Above pic - Noddy Island with Balls Pyramid in the distance
I had heard many great things about Lord Howe Island (LHI). The isolation, the spectacular scenery, the diving. So Jenny and I headed over to this small island less than 2 hours flight from Sydney. We were up at 4.30am to catch our 7am flight. We had carefully packed our bags - 14kg book in and 7kg carry on. Our carry on was not weighed, normally it is. The plane is a Dash 8, a 36 seat prop job. It was a comfortable flight. Warm and sunny when we landed it was looking good.
We were met by Jozette from Milky Way. She gave a tour of the island, pointing out the shopping, dining and leisure places. We booked into Milky Way and went for a good walk down to the 'CBD'. Milky Way is at the north end of the island opposite old settlement beach. It is a few minutes ride to the 'CBD' and most other places are not more than 10 minutes by bike. The rooms are fully self contained with a full kitchen and gas BBQ just outside. There is a dining room that is open twice a week and there are limited supplies available there on an honor system.
We bought food at all 3 major outlets - Top Shop has the freshest produce and make their own sausages which are very good., Thommo's is the most convenient being close to the PO and Joy's shop has the biggest range of groceries. We mostly had breakfast and dinner in our room and lunch out. On the island your accommodation staff will take you to a venue and then the venue will take you home again. A great arrangement.
We checked in at ProDive who had booked our dives with and grabbed some fins so we could get snorkelling.
After lunch at Thommos (the best burgers for 700km) we went down to old settlement beach and snorkelled out to Syph's sink where there is some nice tropical fish including butterfly fish and a lionfish. We saw 2 turtles as well. Turtles are resident near this beach and often come up to people in the water.
Our first dive was Sunday April 29 on a site called Malabar landslide. Malabar is the hill that is adjacent to this site and there is a significant landslide there. The site is not deep, ranging from 3m at the top of the bommie (ideal for safety stops) and down to 24m across the sane. This site in noteable for the number of swimthroughs. The swimthroughs are really nice and harbour crays among other things. Not a huge amount of fish but we did see quite a number of species including a small Galapagos whaler and a turtle, a large cray in a hole in one swimthrough and doubleheaded wrasse.
After our dives we went and got our bikes
Monday the weather was really bad - strong winds and rain off and on all day. We had our bikes and rode out past the airport to Capella, the most expensive lodging on the island. We walked around a paddock there, admiring the 2 mountains and the lagoon and beaches. On the way back we stopped at a small cemetery. We met an elderly lady who has come to the island for many years and weeds areas to reduce the spread of noxious weeds. Nice morning tea at the Anchorage and then up to Top Shop for supplies. Top Shop has the best fresh vegies, sliced ham and they make their own sausages. We went down to Ned's beach for look. See my separate page for information on Ned's Beach.
Tuesday 1st May we get our second dive in. The wind and swell is still too strong to get out of the lagoon so we dive Comets. In the afternoon we walk from Old Setlement beach up to Kims Lookout and Malabar and down to Neds Beach - a 2 hour walk.
Wednesday 2nd May is the first day we are able to get a double dive in. We dive 2 sites in the Admiralty Island group, Rupert's reef and Noddy Island.
Thursday 3rd May we sneak in another 2 dives just out of the lagoon at Crevice to Arch and North Passage Wall, The weather deteriorates later in the day to strong winds and heavy rain.
Between old settlement beach and the jetty is a large rock shelf that is exposed at low tide. When the tide goes out it leaves numerous rock pools exposed. These are worth exploring as the pics below show.
Sunday we can't dive again so walk over to North Beach then up Mt. Eliza.
Wednesday 9th May we fly home. We've done 7 dives, walked all the mountains bar the big one Mt. Gower, snorkeled in the best spots and ate and slept well despite bouts of really bad weather. Taz and the team at Prodive had been fantastic, the staff at Milky Way were fabulous and we will be back for sure
This site was last updated 09/05/12