Water sports on Lord Howe Island
Surrounded by a pristine marine park, with more than 450 fish species and 90 coral species, Lord Howe Island is an underwater paradise. You can snorkel and dive in the warm waters of the UNESCO World Heritage marine park, or enjoy it from above the surface; kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.
Snorkelling & diving
The lagoon is protected by the world’s most southerly coral reef – a fantastic spot for snorkellers and beginner divers. You might spot green and hawksbill turtles, blue knifefish, three-banded coralfish and doubleheader wrasse amongst a multitude of other brightly coloured fish.
You can hire snorkelling and diving gear to explore on your own, or join a guided tour. Sail the lagoon a glass-bottom boat with Marine Adventures, try night snorkelling with Lord Howe Environmental Tours, or explore the reef on an aqua scooter with Reef N Beyond.
The lagoon is a great place to try diving for the first time, with plenty of shallow dives between 5-8 metres. Experienced divers can head outside of the reef with Pro Dive to explore more than 60 dive sites, including the world renowned Ball’s Pyramid, the only recreational dive site where you can see Ballina Angelfish.
Other great dive spots include:
- Admiralty Islands
- Comet's Hole
- Tenth of June
- Rupert's Reef
The uncrowded waves at Blinky Beach are excellent for surfing, and the calm shallows of North Bay and Old Settlement Beach are superb for kayaking and SUP-ing.
Swimming safety information
NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:
Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.
Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.
Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.
Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.
Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming.