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Plan Your Trip2020-06-13T10:03:33+00:00

ABOUT LORD HOWE ISLAND

Lord Howe Island is a World Heritage-listed island located around 600km off the north coast of NSW and less than two hours’ flight from Brisbane or Sydney. Along the island’s 10km west coast lies the stunning sandy semi-enclosed sheltered coral reef lagoon.

Most of the population lives in the north part of the island, while the south is dominated by forested hills rising to Mount Gower (875m) which is the highest point on the island. The island’s geological origins date back over 7 million years to the highly eroded remains of a shield volcano, the product of eruptions that lasted for about a half-million years.

Today, only 400 visitors are permitted on Lord Howe at any one time, ensuring the island remains unspoilt. The island’s outstanding natural beauty includes a rare collection of birds, plants and marine life, and the world’s southernmost coral reef.

The pristine waters surrounding the island are teeming a unique combination of tropical, subtropical and temperate marine life.There are almost 500 fish species including Yellowtail, Kingfish, Bluefish, Marlin, Tuna and hundreds of tropical species. Over 80 species of coral occur in the reefs surrounding the islands.

The island’s unique species of birds can be seen throughout the island and the Lord Howe Woodhen, Golden Whistler, Silvereye and Currawong are found nowhere else in the world. The island is seasonal habitat to millions of seabirds such as Noddy terns, White terns, Sooty terns, Muttonbirds, Black winged petrels and Red-tailed tropic birds. Some migrate from as far as Siberia each year to breed.

In combination with a warm climate, vibrant local community and relaxing atmosphere, Lord Howe is the perfect destination for all ages.

SEASONAL GUIDES

Choose a season and download our detailed information…

Monthly weather insights (water temperature, air temperature, rain), what to bring, what NOT to miss, seasonal tips and more!

Summer

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Autumn

Download Autumn

Winter

Download Winter

Spring

Download Spring

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

COVID-19 Safety2020-07-04T02:36:14+00:00

Lord Howe Environmental Tours is always committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and customers. Our business practices have been updated to align with Government COVID-safety guidelines.

We want you all to know we are taking the current health crisis very seriously and will always put your health and safety at the forefront of our operations.

In addition to our existing safety measures, we have implemented some new protocols to help you feel at ease whilst on our tours.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing can be difficult, especially when travelling or doing activities. Our tours have been assessed for maximum capacity, adhering to social physical distancing guidelines and we will be strictly complying with these measures. We have also installed relevant signage so you are aware of the current requirements.

Hygiene

Sanitizer will be available at all areas of our business. We have also taken measures to ensure our team are limiting any unnecessary contact. We request that you use contactless payment if at all possible.

Cleaning

We have increased our cleaning protocols in all areas of our businesses and will ensure all frequently used areas are regularly cleaned and sanitized as per the local health department guidelines.

Contact Tracing

Prior to taking a tour with us, you will be required to provide a current phone number, email address, residential address, accommodation and your full name in order to complete your activity. Your personal data may be provided to official government bodies to help stop the spread of any health outbreaks.

Cancellation flexibility

We know that travel during 2020 needs to be more flexible due to frequently changing travel requirements, so we have updated our cancellation policy to allow changes up to 24 hours before your scheduled tour. If you are feeling unwell, please contact us prior to your tour and we can make changes within the 24 hour period. If you are unwell or have any symptoms, please do not attend your tour and call the Lord Howe Island hospital on 6563 2000.

Where do we go on the tour?2017-08-20T12:11:20+00:00

Our tours take you into the southern half of the Island’s iconic lagoon, viewing the World’s southern most coral reef. This section of the lagoon has the greatest diversity and density of coral and fish life. The four major coral viewing and snorkelling locations are all contained within the southern zone and are as follows:

Erscott’s Hole
Located on the inside of the western reef, and dominated by a luxuriant garden of staghorn coral, Erscott’s Hole is famous for its Double Header Wrasse and Spangled Emperors.

Erscott’s Reef
An incredible variety of marine life is found in this deep coral hole, ranging from massive Black Stingrays to animated clown fish.

Comets Hole
Boasting the greatest coral density and diversity within the lagoon, Erscott’s reef offers a range of snorkelling experiences, from the deep western tip of this reef to its shallow eastern side.

The Horse Shoe
A shallow reef dominated by neon coloured corals and mesmerising Butterflyfish. (This site is the perfect location for those learning to snorkel)

When should I book my tour?2017-08-20T12:11:53+00:00

Tours should be booked as soon as bookings to the Island have been finalised. Suitable weather conditions play a significant role in the determination of tour availability, if unfavourable weather conditions occur then the number of tours conducted will be limited. By providing arrival and departure dates during your checkout process we can ensure, where possible, that the best possible day is chosen for your tour, reducing the risk of tour cancellation due to inclement weather conditions during your stay.

Why do departure time change daily?2017-08-20T12:11:44+00:00

Tours are scheduled to operate around low tide. This ensures that the calmest possible conditions will prevail within the lagoon during your tour. At low tide the reef becomes exposed, acting as a natural break wall, reducing wave action within the lagoon.

How long is the tour?2017-08-20T12:12:31+00:00

The tour runs for 2 hours. You will be required to arrive at the LHET boatshed 30mins before the start time of your tour. This will enable us to do our pre-tour briefing and fit you with wetsuits (if required).

What is the difference between the Coral Viewing & Ultimate Snorkelling tours?2017-08-20T12:33:22+00:00

Our Coral Viewing Tour focuses primarily on viewing the Islands amazing coral communities with an in-depth interpretation covering Lord Howe Island’s unique marine environment. This tour also includes an optional snorkelling activity (30mins).

The Ultimate Snorkelling Tour focuses solely on snorkelling the southern-most coral reef in the world. On this tour snorkelers are transported to four separate reef sites on our glass-bottom boat.

What if don’t want to snorkel?2017-08-20T12:14:25+00:00

Our Coral Viewing Tour focuses primarily on viewing the Islands amazing coral communities with an in-depth interpretation covering Lord Howe Island’s unique marine environment. This tour caters for those not wishing to snorkel, as the 30min snorkelling portion of the tour in entirely optional. If you choose to stay on the boat, the skipper will provide an opportunity to view some of the reefs more unusual fish species including the double header wrasse (endemic to Lord Howe Island).

What do you provide?2017-08-20T12:15:06+00:00

Mask and snorkel, fins and wetsuits are all included in our tour price.

LHET prides itself on providing the best possible snorkelling equipment available. We use solely TUSA masks and snorkels ensuring the best possible viewing experience. Our wetsuits are all well maintained, including steamer and spring suit options to suit all sizes.

A hot drink is also included at the end of each tour.

What do I need to bring?2017-08-20T12:15:53+00:00
  • Bathers
  • Towel
  • Hat
  • Drink
  • Light jacket
What is the water temperature?2017-08-20T12:17:25+00:00

Our seasonal water temperature guide can be found here.

What is your pre-purchase cancellation policy?2017-08-20T12:21:35+00:00

If YOU cancel

 Cancellation up to 24hrs before your requested tour will result in a full refund. Cancellation within 24hrs will NOT attract a refund.

 If a Time change occurs

Upon checkout we request your arrival and departure dates so that in the event of unsuitable weather conditions, we are able to reschedule your tour to the next available date and time (during your stay). This feature is to ensure you receive the best possible experience. If a reschedule occurs, no refund will be applicable.

If a tour reschedule is NOT possible we will provide a full refund.

 If WE cancel

 A Coral Viewing or Ultimate Snorkelling Tour may be cancelled in the event of unfavourable weather including:

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Strong winds
  • Unfavourable weather forecast

Safety is our primary concern. Mount Gower is classified as a remote environment and as such; extra caution will be exercised by LHET to ensure that you have a safe and memorable experience.

If a cancellation is deemed necessary, a LHET staff member will notify you before 7am on the scheduled day of the Trek. If at all possible we will provide a suitable rescheduled trek. If this is not an option a full refund will be provided.

How high is Mt Gower?2017-08-20T12:23:34+00:00

At 875m Mount Gower is the highest peak on Lord Howe Island, with a total trek distance of ~10km (9.06).

What level of fitness will I need to make this trek as safe and enjoyable experience?2017-08-20T12:24:52+00:00

The Mount Gower Trek is a serious 8-hour hike, which requires a high level of fitness to ensure your experience is a safe and enjoyable one.

If you are unsure, we highly recommend you attempt the Goat House Cave walk on Mt Lidgbird before finalising your booking.

This walk takes climbers to a height of 440m with similar terrain and ropes section to the Mt Gower Trek. You will need to be able to complete this walk in a max of 1hr and 30mins (one way) in order to be eligible for the mountain climb. At this speed, you will be at the correct pace set for the Mt Gower Trek, which will be 2.5 times the Goat House Cave walk.

Climbers are reminded that the Mt Gower Trek is a group activity, and that individuals do not have the luxury of undertaking this walk at their own pace. A pace will be set to enable the group to achieve the summit by midday, so that a return can be made by ~4:30pm.

Will I see the providence petrels during my trek?2017-08-20T12:26:31+00:00

Providence Petrels can be seen on the Mountain between the months of March and October.

While the Providence Petrels are present on the Island until November, activity over the rookery will significantly decrease from July. These remarkable winter nesting sea birds can be called down from the sky between March-May an extraordinary experience that has been described by David Attenborough as one of the best things he has ever experienced.

How do we get to the start of the trek?2017-08-20T12:27:11+00:00

If you require transport, we can book you a seat on a bus that will pick you up from your accommodation at 7am, cost for the return bus-fare is $10, which should be paid to the driver.

Alternatively you can make your own way to the Little Island Gate by 7:15am.

What to bring?2017-08-20T12:27:57+00:00
  • Back Pack
  • Lunch
  • Hi-Energy snacks
  • 5 Litres water (Refill on the mountain is possible)
  • Hiking Boots/ Running Shoes (with good grip)
  • All weather light jacket
  • Comfortable trekking clothes (shorts recommended)
  • Hat
  • Camera
What are the safety considerations?2017-08-20T12:28:49+00:00

Helmets are a requirement during sections of the Trek, wearing of helmets will be enforced in conjunction with our OH&S policy.

Due to Mount Gower’s extremely rugged topography, safety ropes have been fixed to various sections of the track. These ropes have been installed by the Lord Howe Island Board and maintenance responsibility of the ropes rests with the Board. Roped sections of the track are typically very steep and may require you to use a considerable amount of upper body strength to navigate these parts. If you suffer from acrophobia (fear of heights) you may feel challenged on parts of the Trek. Please carefully consider whether this Trek is something you will be able to achieve in a safe and enjoyable manner.

During the ascent of Mount Gower, your guide will set a pace to enable you to reach the summit by 11:30am. Achieving specific milestones by a calculated time is important in ensuring the return journey is completed in a timely manner. Should you be unable to maintain the required pace, your guide will suggest a suitable location for you to wait until the group returns on the descent. It is important that you communicate any concerns relating to fatigue and general wellbeing to your guide.

It is your responsibility to advise Lord Howe Environmental Tours (LHET) of any medical conditions that will effect your ability to complete the trek safely (heart conditions, joint replacements, recent surgery, pregnancy etc.).

What is your Mt Gower cancellation policy?2017-08-20T12:35:28+00:00

If YOU cancel

 The Mount Gower Trek is one of our most popular tours and frequently has a waitlist of people hoping to secure a place on any given trek. Therefore, we require a pre-payment to confirm your place. If for any reason you are unable to make the Trek on your confirmed day, we require 24hrs notice. If notice is provided within 24hrs no refund will be applicable.

If WE cancel

 A Trek may be cancelled in the event of unfavourable weather including:

  • Extensive cloud cover
  • Heavy rainfall
  • Strong winds
  • Unfavourable weather forecast

Safety is our primary concern. Mount Gower is classified as a remote environment and as such; extra caution will be exercised by LHET to ensure that you have a safe and memorable experience.

If a cancellation is deemed necessary, a LHET staff member will notify you before 7am on the scheduled day of the Trek. If at all possible we will provide a suitable rescheduled trek. If this is not an option a full refund will be provided.

ITINERARIES

SEVEN DAY ITINERARY

Day 1
If weather conditions are favourable, enjoy a Coral Viewing. Follow this relaxing tour with a walk along Lagoon Beach.

Day 2
Climb to Kim’s Lookout & Malabar. This walk is not only scenically spectacular but will provide a great overview of the Islands stunning topography and layout. Following this strenuous climb, enjoy a relaxing afternoon or morning tea at one of the Islands cafes.

Day 3
Relax at Ned’s Beach, snorkel this beautiful reef site and enjoy a picnic lunch.

Day 4
Take a guided Mt Gower Trek. This all day trek is rated as one of the worlds top day walks.

Day 5
Relaxing massage at one of the Islands day spars. Cycle to Blinky beach for a surf or a beach walk.

Day 6
Enjoy the stunning, crystal clear expanse of the Islands lagoon with a stand-up paddle board session or a kayaking tour. Walk to the Clear Place and relax in the serenity of this amazing palm forest.

Day 7
Relax and have a leisurely breakfast at one of the Islands cafes.

FIVE DAY ITINERARY

Day 1
If weather conditions are favourable, enjoy a Coral Viewing. Follow this relaxing tour with a cycle to the southern end of Lagoon Road and then a short walk to Little Island.

Day 2
Stroll up Transit Hill to the viewing platform which will provide you with a beautiful panoramic view of the Island.

Day 3
Picnic lunch at Lover’s Bay followed by Snorkelling to four of the lagoons stunning coral reefs.

Day 4
Take the North Bay & North Head tour with Island Naturalist Dean.

Day 5
Snorkel with Turtles at Old Settlement Beach.

LORD HOWE ISLAND WEATHER

WEATHER

Sea breezes prevent the summers from being too hot, while surrounding warm seas ensure pleasant winters. Maximum temperatures on the island hover around 25 degrees Celsius throughout summer, dipping to an average of 19 degrees in winter, while daily minimums range from 20C in summer falling to around 12-14C in winter.

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LORD HOWE ISLAND WEATHER