Lord Howe Island - logistics.
Lord Howe Island is a small but beautifully formed subtropical island
600km.off New South Wales, and an administrative part of it. It has
mountains, beaches, coral lagoons, palm trees and easy birding. Five
endemics, and hundreds of thousands of breeding seabirds of fourteen
species, several rarely seen elsewhere in Australia.
It's about two hours ex Sydney or Brisbane by Qantas, light plane from
Port Macquarie, popular with yachtsmen who moor picturesquely in the aqua
coloured lagoon. Supplies are airfreighted or come in from Port Macquarie on
a dedicated small steamer that sits on the bottom at low tide.
About fifteen establishments offer accommodation, ranging from around
$50 to $350 a night pp.depending on swank and season. Most have fridges,
kitchens, covered outside barbeques, en suites, Lord Howe Island Woodhens in
their gardens at least some of the time. Packages are the way to go. Try
www.lordhoweisland.info, or www.talpacific.com or a travel agent.
There are no mobile phones, scattered public phones only except in
the most upmarket resorts, and getting about can be a hassle although the
lodges generally pickup and deliver to the airport on arrival and departure,
and most (not Somerset) ferry you to restaurants at night, the restaurants
take you back. Otherwise it's walking (Shank's Pony as they quaintly say),
or bicycle, or tiny hire-cars at large prices. Choose your bike very
carefully, ours had knife-like seats designed to surgically remove one's
haemorrhoids or worse as you rode. Most accommodations and places of
interest are within half an hour's walk or ten minutes ride of one another.
Pinetrees packages are good value if you like eating; three meals a day are
included. Most birders stay at Somerset for reasons unclear, perhaps for
the evening barbeque get-togethers. Milky Way had better birding, ambience
The Island is very laid back, no keys on your doors. Uniforms are
compulsory for schoolkids, but not shoes
Make the Information Centre at the Museum your first stop, and get
their handout on Where to Eat, listing all the restaurants and eateries and
their mostly irregular opening days and times, Where to Shop, Services, What
to Do, Where to Hire, Boat Trips, Fishing., ie everything you do need to
know on one sheet of paper. Organise trips and guides early. Ian Hutton is
the Island's naturalist and birdguide extrordinaire, his birdbook and
fieldguide are a must for birders. He can show you breeding seabirds burrows
and young, call in Providence Petrels, guide you to Balls Pyramid's
Kermadec Petrels and White-bellied Storm-petrels, and runs a birdweek in the
appropriate seasons. Contact through 02 65632447.
Next - part 3 Lord Howe Island Birds.
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge
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