Just two hours south-east of Sydney by plane, Lord Howe Island is the location of the southernmost coral reef in the world. A crescent-shaped volcanic island, Lord Howe Island has tons of attractions to catch the eye of anyone looking for a new experience. Scuba divers, bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike all flock to Lord Howe to take in the incredible scenery, submerge themselves in the clear blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and spot species of birds you can only find on this small island.
The reef has been protected since 1998 and is known for being one of the world's cleanest and clearest spots in the Pacific Ocean — many who visit even compare its waters to that of an aquarium!
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Beyond the birds and coral reefs, Lord Howe Island is also a popular tourist destination for those looking to get in touch with nature and enjoy a place that is thoroughly untouched by the modern world and development. Lord Howe Island offers sandy beaches, palm forests, volcanic mountains and more.
To make the most of your time on island, try to arrange a walking tour or two. You will get to discover all aspects of the island and see some of the rarest plants and wildlife on your way.
One such place is Mt. Gower, Lord Howe's tallest mountain. It is not a trip for the faint of heart, as it is an 8-hour trek that includes rope-assisted climbs and jaw-dropping cliffs. But when you reach the summit of Gower's iconic peak, you will be treated to a 360-degree view of the island and the stunningly blue waters that surround it.
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Do note that you'll want to plan your visit to Lord Howe Island well in advance, as tourist accommodations are very limited—only 400 tourist beds at one time.
The limitation is in place to help protect the island's fragile environment and the native and ecologically important birds and plants that call Lord Howe Island home.
The variety of accommodation types range from lodges to guesthouses to individual apartments so you can pick the type of room that you prefer. Because of the limited space, it is important to book your flights and accommodations at the same time so you and your companions don't get stuck on Lord Howe Island without a place to stay!
This island and its waters are home for more than 500 species of fish and an astounding 90 coral species.
Lord Howe Island is also home to 130 permanent and migratory species of bird, including two species that were endangered but were brought back from the edge of extinction thanks to the Island's breeding programme. The Lord Howe Island Woodhen, a flightless endemic species, is one such bird, and catching a glimpse of their olive brown feathers is a perpetual draw for avid bird watchers all over the world.
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