EXPLORE THE ISLAND
Hover over hotspots to reveal more information about Lord Howe Island’s places of interest.
North Bay is a secluded untouched bay at the northern end of the island, only accessible via boat, walking the track over Malabar or walking around the tip of Dawson’s Point at low tide. Local tour guides run guided day trips so you can explore this untouched part of the world.
Explore an enchanted world of gnarled and mossy rainforest on the ascent and descent of Lord Howe Island’s iconic Mount Gower, rated as one of Australia’s greatest day walks. Standing at 875 metres above sea level, the summit offers unparalleled 360 degree views of the island and its surrounding coral reefs. Under the guidance of local personality and sixth generation islander Jack Shick, walkers traverse around 14 kilometres across the mountain’s rugged terrain, encountering some of the islands rarest plants and wildlife along the way.
Celebrated as the pinnacle of luxury on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, Capella Lodge rests atop romantic Lovers Bay and welcomes spectacular views of the ocean, reef and mountains. An intimate nine guest suites, luxurious surrounds, exceptional island-inspired dining and unforgettable ‘first-name’ service combine to create an outstanding lodging experience.
For 27 years before the island’s airstrip was built by the Australian Army in 1974, Lord Howe Island was serviced by flying boats from Rose Bay, Sydney. Many returning guests to the island fondly remember the island’s flying boat days.
Today, Qantaslink operates year-round scheduled services to Lord Howe. Flight time is under two hours, with flights departing from Sydney on most days and from Brisbane on weekends.
The summit of Mount Eliza is a 30 minute climb from the picnic area of North Bay. Enjoy the vista over the lagoon and mountains or spend your time observing the hundreds of Sooty Terns that breed on the cliff faces in the spring and summer.
Lord Howe is legendary for fishing. Surrounded by Marine Park and with no commercial fishery, the diversity of species, terrain, methods – and the sheer abundance of fish – rank Lord Howe among the world’s top fishing destinations. Hook-up with local identity Jack Shick on Noctiluca, his 8 metre purpose-built vessel for a great day of deep sea fishing, sightseeing or bird watching. There are dozens of hot spots for hooking into monster pelagics such as Lord Howe Kingfish, Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo, as well as several species unique to Lord Howe. After a spectacular day on the water, return to Capella where the chefs will turn your catch into a culinary delight for dinner.
Goat House Cave
Goat House Cave is the highest point of access to Mount Lidgbird. After a strenuous 400 metre climb you will find yourself in a rocky cliff face cave – a former shelter for 19th century Kentia palm gatherers and years ago, the island’s wild goats. You will be rewarded with panoramic views of the Island and on clear days you may glimpse Balls Pyramid, Lord Howe’s iconic volcanic sea stack located approx 23 kilometres south-east off Lord Howe Island.
One of the most picturesque golf courses in Australia – the island’s 9 hole course meanders through Kentia palm forests and onto the lagoon foreshore while Mounts Lidgbird and Gower loom in the background. The Golf Club offers golfing gear for hire on an honesty system.
Standing tall beside Mount Gower at 775 metres above sea level, Mount Lidgbird is located on the island’s southern section and is named after the naval officer Captain Henry Lidgbird Ball, who first sighted Lord Howe Island in 1788. Note, there is no access to the summit.
Little Island sits beneath Mounts Lidgbird and Gower on the edge of a rocky beach, overlooking the most southern end of Lord Howe’s lagoon. The walk to Little Island passes though Kentia palm forests, a favoured habitat of the Lord Howe Island Woodhen who are often spotted along the track. Providence Petrels may also be seen here March through October.
Head to Blinky Beach to catch a wave on one of Australia’s least crowded surf beaches. Locals have dubbed Blinky Beach as having ‘champagne surf’. Grab a surf board or body board and head down to experience it for yourself.
Blinky Beach is also a popular spot for fishing, picnicking with barbeques provided. Also an ideal vantage point for bird watching, as the island’s Common Noddies nest against the cliff face.
The summit of Transit Hill proudly showcases 360 degree panoramic views of the island’s settlement and its surrounding crystal clear waters. Transit Hill’s summit is one of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the geographic location of the island’s main points of interest.
The summit is a short stroll via either Blinky Beach or the local Administration Centre, Transit Hill is a ‘must do’ for each visitor.
Experience the sheltered south-east corner of the island with a day walk to Boat Harbour. Explore the rocky beach and enjoy the view of Mt Lidgbird looming in the distance. On your way back, walk via Rocky Run, another of Lord Howe’s rewarding walks – you’ll wander through thick and lush Kentia palm forests while coming across more of the island’s rare plant and wildlife.
Erscot's HoleA large sandy bottomed hole lined with many of Lord Howe’s 98 coral species, including staghorn and dozens of sea-anemonies with their resident namesake fish. It’s an 800 metre swim from shore, or you can take a glass bottom boat and snorkel with large spangled emperors and double-header wrasse while boat operators handfeed them.
LagoonEnclosed by the southern-most coral reef in the world, the lagoon is 1-3 metres deep with a sandy bottom and many coral outcrops. There are four passages through the reef, North passage and Man of War (or South) passage being the deepest and most used.
Comets HoleA semi circle reef wall with a weedy bottom that is a haven for large stingrays, cuttlefish, sliver drummer and painted morwong. As Comets Hole sits out off the shore, it is recommended to access Comets Hole via either glass bottom boat, kayak or dive boat.
Valley of the Shadows
Valley of the ShadowsStroll through a palm forest to the Valley of Shadows, where 20 metre high Banyan trees support themselves by sending down aerial roots from their branches. The Clear Place offers views of Mutton Bird Island, a great spot to watch the Flesh Footed Shearwaters (between October-March) returning at dusk.
Middle BeachLow tide at Middle Beach reveals a whole new world just waiting to be discovered. Be enchanted with the shallow pools that are home to a wide range of marine life such as starfish, urchins, small fish, crabs, clams and snails. The deeper pools allow you to snorkel and explore this amazing underwater world and you can spend hours on the shore beachcombing for hidden treasures that have washed ashore.
Stephens ReserveA 1.2 kilometre walk through Kentia palm and Norfolk Island Pine forests where you can see Lord Howe’s stunning White Terns circling above their nests in the Pines. The Norfolk Island Pines, while not endemic to Lord Howe, are protected as they were planted by the first settlers of the island. The track passes though buildings used in the 1980’s for the captive breeding program that saved the Lord Howe Island Woodhen and also gardens that were planted by early settlers which still are tended to by island families today.
Neds BeachLord Howe’s treasured Neds Beach, voted one of Australia’s cleanest beaches, where you are able to hand feed, swim and snorkel with a wide range of fish species straight off the beach. Neds Beach is home to kilometres of coral gardens that are teeming with marine life just waiting to be discovered. Islanders know how to enjoy themselves and you too can embrace the island way with a sunset barbeque. Join the Capella chefs for a fish fry like no other, and the must-have ingredient, freshly caught Kingfish.
MalabarMalabar offers superb views. You can catch the aerobatics of the Red-Tailed Tropicbirds or glimpse the shadows of turtles and fish swimming in the crystal clear water below. Either way, Malabar is a must to explore.
Old Settlement Beach
Old Settlement BeachA quiet and secluded corner of the island to tuck yourself away into with a good book. Paddle in the shallows and you will see the turtles that spend their days amongst the sea grass during the low tides. Sylphs Hole, a fresh water sinkhole is located in the north-western corner of the beach, a great snorkelling spot where you are likely to come across a wide range of marine life such as turtles, rays and tropical fish.
Old GulchA narrow, rocky inlet that is fascinating to explore. At low tide, the Herring Pools are accessible – snorkel or swim with small fish that are trapped in the deep pools at low tide. Old Gulch is only accessible via North Bay.