A private paradise
Attenborough as, “so extraordinary it’s almost unbelievable”. This lushly beautiful, World Heritage-listed island boasts a mix of ocean and lagoon beaches, varying levels of bushwalks, warm, aquamarine water, a perfect climate that’s not too hot or too cold, and an abundance of friendly birds, with no snakes or venomous spiders.
Despite its convincing impersonation of Tahiti, Lord Howe is actually part of NSW so no passports are needed and there’s no pollution, traffic lights, crime or keys. Hardly anyone wears shoes, just about everyone cycles everywhere and everything is just minutes away. There’s also no mobile coverage and little Wi-Fi, meaning kids can be kids again in a relaxed, free-range setting perfect for innocent adventure and exploration. If you stay, like we did, at the oldest and biggest accommodation property on Lord Howe – Pinetrees, run by the same clan for 150 years – families will also enjoy three included gourmet meals a day, plus complimentary afternoon tea, which means no cooking or cleaning for parents. Plus, there are free prams and strollers, extra kids’ bedding, a special kids’ dinner sitting and no television, so you get to reconnect with your children by talking, playing games and doing what families are meant to do. At night, there’s just the ocean waves and the whispering of the Norfolk pines to lull you to sleep.
There are just under 400 residents living on this alluring, subtropical isle (with only 400 visitors at any one time) and their surfboards and kayaks sit next to the beach, lockless. A lost property blackboard sits in the ‘CBD’ of six shops and cafes and there are honesty boxes for drinks, fruit or fish food everywhere. Lord Howe may offer a picture-perfect, sand-inyour-toes holiday, but it also serves up a wistful picture of how life could or should be everywhere and we felt privileged to experience its pure magic for six nights.