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Lord Howe Island is Australia’s premier bird watching destination, with 14 species of seabirds breeding here in hundreds of thousands.

From Malabar cliffs, you can watch red-tailed tropic birds performing their balletic, airborne courting rituals between September and May.

Also at this time, countless shearwaters (known locally as mutton birds) return to the island at dusk each day in one of the world’s most extraordinary avian spectacles.

Walk the Little Island Track between March and November to view the spectacular aerial courtship displays by the winter breeding providence petrel.One of the world’s rarest birds, the providence petrel returns to the island to nest and can be ‘called’ out of the air, landing at your feet and even climbing into your lap!

Sooty terns can easily be seen at Ned’s Beach common and the Northern Hills from September to January.

Masked boobies can be seen nesting and gliding along the sea cliffs at Mutton Bird Point all year round - bring your binoculars.

The island also boasts more than 130 permanent and migratory bird species, among them the Lord Howe Island woodhen - a flightless endemic species saved from extinction by a local conservation effort.

Many seabird colonies are easily accessible along walking tracks and roads - it’s often possible to approach quite close as most birds have no fear of man. Local guides can show you the best locations and provide information on different species.

See Nature Calendar »

Rare Flora

The majority of Lord Howe Island is covered in thick forests of the native Kentia palms and other endemic species. The range of altitude on this tiny volcanic outcrop - rising from sea level almost vertically to 875 metres - has resulted in the evolution of a spectacular diversity of unusual plant life. From the beautiful wedding lily to the red mountain rose, there are over 100 species found nowhere else.

The most famous is the Lord Howe Island Kentia palm. There are four species, one of which is exported as the world’s most popular indoor palm.

Its cultivation (at the Lord Howe Island Palm Nursery) forms the largest export industry on the island.

Locals harvest the seed by hand, climbing the palm trees with great speed and skill.

Bush regeneration

For some strenuous - but rewarding - activity during your holiday, you could book one of Lord Howe’s increasingly popular Bush Regeneration tours.

Help eradicate weeds in the morning before exploring the island in the afternoon, discovering more about the bird, plant and marine life.

Recreational camping and climbing

There are no camping facilities for tourists on the island and remote area camping is not permitted.

Permission from the Lord Howe Island Board is required for recreational climbing. To protect the fragile and unique environment of Balls Pyramid (which supports the endangered Lord Howe Island phasmid) recreational climbing is prohibited.