A pri­vate par­adise

Holiday with Kids - - Travel With Teens -

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.

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