|World's most beautiful place?
The first time I went to Lord Howe was for the 25th anniversary of its World Heritage listing six years ago. It was love at first sight. I was almost in tears flying in, seeing this mountainous tropical island appear out of the blue, so pristine, so natural.
Afterwards I fantasised about living there, vowed to return. And earlier this month, I did. For a week-long break from travelling and writing - which amused the owners of Pinetrees Lodge (where my lovely friend Emma and I stayed), who blogged that Lord Howe is where travel writers go on holiday.
|Happiness is a Lord Howe holiday:
(with Em on our first day)
Ah Lord Howe, let me count the ways I love thee:
1. Natural beauty - Lord Howe has it by the truckload: mountains (the twin peaks of Mt Gower and Lidgbird at the southern end, Mt Eliza at the northern end), a long, tropical-island lagoon encircled by the most southerly coral reef in the world, and wild surf beaches that'd fit right in on the NSW mid-north coast.
|View from the dinghy
|Lord Howe's Norfolk Island pines
|Sunset from Little Island,
beneath Mt Gower
8. It's off the grid. Seeing the Hercules was the high-tech highlight of our week. You can leave your phone, your mini iPad and your laptop at home when you come to Lord Howe; there's no mobile reception, no wifi. No TVs in the rooms at Pinetrees either. Long live printed newspapers: that's the only way you can know for sure the outside world still exists, thanks to daily Qantaslink deliveries. The perfect place to unplug.
9. You can go car-less. I loved exploring the island on my trusty rental bike, particularly the strip of road between the island's "main street" and the airstrip, a cathedral of green punctuated by fishing buoys tied to the trunks of palm trees (the locals' way of marking the secluded paths and driveways to their houses).
|The view from the Mt Eliza track
I could go on, but you get the picture. As Emma put it, in her Lord Howe Love-in post: "If I could live there, I would, but failing that I will simply spend my days telling anyone with ears to go." Exactly.
Want to go? See the Lord Howe Island website and check out Pinetrees Lodge's winter deals and walking, wellness and wilderness weeks. I'll see you there.