore or join a fishing tour and head outside the reef to catch wahoo, kingfish, trevally and yellowfin tuna. Commercial fishing is not allowed within the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, so you'll find an abundance of fish. Be sure to check the regulations before you head out as there are sanctuary zones in the marine park and limits apply on certain species.
Lagoon Beach, Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is 700km northeast of Sydney. QantasLink offers regular flights from Sydney. Regular flights from Port Macquarie and Newcastle are also available through Eastern Tour Services with Eastern Air Services.
Adventure on Lord Howe Island
Adventure on Lord Howe Island
An island paradise with pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and just 300 residents, Lord Howe Island is a unique and untouched destination for adventure lovers.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.