Lord Howe Island, Australia: one of the most beautiful places on the planet
LORD HOWE ISLAND, New South Wales, Australia - Unbelievable.
I've been here almost two days now, and I can't remember a trip that's been so relaxed. It helps that this island is a paradise where they only allow some 400 people at a time because of it's world heritage status and fragile environment.
It's the world's most southerly coral reef, situated not far north of Sydney but about a 100-minute flight northeast, roughly a third of the way to New Zealand. There are some 19 properties on the island, but most are quite small and apartment-style, with only a couple true resorts. I'm staying at a marvellous spot called Arajilla, with modern units nestled in a forest-setting with incredible food. The lagoon beach is a two-minute walk away, and there's a wonderful stretch of sand called Ned's Beach about a 10 minute walk away, with far better coral reefs and more plentiful fish than I saw on my only trip to the Great Barrier Reef back in 2000.
There are two enormous, basalt mountains at one end of the island, and they tower over the crystal-clear lagoon. It's like having a double shot of the famous mountain on Bora-Bora. But there's also some wonderful pasture land and high sea cliffs and other sights that feel a lot like Ireland or Newfoundland.
Toss in some incredibly hospitable people, a "town" with a post office, a restaurant and five shops or so, no traffic lights, no cell phone reception (Hurray) and a speed limit of 25 km/hour and you've got a recipe for magic.
I don't have much Internet access so I'll have to leave at that for now. Sadly, I can't download any of my photos on the blog right now. I'll try again later. Damn.
Anyway, suffice to say there will be a major story coming up in the travel section, with lots of photos. So stay tuned. It's been wonderful, and the pictures should be pretty good....
If you're on Twitter, you should be able to find a couple of my photos at the twitter address jbyers11...