Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Last Paradise

Imagine you could live in place where you can walk down a road lined with palm trees, where everyone is greeted with a friendly wave, where the wind sighs through majestic Norfolk Pines, where pristine crystal clear waters lap the golden sands along the edge of a aqua blue lagoon, where mist shrouded mountains are the only structures to dominate the landscape & at night you are lulled off to sleep by the surf breaking on the outer reef, this would be most people’s idea of paradise.

What I’ve just described can be found today, it is Lord Howe Island, Australia’s World Heritage listed paradise.

Lord Howe Island situated about 700 kilometres north east of Sydney & was discovered in1788 by Lt Henry Lidgbird Ball, who sailed past in the HMAS Supply, intending to found a second colony on Norfolk Island. However, it was not until his return journey to Sydney that Lt. Ball stepped ashore & claimed the island for England.

Lord Howe Island is a truly remarkable natural environment, where fish will feed from your hand, wood hens have no fear of human contact & thousands of mutton birds come to the island to roost each year.

This wasn't always the case & it has been achieved with the eradication on wild pigs, cats (no domestic cats are allowed on the island) & the on-going rat eradication programme, which has reduced the threat to the islands original fauna & flora, including the indigenous Kentia Palm. With only 350 local residents & a maximum of only 400 tourists allowed on the island at any one time, this has also curtailed any over development & has let the island retain its natural charm.

If you do intend to visit, make sure the first tour you do is the 'chase n thyme' island tour with Peter Phillips, Peter gives an excellent introduction to the island & is the best value for money tour you'll find during your stay. You even get a muffin & coffee included in the price!

So if you are looking for a holiday to just get away from the hustle & bustle of city living & unwind, Lord Howe island is the perfect destination. Also, since Lord Howe is still part of Australia, no passports or visas are required, just jump on the plane & 2 hours later you are in the Last Paradise in the Pacific.

No comments: