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   Destinations - Reader Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by a fellow TravelPage.com reader.

Australia, New Zealand & Oceania: Australia, Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a small island off the coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is a low-key, informal holiday destination with a maximum of around 400 tourist beds on the island, distributed over about a dozen guest-houses or lodges. The island is stunningly beautiful, features an abundance of wildlife, including the world's southernmost coral reef. It is a World Heritage area. It would have to be one of the world's great tourist secrets, and that suits me fine!

Getting There
The only practical means for getting there (unless you can sail or fly yourself there) is by air from Sydney or Brisbane. Eastern Australian Airlines (a Qantas subsidiary) run DASH-8's there most days, and two or three times a day in peak holiday season (Australian summer school holidays, i.e. December/January). All of the guest-houses pick up their guests from the small airport.

Most of the accommodation on the island are guest-house style apartments with kitchenette, in the 2-star to 4-star range. All of the establishments are small, and the keynote throughout the whole island is informality. Only one of the guest-houses has a swimming pool: when you have several excellent beaches a few minutes' walk from any of the lodgings, why bother with anything else?

Food and Service
Almost all of the lodges/guest-houses have their own restaurants, and there are a couple of independent establishments. The standard is mostly "good", with two or three stand-outs. The "Lagoon Cafe" does great breakfasts, brunches, lunches, etc. The "Milky Way" is famous for its fish-fry dinners, which are something of a bargain. The lodges have a system whereby they will bus you to whichever place you want to eat at that evening, and in turn, that establishment will bus you back after dinner.

Swim, fish, walk, bike, relax, eat, scuba-dive, snorkel, tennis, golf, boat-trips, etc. There is precious little in the way of man-made attractions, thankfully, apart from a small museum which opens most afternoons. The island itself is the attraction, and there are several good walks, ranging from short strolls through the "forest", to a serious all-day guided walk to the top of the imposing Mt.Gower.

Not an issue: the only practical way to get around is on bike or to walk. After a couple of weeks biking and walking in one of the most pristine environments on the planet you'll feel great! (Well, it worked for me.)

There are some child-oriented activities run by some of the locals, but this is also a place where it is extremely safe for children. There are no venomous or otherwise dangerous insects or other animals, and no traffic to speak of. While parents do need to keep an eye on the children in the water, of course, this is in many ways the sort of place the world should be like, and which many people think no longer exists.


Lord Howe Island Web Site

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