Standing tall at 875 metres, Mt Gower is Lord Howe’s highest mountain. Rated as one of Australia’s best day walks, the Mt Gower hike is a challenging eight hour return trek, complete with rope-assisted climbs and dizzying drops.
Walkers traverse around 14 kilometres across the mountain’s rugged terrain, encountering some of the island’s rarest plants and wildlife along the way.
Standing atop Gower’s iconic peak, amongst its misty forest inhabited by the island’s famous Woodhens, walkers experience breathtaking 360-degree views of the island and its crystal blue waters.
Wade into the sparkling water at Ned’s Beach, at the island’s north-east, to hand feed the fish.
You will instantly be surrounded by a feeding frenzy of Mullet, Wrasse, Garfish, Silver-drummer, Spangled Emperor and Kingfish.
Golden sand leads into calm waters ideal for kids, who paddle at the edge or snorkel above a colourful kaleidoscope of fish and corals along a fringing coral reef. Masks, fins and snorkels are stored at Ned’s Beach for the cost of a contribution to the ‘honesty box’, in a testament to times past.
23 kilometres southeast of the island, the world’s tallest sea stack and the site of some of Australia’s most remarkable diving can be found – the 551 metre tall Ball’s Pyramid. Exploring the caves and waters surrounding the basalt spearhead, divers come face-to-face with a mass of spectacular sea creatures.
From huge schools of Violet Sweep, Rainbow Runners and Amberjack, to Marlin, Dolphin, Turtles and Wahoo, the underwater world will astound. Many rare species, like Spanish Dancers and Galapagos Whalers also make these waters their home.
Ball’s Pyramid is a popular spot for fishing charters and is the only known place where the Ballina Angelfish can be sighted scuba diving.
Home to 500 fish species and 90 species of coral, Lord Howe’s snorkelling is second to none.
A luxuriant garden of Staghorn coral dominates the iconic snorkelling destination that is Erscott’s Hole, a natural wonder within a protected intertidal groyne. Snorkelers can get up close to tame fish conditioned to daily visits by glass bottom boats.
The amazing Double Header Wrasse and the chameleon-like Blue Fish, which can change its body colour from dark green to sky blue in a matter of seconds, are common sightings.
At the north of Lord Howe lies North Bay, a secluded beach accessible only by foot or water.
Travellers admire migratory seabirds and take short walks to Mt Eliza, Old Gulch and Herring Pools from the bay, or laze the day away on the white, sandy beach. Amazing snorkelling opportunities can be found here, with a large variety of fish, turtles, stingrays and colourful corals all common sightings.
Snorkelers can also explore the wreck of the Favourite, which has rested on the ocean floor since 1965.
There are two pathways leading to Transit Hill, which is roughly centred on the island, and you might spot an Emerald Ground dove or a Golden Whistler along the way.
Start your stroll near the island’s Administration Centre, or walk across the picturesque Blinky Beach along a narrow track, to reach the look-out point. The return walk can be done at leisure in around an hour and is well worth it for the fantastic 360-degree views. After soaking up the sights, stroll back down to Blinky Beach to cool down with a swim.
Red-tailed Tropicbirds, gracefully performing their airborne courting rituals are common sightings from Malabar between September and May.
Malabar’s cliffs, which plunge dramatically into the ocean, play host the world’s largest nesting ground for the birds. Situated to the island’s north, Malabar has some of the best views of Lord Howe’s south end and is well worth the climb. During the two-hour return walk to Malabar, you will pass through dense palm forests with Muttonbird burrows.
Sweeping panoramic views of the island encompass the towering volcanic peaks of Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower to the south while the Admiralty Islands dominate the north.
Weather-sculpted sandstone rocks are dotted across the southern end of Old Settlement Beach.
Situated to the island’s north, the beach is a great place to surrender to relaxation as you enjoy the sun’s warm rays and admire impressive mountain views. During mid to high tides, turtles are often sighted swimming in close to shore.
The beach is a picture-perfect spot for picnickers, revitalising swims, relaxing snorkelling, or if you want to spend the day lazing on the sand with a good book.
Just 15 minutes by boat from Lord Howe rests an intriguing group of volcanic formations, dubbed the Admiralty Islands. Large pinnacles, coral reefs, larger schools of fish and diving depths of 15-40 metres characterise the islands.
Eager divers flock to this area, and for good reason. Around 25 dive sites scattered around the atolls harbour some of Australia’s best diving spots.
Noddy Island, Rupert’s Reef, Sugarloaf Island, Tenth of June Bombora, Tenth of June Deep, Flat Rock and North Rock are just a selection of spots which offer incredible diving rich in diverse marine life.