Heavy slate skies, an icy hand, and dark nights that close in fast – winter can be long and drab. Breaking up the bone-chilling months with a trip somewhere far flung and sunny is the best way to survive. While many will race for the oversaturated islands of the Caribbean, we have searched the vault to find a rare and remote subtropical treat – welcome to Lord Howe’s Island.
Those who are feeling the weight of winter, can find balmy beauty, lavish luxury, and every bit of their desert island dream on Lord Howe’s.
How to find it
Six hundred kilometers from the mainland of Australia’s New South Wales, Lord Howe’s Island sits in the uninterrupted Tasman sea. Imagine, two spiraling mountains, a strip of sugar soft sand, and a verdant cloaked rainforest.
So pretty, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its rich array of bright birds and fascinating flora. At 11km long and 2km wide – only 400 guests can touch down at a time. As one of the last islands to be discovered in the world, it still holds that amazing prehistoric feel, our human print hasn’t left much of a dent yet.
What to Do
Leave your phone and laptop at home, Lord Howe’s Island is cut off from the world in more ways than one. You won’t mourn the loss of technology for long; Lord Howe’s Island invites plenty of space to play.
Snorkelers and divers will be in their element cruising the famed coral reefs. You can grab equipment from Ned’s Beach and plunge into warm waters to swim alongside turtles and shoals of rainbow fish.
Travelers can always send luggage to Australia and hit the champagne surf of Blinky’s Beach. Golfers can do the same with their clubs, only to tee off on the glorious emerald green of the Lord Howe’s Island 9-hole fairway.
Deep sea fishing, bird watching adventures, sea to summit expeditions hiking the two mountains, and bicycle hire to ride around the island – sunshine, sea air, and serenity are the hallmarks of this smidge of paradise.
Where to Stay
With only nine suites and instant access to the Gilligan like beach aptly named Lovers Bay, The Capella Lodge is the finest luxury home on Lord Howe’s. Lagoon Lofts throw out unrivalled mountain views, and every detail has been beautifully stitched together. The Lidgbird Pavilion is the prettiest of the lot, with an outdoor stone bath beneath fragrant trees, a private plunge pool, and secluded dining area for romantic suppers beneath the stars.
Where to Dine
From sunset cocktails on Gower’s Terrace to dinners with dramatic ocean views at the Capella Restaurant, dining comes with a side of decadence. The Capella Lodge boasts its own island garden – perfect for picking fresh herbs and vegetables, wines are flown in from across the world, and picnic lunches are stunningly assembled for those who want to disappear on the island.
Adventures to remote islands don’t come easy. As Lord Howe’s Island only boasts 400 beds, you need to book your accommodation at the same time as your flight. The easiest way to arrive is to fly from Sydney which offers daily 2-hour flights with QantasLink.