The world heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, located off the north coast of New South Wales, is a little piece of Pacific paradise, which families can discover, old-school style, together. Avoid the chaotic school holiday crowds and opt for a stay on Lord Howe Island instead, exploring its natural beauty and heritage, and adventure activities including hiking, reef walking, snorkelling and scuba diving.
Here are our favourite family friendly activities on Lord Howe Island.
Lord Howe Island Museum
Lord Howe Island Museum will give the whole family a sense of place and history. The best way to see the island is on foot or by bicycle so before you set out, it's worth stopping by the museum to check out the island's geography, geology, historical artefacts historical photographs, and flora and fauna. Study the maps to find a network of walking trails and plan a family hike. Interactive displays and friendly, knowledgeable staff make a visit to the museum a great start to your Lord Howe Island holiday.
Lord Howe Island Marine Park
Lord Howe Island Marine Park surrounds the island and features the world's southernmost barrier coral reef, swarming with over 500 species of tropical fish, and tropical and temperate marine creatures, including green and hawksbill turtles. Experienced divers can head out to the spectacular Balls Pyramid site, the world's tallest sea rock stack. Make time to take a Turtle Tour on a glass-bottomed boat in North Bay and hand feed the fish at Ned's Beach Sanctuary Zone.
Lord Howe Island is comparatively tiny - only 11 kilometres long and 2 kilometres wide - but even so, offers a number of bushwalks and hikes to suit all abilities. The most challenging is the Mt Gower hike, one of the best one-day treks in the world. This eight-hour trek requires you to use ropes at some points in the climb. Families with young children or less agile members might prefer the walks through the forest and around the lagoon. For stunning panoramic lagoon views
hike up the 147-metre Mount Eliza.
Lord Howe Island lagoon boasts calm, crystal clear water, which is home to 500 species of fish and 90 species of coral, making it an ideal snorkel and dive site for families. Younger children will enjoy paddling and snorkelling in the still waters of the lagoon while teens can explore the reef, dive offshore, or hire a kayak to explore six kilometres of white beaches and pristine bays. With a number of breaks to choose from, there is also some great surfing and windsurfing to be had.
Lord Howe Island's speed limit is set at 25 kilometres per hour so the whole family can feel safe on a hired bicycle, perfect for sightseeing and getting from your accommodation to the lagoon, the beaches, the starting points of your preferred walks, and the golf course, tennis club and lawn bowling green. In between activity-filled days, enjoy a combination of self-catered meals, gourmet picnics and restaurant fare that ranges from home-style comfort food to contemporary fusion cuisine.