The World-Heritage listed Lord Howe Island measures just 11km, but due to its network of walking trails and abundance of rare plant and animal species, the island is considered one of the world’s best walking destinations.
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said Lord Howe Island strengthened its position as a walker’s paradise earlier this year with the announcement that the island’s Seven Peaks Walk by Pinetrees has joined the exclusive Great Walks of Australia collective.
With Mount Gower considered one of the best walks in the world and Seven Peaks considered one of Australia’s best, Lord Howe Island offers a range of premium walking experiences with stunning scenery to match.
With only 400 visitors allowed on the island at any one time, bushwalkers are given a unique and exclusive opportunity to experience an untouched paradise like no other. From banyan forest to the summit of Mt Gower, the walks on Lord Howe Island explore deserted beaches, subtropical forests, freshwater creeks, rocky sea cliffs and wild volcanic peaks.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the best walks on Lord Howe Island:
The Seven Peaks Walk by Pinetrees is the first NSW walk to join Great Walks of Australia. Participants traverse from North Bay to Lord Howe Island’s highest peak Mount Gower, taking in untouched beaches, coral platforms, ancient forest, mountain peaks and breathtaking views over a five-day guided adventure.
Snorkeling and walking is a popular combination for adventuring on Lord Howe Island, and the walk to secluded North Bay is the perfect way to combine the two. Covering 7km, the walk starts at Old Settlement Beach and takes around three hours to complete. North Bay, only accessible by foot or water, will reward walkers with white sand and incredible snorkeling sights including a 1965 shipwreck.
On the East Coast, Valley of the Shadows is one of the most memorable tracks on the island, where walkers pass under large canopies of banyan trees and Kentia palms. Perhaps this unique location is why Sir David Attenborough once described the island as “so extraordinary it is almost unbelievable.”
Lord Howe Island is renowned for birdwatching, recording 130 permanent and migratory species including 14 seabird species. Birdwatchers, or ‘Twitchers’, can take in magnificent birdlife on the two hour return walk to Malabar Hill, an area home to one of the world’s largest nesting sites for the red-tailed tropic bird, known for its spectacular airborne courting displays between November and June.
For walkers seeking a more challenging trek on the South side of the island, the aptly named Intermediate Hill traverses 1.2km with an ascent to Smoking Tree Ridge. The summit offers great views over Ball’s Pyramid, the world’s tallest sea stack, and Mount Lidgbird.
Photos courtesy of Destination NSW and Luke Hanson