Lord Howe Island
LORD HOWE ISLAND is a small island in the Pacific Ocean 600-km east of the Australian mainland. It is a spectacular volcanic island boasting rainforest-clad slopes rising above a pristine lagoon fringed by the world’s southernmost coral reef.
Due to its unique beauty and biodiversity, Lord Howe Island was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1982 in recognition of the rare birds and plant life, and coral reef in unpolluted and virtually untouched waters. Only a tenth of the land has been cleared for cultivation or grazing, and two-thirds of the island is designated as Permanent Park Reserve.
The Lord Howe Island Marine Park protects the waters surrounding the island group. Over 400 fish species are found in the waters around Lord Howe including nine endemic to the region. Over 80 species of coral occur in the reefs surrounding the islands. The reef is sustained by the warm summer currents that sweep in from the Great Barrier Reef, making it a scuba diving and snorkelling paradise. Together with the attractions of the nearby Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, as well as the stark beauty of Ball’s Pyramid, Lord Howe Island is a welcome spot to enjoy a uniquely unspoilt taste of island life. It’s an excellent destination for superyachts, but only in reasonable weather.
The best time to visit is when the wind is from the east or north east, when shelter will be afforded on the western side of the island. Reasonable anchorages are available there in depths between 20 and 30 metres, but the holding is marginal due to the bottom being rock and shale. If shelter on the eastern side of the island is required, then there are a number of anchorages on the north eastern side of the island in depths of about 15 metres. Care should be taken when navigating around Lord Howe Island as it has been inadequately surveyed. The only berth suitable for handling vessels is in the lagoon that is only accessible from the western side, and only in calmer weather and for very shallow draft vessels of a few metres