Category Archives: Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island – Under the Canopy

Despite the presence of settlers for almost 190 years, the island still retains much of its original vegetation. That vegetation is in the form of subtropical rainforest. With the impressive landforms of Mounts Lidgbird and Gower (the remnants of a 7 million year old volcano) that drop off right into the ocean, the landscape is very Jurassic Park– like.

Under Mount Gower
Little Island Track.
Under Mount Gower
Under Mount Gower
Under the Canopy

You can see the presence of Kentia palms everywhere in the rainforest. These palms are commonly found as indoor plants everywhere around the world from back in the 19th Century.

Under the Canopy

Aside from these palms, there is also a variety of strangler vines and multi-coloured fungi.

Strangler Figs
Forest fungi

All of this is a short stroll from civilisation – and with the both easy and challenging tracks about, and the lack of stinging insects, it means that this rainforest is just about perfect (for me anyway)!

Lord Howe Island – Pine Trees and Birds

The most iconic tree on Lord Howe Island isn’t a native at all, but an introduced species – the Norfolk Island Pine. Some sailors thought it would be good wood for ship building – and found out too late that it wasn’t.

The Boathouse
The Boathouse, Lord Howe Island.
Lord Howe Island Trees
The Pine Trees Lodge, Lord Howe Island.

There are lots of trees on the island, and lots of birds that make their home there. Some birds are frequent visitors, like the sooty tern.

Sooty tern
Sooty tern, Lord Howe Island.

Others are native flightless birds like the buff-banded rail.

Lord Howe Island Buff Banded Rail
Buff-banded rail, Lord Howe Island.

This beautiful green dove.

Emerald Ground Dove
Emerald Ground Dove, Lord Howe Island.

And the most beloved bird on the island, the Woodhen.

Adult woodhen, Lord Howe Island.

With no native land-based predators, the flightless birds just took over the island – until the rats came. Just 10 years ago, the woodhen was endangered as the island was over-run by rats. The island embarked on an ambitious rat-eradication program, which was successful, and now the birds are flourishing. We even saw a few chicks running around.

Woodhen chicks, Lord Howe Island.

An introduction to Lord Howe Island

Yes, yet another visitor to this place. For those who don’t know anything about the island, this speck in the Pacific Ocean is tiny – 10km by 2km. It is 800km north-east of Sydney and consists of 800 permanent residents and (up to) 800 tourists. Flying in is an experience.

Is the effort worth it? Well, you be the judge.

View from Lord Howe Island Lagoon
Afternoon view from Lagoon Beach.