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or newly weds or nearly deads':not exactlythe catch phraseoftourism commission dreams. Lord Howe Island, a little piece of paradise offthe eastcoast ofAustralia, once struggledwith an image problem. Not anymore! This slightly daggy destinationhas becomea world class hot spot, whateveryour budget. Visitors receivea warm welcome at Lord Howe's small airport and are quickly whisked away from reality. Sunlight glimmers on the ocean, beckonand everything secluded beaches is impossiblygreen.At elevenkilometres long and lessthan three kilometres wide, this tiny island locatedlessthan two hours flight from either Sydneyor Brisbane, celtainly packsa punch. It is home to the world's southernmostreel has someofthe best day walks in Australiaand is one ofonly a handful ofislands to be World Heritagelisted. Guest numbers are cappedat 400 and everyonegetsaround by bicycle,which givesthe island a friendly, relaxedfeel as does here, the accommodation.You won't find any ugly mega-resorts just a handful ofcharming guesthouses and a couple ofluxury lodges.CapellaLodge is perhapsthe best known placeto lay your head,boasting an enviablereputation in Australia and overseas. It was recently named in Cond€ Nast's Hot List and has gorgeous of ddcor reminiscent ofthe colours surrounding it. Myriad shades aqua,ceruleanand turquoise mirror the ocean,while taupe and These sand conjure up imagesofthe island'spristine beaches.

perfectlymatch the water tumblers and single candleholder on each table. The attention to detail is.just part ofwhat makesthis place so special.Not cheap, but highly recommendedby the lucky few who stay here. If self coDtainedaccommodation is more your style,Earl'sAnchorage,a collectionof five bungalowssurrounded by lush vegetationand linked by is meanderingboardwalks, well worth a look. lt's the epitome oflow key luxury although the name is a puzzleuntil you askaround. Turns out the late JackEarl adventurer yachtsman, was a legendary and marine artist who has long been an inspiration to John Green,the sinh generationislanderwho developed Earl'sAnchorageand named it after his hero. The bungalowsare positionedto ensuremaximum privacy and much of the furniture has beenhand-crafted by renownedTasmanianboat builder Ned Trewartha.A stay at one ofthese bungalowswould be perfectfor familiesafter a treat, or anyonewho enjoysthe freedomofself cateringin luxurious surroundings. Lord Howe Island offers endlessoptions when it comesto indulgent pursuits, but none can match the island's star attraction - itself With lush rainforest,dramatic cliffs and a shimmering lagoon, this World Heritage listed spot is breathtakingly beautiful. Hire some snorkelling gear (don't forget a few coins for the honesty box) and explore underwater at Ned's Beachor hit one ofthe many walking trails located around the island. Perhapsthe greatesttreat is the opportunity to relax and surrender yourselfto

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surroundings. the spectacular With all that activityyou're sure to work up an appetite. ofplacesto eaton Lord Howe Fortunatelythere'sno shortage lsland.Arajilla, Lord Howe'sother luxury lodge,is locatedat the spot down northern end ofthe island,tuckedaway in a secluded Beach. The set up hereis similar to Capellain near Settlement at enjoy mealsaspart oftheir tariff, but the restaurant that guests Arajilla is alsoopen to the public. Dinner is particularlyromantic. Flickeringgardenlights and deliciouscooking aromasbeckonas you wander up a drivewaysurroundedby swayingKentia palmsand is lush vegetatior.The atmosphere cosyand intimate,and Provides feel to a very different dining experience the airy seaside ofCapella clink softly in the clearnight glimmer on tablesand glasses Candles your back,a drink in your hand and the on air. With a warm breeze neal ahead to look forward to, it feels all is well with the world. Casualdining options include Thompsons'Store lbr some ofthe best fish and chips you'll ever tasteand The Anchorage,a popular local hangout serving upmarket light meals.Both oPtions are locatedwithin ten metresof eachother. Up the road you']I in find Pandanus,specialising seafoodbut also featuring a variely ofcuisines. It's a good option for those who are on a budget but still want to dine somewherea little special. Self cateringis perhapsthe most popular option and supPlies cal1be picked up at a variety oflocations around the island.It can homemadetreatsliom be fun to wile awayan afternoonselecting We spentthe morning the Island Co-op and other local stores. from our creatingour own picnic and carefullywrappedtwo glasses beach.Bright Puryle accommodationbeforecycling to a deserted of flowersgrew wild besidethe crescent Pristinewhite sand Birds wheeledin gracefularcshigh overheadand the water looked so inviting it was all we could do not to dive in. Our sumptuousfeast was laid out in minutes along with a perfectlychilled bottle ofwine; it's a back vintagepicked up for a song at the local liquor store. we With a quiet chink ofglasses gazedout to seaand couldn't help but smile.The bestthings in life really are (almost) free.:! Lord Howe lslond lies opproximotely600 km northeost Austrolio,ot the of of Sydneyond-southeost Brisbone, some lotitude os Port Mocquorie,NSW. lt forms port of the stote of New South Woles. How to get to Lord liowe: Aport from soilingyour own yocht,the only feosiblewoy to reoch Lord Howe is by to oir. QontosLinkoffers yecr-roundscheduledservices Lord Howe lslond.Flight time is under two hours,with flights deportingfrom Sydneyon most doys ond from A Brisboneon weekends. seosonolweekly serviceto the lslondis olso ovoilobledirect from Port Mocquorie from Februoryto June ond Septemberto December' with Qontos from oll There ore connectingservices Austrolioncopitol citiesond with QontosLinkfrom mony regionolcentres. When to go: Anytime! Lord llowe lslond'sclimote is mild, yeor-round.Seo breezesprevent the summersfrom being too hot, while serroundingworm seos ensure pleosont on winters. Moximumtemperotures the islondhover summer, dippingto throughout oround25 degreesCelsius mlnimums whiledoily on overogeof 19 degreesin winter, follingto oroundl2 - l4oC rongefrom 2OoC in summer in winter. The most populor time to visit Lord Howe is between Septemberond June, however even in the winter (Julyond August), doyscon be sunnyond the months worm, while ot night, rooring fires keep things cosy. Where to stay:There ore l8 propertiesto choosefrom. Most ore fomily operoted.They vory in sizefrom 4 to ond focilities. o 85 beds onal-offer voriety of services numbersore limitedto 4OO ot ony one time. Visitor Compfng is not permitted. Tourist L,ev-y-: tpurism levy is included in your oirline Ihe ticket.The levy helps mointoino beoutifulenvironment ond vigitor'lJqqilitigqsqqh os wolking trocks, picnic oreos.BBQs,sheltershedsond toilets. Copello Lodge' www.lordhowe.com Eorl'sAnchoroge, www.eorlsonchoroge.com.ou Arojillo,www.lordhowe.com.ou www.lordhoweisland.inf o

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