Alone Again, Naturally (excerpt)
Travel Unravelled – Financial Times
New retreats on outrageously beautiful Australian islands – including luxury eco-camps and community-owned lodges leave Paul Miles awestruck.
James Baillie is the owner of the exquisitely refurbished Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island. This island, a two-hour flight from Sydney is, like the Great Barrier Reef, a Unesco World Heritage site. It is outrageously beautiful- the kind of fantasy South Pacific island you might doodle on the back of an envelope: a surf beach, a lagoon beach, mountains, fields, palm trees and pine trees. Some people live on the 11km long, narrow wonderland.
There are never more than 400 visitors at any time, who pootle about on bicycles. It is also perfect for walks , including one arduous guided trek to the top of 900m high Mount Gower. There are endemic birds, plants, insects and fish. The coral reef is southernmost in the world: the mix of temperate and tropical oceans is home to a great diversity of marine life.
On land, the Lord Howe Island woodhen has been rescued from the verge of extinction. The birds scratch around Capella Lodge which, of all the island’s accommodation, has the best views.