Lord Howe Island is an exceptionally beautiful, modern but unspoilt holiday destination one of those places people who are in the know like to keep a secret. Tourist numbers are limited to 393, so it's never crowded. Visitors must have proof of accommodation reservations before making airline bookings.
The crescent-shaped island is 11 kilometres long and 2.8 kilometres wide. Two thirds is covered in natural forest, banyan trees and kentia palms. The world's southernmost coral reef runs for six kilometres down its western side, enclosing a lagoon. Lord Howe Island is surrounded by marine parks and thanks to a collection of rare plants, 130 bird species, 490 fish species and 90 coral species, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Born from a volcanic eruption some seven million years ago, the towering peaks of Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower dominate the southern tip of the island, which is home to 350 permanent residents. It has pristine beaches, crystal waters, plunging cliffs and no pollution.
If you fancy an active holiday, there is plenty to occupy you cycling, wind surfing, beachcombing, mountain climbing, canoeing, tennis and many water activities.
Lord Howe Island Marine Adventures is run by sixth-generation Islander Anthony Riddle.
Pro Dive is the longest established dive company on the island, with more than 25 years experience. Explorer IV is a purpose-built 7.3-metre surveyed dive vessel, taking 10 divers and two crew. It is surveyed to dive the premier sites of Ball's Pyramid, the Triangle and Gowers Pinnacle. They offer dive courses, scuba trips, snorkelling tours and glass-bottom boat coral-viewing in Adventure One, a nine-metre vessel.
A three-hour trip to North Bay includes onboard commentary on the history of the area, shipwrecks and points of interest. You visit the wreck of the Favourite, walk to Old Gulch on the island's eastern side and climb Mt Eliza, where you're bound to come across colonies of nesting birds.
Enjoy the changing colours of the island on a two-hour sunset cruise.