Water Sports on Lord Howe Island
Home to more than 500 fish species and 90 coral species, snorkelling and diving around the colourful coral reefs in the warm seas off Lord Howe Island is hard to beat. The UNESCO World Heritage marine park is like a giant underwater aquarium. Other fun water sports on offer include kayaking, kitesurfing and stand-up paddleboarding.
The lagoon is protected by a barrier reef UNESCO says is ‘the world’s most southerly true coral reef’. Teeming with marine life, the lagoon is the perfect place to begin your aquatic adventure and is a diver's dreamscape. You can hire snorkelling and diving gear to explore on your own, or join a guided tour.
Explore the lagoon on a glass-bottom boat and snorkelling tour with Marine Adventures, Islander Cruises or Lord Howe Environmental Tours. The remoteness of Lord Howe – 700km northeast of Sydney – and the tropical and temperate waters create the unique biodiversity, which will take your breath away.
With more than 60 dive sites to choose from, Lord Howe's status as one of the best snorkelling and diving spots in the world is undisputed. Pro Dive offers diving tours, while Reef N Beyondruns eco snorkelling tours. Visit the underwater world around Ball’s Pyramid, the world's tallest sea stack, with its vivid coral wall, caves and numerous sea creatures.
Other great dive spots include:
- Admiralty Islands
- Comet's Hole
- Tenth of June
- Rupert's Reef
The sheltered lagoon is home to green and hawksbill turtles. Get your fish identification guide ready to tick off blue knifefish, three-banded coralfish and doubleheader wrasse, just three species amid a multitude of brightly coloured fish. A staghorn coral garden at Erscott's Hole adds to the water-coloured canvas.
Snorkelling off Ned’s Beachis a delight, too. Pretty coral is not far from the shore and hundreds of fish glint in the pristine waters that sparkle in the sunshine. You can wade into the waters at Ned’s Beach and hand-feed a variety of fish, including spangled emperor, silver drummer and kingfish amid the tangled branches and swaying ferns.
Kitesurfing is growing in popularity on Lord Howe Island and guides will transport your equipment. Other activities include surfing, kayaking and SUP-ing. 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.