About Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a world listed heritage island. It is a paradise.
It is an irregularly crescent-shaped volcanic remnant in the southwest Pacific Ocean, lying in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand. The island is about 10 km long and between 2.0 km and 0.3 km wide with an area of 14.55 km2. Along the west coast there is a semi-enclosed sheltered coral reef lagoon with white sand, the most accessible of the island’s eleven beaches. Both the north and south sections of the island are high ground of relatively untouched forest, in the south comprising two volcanic mountains, Mount Lidgbird (777 m or 2,549 ft) and Mount Gower which, rising to 875 m (2,871 ft), is the highest point on the island. The two mountains are separated by the saddle at the head of Erskine Valley. In the north, where most of the population live, high points are Malabar (209 m or 686 ft) and Mount Eliza (147 m or 482 ft). Between these two uplands is an area of cleared lowland with some farming, the airstrip, and housing. The Lord Howe Island Group of islands comprises 28 islands, islets and rocks. Apart from Lord Howe Island itself the most notable of these is the pointed rocky islet Ball’s Pyramid, a 551-metre-high (1,808 ft) eroded volcano about 23 km to the south-east, which is uninhabited but bird-colonised. It contains the only known population of the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, formerly thought to be extinct. To the north there is the Admiralty Group, a cluster of seven small uninhabited islands. Just off the east coast is 4.5 ha Mutton Bird Island, and in the lagoon is 3 ha Blackburn (Rabbit) Island.
The resident population of Lord Howe Island was 348 people (2006 Census) and the number of tourists is not allowed to exceed 400. Residents are involved with the Kentia Palm industry, tourism, retail, some fishing and farming
Lord Howe Island Climate
Lord Howe Island has a subtropical climate. In general the summers are mild or warm with rainfall erratic but occasionally heavy while in winter it is cool with rainfall more or less uniform. July is the windiest month, and the winter months are subject to frequent gales and strong winds.
There can be wide variation in rainfall from year to year. July and August are the coldest months with average minimum temperatures of about 13 °C and no frost. Average maximum temperatures range from between 17 °C and 20 °C in the winter to between 24 °C and 27 °C in the summer. Average minimum temperatures range from between 12 °C and 15 °C in the winter to between 18 °C and 22 °C in the summer. The humidity averages in the 60% to 70% range year round becoming more noticeable on warmer summer days than in the cooler winter months. The island has reasonably high rainfall, with an annual average and median of about 1600 mm. The driest months are from November to February.
Activities on Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is known for its geology, birds, plants, and marine life. Popular tourist activities include scuba diving, birdwatching, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, and fishing.To relieve pressure on the small island environment only 400 tourists are permitted at any one time.The island is reached by plane.
There are no snakes, no venomous or stinging insects, animals or plants, and no dangerous daytime sharks off the beaches.
Lord Howe Island Birds
A total of 202 different birds have been recorded on the island. Eighteen species of land birds breed on the island and there are many more migratory species that occur on the island and its adjacent islets, many tame enough that it is possible for humans to get quite close.
Lord Howe Island Fish & Coral
Over 500 species of fish have been recorded at Lord Howe Island, 70% are sub-tropical due to the warm waters.
It is the palms that are the signature plants of the island as the Kentia and Curly Palms especially dominate the landscape in many places, the Kentia being of special economic importance. All four species are endemic to the island, often occurring in dense pure stands, the one that has proved such a world-wide success as an indoor plant being the Kentia or Thatch Palm . This is a lowland palm with drooping leaflets and seed branches in ‘hands’ of 3–5 while the Curly Palm, which occurs on slightly higher ground, has upwardly directed leaflets and solitary ‘hands’. Natural hybrids between these species occur on the island and there is a mature specimen of one growing in the island nursery. On the mountain sides higher than about 350 m there is the Big Mountain Palm; it has large golf-ball-sized fruits while the Little Mountain Palm has marble-sized fruits and is only found on the mountain summits.
Getting to Lord Howe Island
Kirkhope Aviation has a 6 day air tour to Lord Howe Island including one day of wine tasting at Cessnock Wineries on the way. If you’d like more information about the island, you can visit the information website.