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VapourTrails
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Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Sun May 28, 2017 11:05 pm

Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2 | LDH - BNE
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Welcome to Part 2 of my two-part trip report on my visit to Lord Howe Island in the winter of 2016.

This trip report starts off with Day 2 of the week long stay on the island, the return flight to BNE, and my concluding thoughts and comments.

Part 1 of the trip report can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1352337

:airplane:


Day 2 – Snorkelling in a marine park

Today was the day we had booked in to the snorkelling and glass bottomed boat tour on the lagoon. I had never tried proper snorkelling before (not in a swimming pool) – or been in a glass-bottomed boat for that matter. So after super leisurely lying in and lounging around in the morning, we left on our bikes later that morning and made the short cycle to the shopping area.

With stops along the way, we looked at viewpoints and other things of interest - so much easier when you are on a bike. One of these was the jetty, although we would not get an opportunity on our trip to see the supply boat MV Island Trader make one of its scheduled stops for deliveries and collections back to the mainland.

We had lunch at the Anchorage Restaurant, which is also a cafe and a bakery, and was very popular.

I saw the SYD-NLK flight go over twice during the week we were there. I am guessing that is what it in fact was (with no FlightRadar24 to check). That was the only fly over I remember hearing or seeing the whole week, outside the scheduled island flights. Now that is a change from regular life!

As it was one of the nice days weather-wise, we sat on the beach near the boat shed until it was time to go and get suited up for the boat trip and the snorkelling.

I had never worn a wetsuit before and I was thinking I am going to be a real newbie here, but there were also quite a few other people, older than me and not as agile, and some of whom had never ventured into this activity of snorkelling either. I felt more comfortable now, knowing I was not the only one trying something new which was going to be in front of a whole small boat load of tourists!

It took a while to get everyone ready, but wearing a wetsuit is fabulous, so warm, even though it was a warm day, the water was cool so why we were advised to wear them. I was used to wearing the fins part of the outfit however. The tour operator was very helpful in getting the right sizes and equipment and how to go about it putting it on.

I did take and get some photos taken this day, but nothing to share on A.net here. I was too busy and having too much fun being in the moment of this experience. It was also not practical to be carrying a phone, camera or other personal items on the boat, and there just wasn’t a lot of room.

We set off, after being told a very specific way of getting into the boat from ashore. The tour operators were excellent and very knowledgeable, to my mind to a scientific and academic level, and everyone on the boat really got into the whole experience even though there was a lot of information to take in as we moved across the water. The atmosphere and sense of humour made it relaxing and enjoyable.

Only a quarter of us were actually snorkelling, which took place on a part of the lagoon that was suitable and safe. I had never been in a marine park or coral reef before and the types of colourful fish and what there is to learn about coral is amazing – it is quite complex!

Once we put our eyewear and snorkel on we were told how to fall overboard and not to worry if we started hyperventilating. It does take a minute or two to learn how to breathe underwater with snorkel.

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Briefly, Lord Howe Island Marine Park was established in 1999 and extends three nautical miles out to sea from the mean high water mark, and covers an area of approximately 48,000 hectares, with a variety of tropical and temperate species brought on converging currents, and a large number of plants and animals which occur nowhere else.

The small human population and limited visitor numbers have ensured that marine resources are sustainable, so swimming and snorkeling with a myriad of colourful fish are the norm. Larger fish, which are scarce and avoid humans in other parts of the world, are easily approached at Lord Howe, making underwater photography easier.

The extensive barrier coral reef, the southernmost on the planet, protects the broad sheltered lagoon and sandy beach on the western side of the island while fringing coral reefs lie immediately offshore of the beaches on the eastern side. Lord Howe is the only place in Australia where such a diversity of fish, coral, algae and associated creatures can be seen by snorkeling, just a few metres from the beach (Source: lordhoweisland.info, 2017).

:airplane:

The only aviation theme I had for that day is that the Dash 8 -200 went out over the lagoon when we were out there, which was quite a unique perspective.

The snorkeling was fun, and I would describe it as another world beneath the waves, and the view was like a cinematic screen in ultra-high definition. We snorkeled around the boat for about twenty minutes. I could have done with another half hour really! Some places were quite shallow, and coral can be soft like a sponge, or as hard as a jagged pumice stone. I accidently hit a very shallow piece of the latter with the front of my ankle and the graze was still there two weeks later!

When we all got back to the shore, the tour operator minding shop showed us how to get out of our wetsuits and clean up and provided us all with a hot mug of tea, coffee or chocolate. What a fun afternoon, and a few bucket-list items ticked off. I really want to do more coral reef experiences, but this one was a fantastic and a small scale introduction to the experience.


Day 3 – Plane-spotting - for the flight that was cancelled

The next day, as forecast, the weather closed in. We were not deterred from doing the things we wanted to do though, in our short time here. That morning, we cycled up in the rain to visit Ned's Beach, on the other side of the island, opposite some of the smaller islands that make up the Lord Howe Island Group.

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It was high tide, so we had a look around and found out when the low tide was so we could go back later in the week on a better weather day.

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The gumball machine used to dispense the fish food.

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We then went back and to a shop to look at and buy some bamboo based clothing products, the most comfortable clothing around, it’s amazing. We bought some gifts, and had lunch at the Anchorage Restaurant again. We then cycled to the airport, which took about five to ten minutes, and waited for the daily scheduled flight to come in – and waited and waited and waited. Frustrating that I did not have access to FlightRadar24 so it was just like the old days of plane-spotting.

It was remarked by my travel companion that plane-spotting is really an interesting all-weather event - I said, of course! The weather wasn’t dire, but it was windy, squally, and showery, but not cold. All that wonderful sea air and sea-salt spray - so healthy!

After another hour or so it was obvious that no flight was arriving, and it also became apparent that the road activity to the airport was too quiet. After talking to a few passers-by on foot and some stopping to have a look out also, a car pulled up and someone said, ‘there is no flight today’. Later we learnt that meant it was cancelled, not that there was not a scheduled flight.

That evening we went out to the Bowling Club again. It has to be said, that there is electricity rationing on the island, so when you go out for a meal - anywhere, or even at the accommodation, the lights are dimmed, permanently. This venue is so popular however – as the feature dining option on the island that evening, and with its steady stream of locals and tourists, must be earning a mint.

As the venue is two kilometres from the accommodation we waited inside in informal groups for our minibus, and by the time we left for our five or maybe ten minute (at 25 km/h) drive ‘home’ it was pouring, no, pelting with rain.


Day 4 – Rain, rain and more rain

The rain continued from the night before. After spending the first half of the morning at the accommodation, I went out to the shops late morning to get food supplies, and had lunch. Cycling along in the rain, I was thoroughly enjoying myself – after all, it wasn’t cold, and there were few people about.

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Back at the accommodation, the television reception signal dropped out for best part of an hour later in the afternoon, after the loss of the only decent to watch channels that morning, so I now started to feel a bit cut off from civilisation – not quite on an episode of Survivor yet though!

I had my Amazon Kindle book to read, which was going well in focussing and getting through it, because I didn't have distractions like the Internet. We did not have a power outage the whole time we were there which was great.

The rain continued into the evening, accompanied by increasing winds.

While doing their daily rounds and visits, one of the managers at the accommodation said ‘we just have to take whatever the weather throws at us here’ and other succinct island sea-faring anecdotes which I cannot remember now, but you get the idea!


Day 5 – Windy day, but the plane-spotter’s flight arrived!

The rain continued as showers the next day and the wind really got up, but then it brightened up mid-morning, and the wind blew away the clouds into blue sky and sunshine! We went for a walk along Old Settlement Beach then. The wind was still blowing.

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Close up of the gas air holes in a rock, formed from volcanic lava flow during the formation of the island.

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After lunch back at the villas, we went for a bike ride to the airport. The wind was still blowing strong. The two cancelled flights from Tuesday and Wednesday were able to land and take off so the new holiday makers could arrive and the overdue to leave ones could head home.

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We saw VH-TQG arrive and depart. What surprised me about the take-off and landing is that although the runway is short, the aircraft only used about one third of the runway to take-off. The landing IIRC was about two thirds used, and the aircraft came to a stop very quickly. Sounds obvious, but it was a site to see.

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The northern end of the runway.

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We also had a cycle around to the other side of the airport and visited two other beaches – Blinky Beach and the southern end of Lagoon Beach; the entrance to the Golf Club, which was at the bottom of the hill below Mount Gower; and around to the entrance to the waste management facility near the airport.

We were familiar with recycling household wastes back home, but this was taken to another level of vigilance. Things must and must not go in the particular bins, or anywhere else for that matter where they should not be. Even an inspection or a gentle reminder was informally given now I think about it, about the exact ways this was to be done. Yes, there was signage up as well.

I don’t mind this, and I understand the reasons behind it all. The accommodation facilities were like anything you would get on the mainland, they were not rustic at all. Apart from the dim lighting, which I am partial to anyway – but some vision impaired people may struggle with, you would not know the work of the sustainability which was going on behind the scenes to make and keep it all nice and modern and functional for the typical mainstream guests’ expectations.

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The Lord Howe Island woodhen or Lord Howe rail, is a flightless bird of the rail family. It is endemic to Lord Howe Island and is currently classified as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) (Source: Wikipedia, 2017).

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The low speed limit means that wearing seat belts in motor vehicles is not compulsory for the driver or any passenger, like it is everywhere else in Australia.

We were told that not wearing a bicycle helmet is an ongoing issue, and that people were regularly fined by the local cop/s for violating this offence. It seems a basic thing to do, instead of wasting holiday money on paying fines.

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Southern end of Lagoon Beach looking north.

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The runway and airport near Blinky Beach.

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Southern end of the runway and Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower in the background.

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Of course, the obligatory ride and visit to the airport was a must. It was so quiet! Not sure whether it was open. There were just QantasLink staff in there so we just settled to have a look around outside.

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We went to dinner that night at a restaurant, and had a very average meal with a set and limited menu, in a new part of the island high up on a hill and near Middle Beach, not previously visited. We met some people from New South Wales who came in on the flight mentioned above, there for a short stay, even shorter due to the cancellations unfortunately.

After what seemed like a long night, my only meh day and evening on the island, we stood outside in groups and waited a while for a bus to appear out of the darkness and take us back to the accommodation.

It was then that I looked up, out of boredom and lack of interesting thoughts and wanting to join in a conversation, to notice the night sky. This island would have to be the best place to study astronomy. The sky was white silver brilliant with light. The Milky Way galaxy was the most obvious to see. We didn’t get outside enough at night and look up. One regret perhaps.



Day 6 – Fish-feeding in the morning, kayaking in the afternoon

On our last full day on the island the weather was beautiful, in that the wind had dropped – no rain, and as per usual, it wasn’t cold. We went to Ned's Beach to feed the fish as planned.

I've never seen fish come in so close to the shoreline before. These fish are used to tourists, and hang around the shallow waters and even follow you along as you walk along the beach inside the feeding zone.

I did not like the way they got too close and touched your skin. One tourist got bitten or nipped by a fish. That was enough for me to keep them at a distance and throw the food into the breeze instead of dropping it where I stood!

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Went to the Coral Cafe at the Museum for lunch again, and purchased some gifts while the shops were open, from 10am – 2pm.

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Some of the Museum exhibitions of the Lord Howe Island flying boat days, and early history.

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There was also a lot of geological information about the formation of the island, and its eventual fate, in that it will in time (a long time in the future) disappear beneath the waves, to be reclaimed by the sea.

It also showed the flora and fauna on the island, but, as well, the pollution and how some of the plastic and non-biodegradable wastes from the east coast of the Australian mainland are ending up washing up on Lord Howe Island.

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Dedication memorial outside the Coral Museum and Café.

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Weather forecast sheet in the Information Centre, which is part of the same building.

We then confirmed with the tour operator that morning, that kayaking was on for the afternoon!

Kayaking is another one of those things that requires some suiting up, briefing and getting into the craft in a certain way so as not to capsize. I had done a bit of kayaking before, on a river, not a lagoon. The latter was easier, even though conditions were not ideal, it was a bit choppy, but not too bad.

I think it was a good idea to hire separate single kayaks, rather than a tandem – more sociable and fun. So went around to Old Settlement Beach and back, and around the lagoon, nearer the shore. Saw the Dash 8 -200 come in over the lagoon and take off again, but didn’t have a camera on the kayak.

I really enjoyed it and spent best part of two hours. As we approached the beach, the tour operator was shouting something, which above the wind was hard to ascertain. It was about though, the correct way to move to the shore and get out of the kayak without capsizing, or falling in. We managed to do this, so that was an achievement in itself, the kayaking part was easy!

Being on the lagoon was such a great way to see the island from that viewpoint, and one of those things that doesn’t need to be rushed at all. Highlight of the trip.

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Went for a walk late afternoon to the base of the Max Nichols Track – fully recovered now from my earlier walk up that way - where I now took photos of a sort of sunset – the best nature afforded me at the time. Was cloudy, and I don’t know that Lord Howe is known for its sunsets?

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Went out for dinner at the Golf Club, at the top of the hill near the airport – no views though as it was after dark. As we hadn't made the trip up in the day, we had missed out on the wonderful view from there in the daytime.

This venue is near the base of Mount Gower and Mount Ladybird, the two highest peaks on the island. There are guided hiking and rock climbing day tours on these, and are considered arduous, and challenging. Needless to say we didn’t attempt them! The two main injuries sustained on the island among tourists are falling off bicycles and falling down mountains. There is a resident doctor on the island, who is probably kept quite busy.

The Golf Club has their buffet night on a different night to the Bowling Club so that they share the patronage. The food they offered varied the most here; salad and chips and choice of steak, chicken, and fish, which I considered as equal in yummy taste to the fish buffet at the Bowling Club.

It was very efficiently run and the service was excellent. The only thing was the lighting; it was difficult to see what you were eating depending on where you were sitting, with the electricity rationing. Needed a torch to help see and eat the meal at this one, as we were sitting in an annex marque.

In island style, the chef is also the chauffeur for driving people home. Got away much earlier that night and was not left waiting in the dark and cool night air. Started packing up ready to go home for an early start tomorrow for our lift to the airport before 9am.


The last part of this trip report will be in the reply comments below.

:airplane:
 
VapourTrails
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 12:40 am

The flight - QF2259, from Lord Howe Island (LDH) to Brisbane Domestic (BNE) - Flight time: approximately 1 hour 45 minutes subtract 30 minutes on arrival for the time zone difference. :airplane:

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We arrived at the airport in plenty of time. I had a better look at the terminal now there was more time and we had to wait. As it was small it seemed quite crowded, for the one flight that was departing that morning. We took it in turns to get weighed, as per the protocol as part of checking in. The flight was nearly full, as it was on the way over.

We stepped onto the scales with our carry-on luggage, and a ground staff member wrote our weights down on a piece of paper.

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Just about all of the people that we met while on Lord Howe Island were from the eastern seaboard states of Australia. Most of the people on this flight we had now met during the week so were acquainted with – and who were returning to Brisbane, their home town or state. People thought as we were returning there too, that we were Queensland locals - interesting. It is quite tempting to just go along with it all.

As with Norfolk Island, more so here, you see the same people quite regularly on the island, a few times in the same day – the goldfish bowl phenomenon. For the locals, the man you see at the church in the morning is also serving coffee behind the counter at the café at lunchtime, and is then working in the post office on the Monday. Obviously, it would not be wise for any of the locals to fall out with each other – you’d feel compelled to leave!

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We had a coffee and a snack from the little kiosk, and looked at some souvenirs. When the flight was due to arrive we went outside, also partly due to get some fresh air and more space. The weather had turned cold and we were departing at the right time. It had begun to rain shower a bit too, but the wind blew most of it away.

As with Norfolk Island, the air quality on Lord Howe Island was nothing special, at least to me. Tasmania is still way ahead on that one, as it is in the path of the Roaring Forties - strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere, generally between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees, with few landmasses to serve as windbreaks (Wikipedia, 2017).

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I did not know Lord Howe Island had its own flag!

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Someone’s idea of a good time.

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Our flight back to the mainland ~ VH-TQX. Yes, it was the same aircraft we had come over on.

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The new people arriving from SYD disembarked. I met one of the ladies in the terminal. She looked like she was ready for and needing a relaxing break, and her hair was nicely styled yes, not for long! The wind and climate would soon fix that!

I like it that some people still dress up for a flight, but I was certain she was going to be a different person in mind and appearance by the time she left, as we all were, relaxed and unwound and not giving a care about anything in the world at this stage.

Another pax disembarking got their photo taken on the tarmac next to the welcome sign. I thought that was a good move, and I was now disappointed I didn’t do it, regardless of the fact it was not really permitted.

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Refuelling time.

Once they announced boarding, it happened really quickly, and unlike me, I was caught a bit unawares and one of the last to board. When we were checking in we were allocated the exit row on the left hand side. I declined it as I don’t like the responsibility, and don’t need the room - so we were allocated Row 6.

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It was certainly warmer on board, out of the wind.

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Taxiing for take-off to the south.

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Blinky Beach. The lines are flagged roped areas used for remediation works on the land surfaces at the beach.

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Very fortunate to have the side with the best island views from the aircraft on both flights. We banked around to the north and now viewed the eastern side of the island, then the north - before saying goodbye.

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There is something about amateur photography, that you know you have taken yourself, because you were there, rather than a glossy high resolution one that far removed, someone else took. I treasure the former ones the most.

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The flight was fairly smooth, thankfully. Of course it was longer than I was used to on a Dash 8 flight, but the mood was extra good and notably quiet (the pax), with these relaxed holiday travellers, and also some island locals. I asked the question to a local about the airline staff at LDH, and they are all local islanders, employed by the airline.

The flight was uneventful, with adequate refreshments, and routine inflight announcements. IIRC one of the flight crew used the restroom. Well I don’t recall that they went into the terminal at all while at LDH!

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North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay Marine Park.

We also did the before and after selfies on the flights, making the most of it, for posterity.

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Queensland has some big islands! Ones that are close to the mainland (too).

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Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Port of Brisbane and BNE, the familiar approach view for those flying into BNE.

When we disembarked from our flight and were waiting for our lift, it seemed we had been away a longer than a week. But what was noticeable was the pace, and the traffic, the colour and the signs and billboards. It certainly made me look at modern life from the outside looking in for a few hours, in this world we had made for ourselves.

Would I live on Lord Howe Island? I think the eventual isolation and lack of everyday variety of the island would get to me eventually, give me a few months would be about my limit.

How must the locals feel to have to go back to the mainland from time to time? Some of the people working and living on Lord Howe Island are in no hurry to return that is for sure. We were told that the locals who have young families end up going to the mainland for a few years so their children can attend high school, then at least, the parents do return.


:airplane:


Concluding thoughts

A comparison of Lord Howe Island with Norfolk Island

Having now visited both, the most obvious to me, put simply, is that Norfolk Island had/has a cash flow problem, Lord Howe Island doesn’t. As part of the New South Wales economy, our observations are ‘it wants for nothing’ and is a thriving community, and the islanders are very educated in their own sustainability. Of course, with that comes big brother regulation, and some bureaucracy, but I found Lord Howe Island to be an easier trip.

Norfolk Island was in a state of flux (at the time we were there). I could even go as far to say political instability. Lord Howe Island, as mentioned is part of Australia - it is Australian and has no separate culture. It has its own small history, but unlike Norfolk, it also doesn’t have a penal past, or that sense of national identity and separatist. Us-and-them when they are referring to your own country can be a bit awkward and uncomfortable at times, as a visitor – and particularly if you are from Canberra.

The people on Norfolk Island were always friendly and very welcoming, but because you are mingling with other tourists, there was also whinging about the roads and the transport, and the way some tours operated (it was Queenslanders in this case). The tourists we met on Lord Howe Island didn’t do any of that. Maybe they got what they paid for so to speak. Both are quite expensive to visit. As a tourist, this can impact the holiday, given they are not worlds apart in terms of history or culture, there is an expectation by some tourists prior to visiting that they could well be more similar than what they are.

I don’t have a broad travel history – for what that accounts for. I’ve only been abroad out of Australia once so far as at 2017 the time of writing, that was to the United Kingdom in the 90’s as a young twenty-year old, which included very brief transits through Asia (Indonesia), the Middle East, and Europe.

For me and us, the travel philosophy is take it as you find it, but it is human nature (that) unless you have spent a lot of time consistently regularly travelling or living abroad IMHO, to feel suddenly displaced by travel you are aware of your surroundings and the differences to observe and experience. There are always many on the different levels.

Lord Howe Island is the easier of the two, to get around, to see in a week, and it seems a logical step, to do this one first. With Norfolk Island there is more to see – bigger island, and does need more than a week really. Lord Howe Island is more physical though to get around, and as I mentioned in Part 1, not as easy to experience for people who are not agile or have a reasonable level of fitness. Lord Howe Island is more of an adventurer’s playground.

The Internet access is less readily available and more expensive on Lord Howe Island, but both had a lot of choices of accommodation. Lord Howe is harder to book as the tourist numbers are limited, flights are more expensive, and a small turboprop aircraft may not appeal to some travellers. Although the flights are more regular, the chances of a cancellation are much higher.

Saying that, we were told that Lord Howe Island has a regular return tourist base as in annual, which did surprise me, but it seems that people are more likely to return to visit Lord Howe more than Norfolk. Being closer to the mainland it seems more optional for a Sydney weekender, which we met a few of, coupled by the fact that it is a domestic flight. Norfolk Island was at the time, an international flight. Logistically speaking it seems easier overall to plan at shorter notice I would say. Of course it may depend on who you talk to as well though.

The food was really good on both, the time of year we went to both was different, but I personally found winter in the sub-tropics much easier than the autumn on Norfolk Island, but then I get heat humidity affected quite easily, so again, my experiences only here.

Most importantly, each island has its own beauty, and a person’s experience is subjective, and also can be dictated by circumstances beyond your control which can make or break a trip.

The fact I had the same travel companion to Norfolk and now Lord Howe I believe also made the travel experience a learning one, and I think possibly Lord Howe may have fared a little better in this regard as the next trip, and of course, has nothing really to do with the island themselves.

:airplane:


Thank You to the people living on Lord Howe Island, for a fantastic home away from home holiday. The people that looked after us at the accommodation were very good, and checked in with us daily on our needs and organised things for us, or gave us advice or where to call on them if needed.

Our accommodation was near to excellent. The only issues we encountered was a small rodent inside the accommodation which thankfully disappeared after it saw a set trap, which I managed not to get my own foot stuck in. The time of year may have contributed to this need for indoors shelter. Not the owners fault in any way - just goes with the fauna environment, along with an open door.

The other issue was the lack of non-smoking accommodation or not having designated smoking areas within the accommodations. There is only one completely smoke-free accommodation I believe. Smoking outside in the vicinity of other guests, whether that be then leaching inside or around outside the other guests accommodation did spoil about forty hours of our trip while at the venue unfortunately. And we are not talking the occasional ciggie here; this was getting on toward chain smoking, in which the air freshener that was needed to be used was also contributing to a not so healthy environment to humans or the island environment. Sheesh.

QantasLink was up to their usual consistently very high standards. I found no difference in the flights compared to any other destination in Australia using QantasLink. The Dash 8 -200 although a bit noisier than most aircraft we fly on nowadays, was excellent. I am keen to see what will replace this aircraft when they are eventually retired. As said, the runway at LDH is short and limits the commercial aircraft that can operate there.

I haven’t included my own videos on this trip as my current equipment therefore quality is just meh IMHO and I know there is a lot better out there. I'll revisit the video contributions again sometime in the future. Have included some relevant external video links in the sources and related information below.


Any advice for visiting Lord Howe Island?

As mentioned, the main ones would be: take out travel insurance, the chances of your flight being cancelled are around one in three odds; take enough cash, as a lot of places only accept cash (at the time of writing). There is an ATM and EFTPOS or e.g. VISA available, but don’t assume they will be readily available. The ATM I don’t believe is available 24/7 either.

Don’t climb Mount Gower (guided tour only) if you are not near to or extremely fit, or ride a bike if you have never really tried previously. As said, the most common injuries on the island are falling off bikes and falling down mountains. There is one doctor on the island we were advised, you don’t want a (busy) doctor’s visit to ruin your holiday!

There are no snakes, sand flies, stingers (there was a stingray but it was on the boat tour lagoon part) or dangerous plants. There are spiders but they are not obvious to be a problem. Apparently there are red-backs, they were accidently introduced at some time? It always pays to be careful!


Best time to go?

Late winter for us was fine. We got a better deal for our money, and the accommodations were not full. In fact, some were closed for the low or off-season. I see this as a bonus for getting around and eating out (most of the eating out options were available for the off-season). For hiking and cycling I would recommend winter as a better time.

The longer nights are a slight disadvantage as is the temperature at night and evenings, but only if you are partaking in outdoor activities then. It is very dark and a torch or flashlight would be good to take from home for the trip. Can't remember if they supplied any. We didn’t go out at night unless getting the pre-arranged lifts to the dinner venues and back which was not a problem and well organised. Can’t speak for the other seasons, but I would say winter wouldn’t have been the wettest or the windiest in that climate?


Will I go back to Lord Howe Island?

I want to and I felt that when there, I will return. It is a great weekender or a week away, particularly if you want to disappear for a week, get away without leaving the country – but get away if you know what I mean. Met people who said they hadn’t told anyone they were going, and or just left a note on the fridge. I like that!

I didn’t get that feeling with Norfolk Island. This one had that drawcard of escapism. Maybe it is the fact that there is no mobile phone reception (something that I believe they want to retain), or Internet that is not readily available. I can’t see Lord Howe Island changing any time soon. It is what it is, a little UNESCO World Heritage wilderness hideaway in the Tasman Sea that we in Australia are very fortunate to have. :thumbsup:

Thanks for reading, is so great to do a trip report that hasn’t been done on A.net before. Enjoy reading and or browsing, as much as I enjoyed re-living, and sharing my experience here.

If I think of anything else to add I’ll post them in the comments, same for replies to any questions.

Cheers = :profile:


Part 1 of the trip report can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1352337

:airplane:


Further information

Qantas Seat Maps, de Havilland Dash 8 (DH2), SeatGuru, 2016, https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qanta ... h_8100.php
(Includes video) Brisbane Airport's New Parallel Runway, Brisbane Airport Australia, 2016, http://www.bne.com.au/corporate/bne-maj ... lel-runway
Lord Howe Island Airport, Lord Howe Island Board, 2017, http://www.lhib.nsw.gov.au/infrastructure/airport
(Video) QantasLink Dash 8 takeoff at Lord Howe - side view, wiiwheel64, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVud-Lo ... g&index=76
(Video) Lord Howe Island by air, teded38, 2008, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYrBAND ... s&index=62
(Video) By flying boat to Lord Howe Island 1931 – 1974, Hollpolls Sunshine Coast Railway, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmTVKs1 ... g&index=61
Lord Howe Island Marine Park, Wikipedia, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Howe ... arine_Park
The woodhen of Lord Howe Island, lordhoweisland.info, 2017, http://www.lordhoweisland.info/library/woodhen.pdf
Lord Howe Island Museum, 2017, http://www.lhimuseum.com/

:airplane:

Previous trip reports

2016 Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 1 | BNE-LDH: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1352337
2016 Canberra Airport Vibe Hotel Accommodation | Business Class Lounge Canberra Airport | QF QantasLink 712 CBR-BNE | Business Class: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1343905
2015 Baby Boeings | Qantas 717 CBR-BNE | 738 BNE-CBR: viewtopic.php?t=980379
*2015 Back On The Devil: QantasLink 717 and Q400 | CBR-MEL | MEL-DPO | DPO-MEL | MEL-CBR: viewtopic.php?t=979899
*2015 Norfolk Island, NZ A320 International & ATR72-600 VA Domestic | Part 2 | NLK-SYD-CBR: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=979615
*2015 Norfolk Island, NZ A320 International & ATR72-600 VA Domestic | Part 1 | CBR-SYD-NLK: viewtopic.php?t=979527
*2014 QF QantasLink 717 Trip Report | CBR-MEL: https://www.airliners.net/aviation-forum ... ain/262687
*Includes video.


:airplane:
 
VapourTrails
Topic Author
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 1:14 am

Last photo missed out - sorry! Here 'tis. :relieved:

Image
Moreton Bay, Brisbane, Port of Brisbane and BNE, the familiar approach view for those flying into BNE.
 
RoySFlying
Posts: 257
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 1:47 am

Fantastic!

What a wonderful well-written trip report. The depth of reporting on what to do and see and general travel advise is as impressive as it is informative. Thanks for the information about the flying boats that used to visit the Island.

I like the bit about "don't ask and we won't tell" at the check-in weighing. I can just imagine it: "you're overweight, I'm sorry to say."
"But I packed lightly."
"Not your case. You, Sir." :cheerful:

Not travelled on the 200 yet, only the 100, 300 and 400, so it's still one for me to log. The flight looked comfortable enough. Some great aerial shots there.

Thanks for taking the time to write this extensive report. :trophy:

Roy.
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 2:26 am

RoySFlying wrote:
Fantastic!

What a wonderful well-written trip report. The depth of reporting on what to do and see and general travel advise is as impressive as it is informative. Thanks for the information about the flying boats that used to visit the Island.

I like the bit about "don't ask and we won't tell" at the check-in weighing. I can just imagine it: "you're overweight, I'm sorry to say."
"But I packed lightly." "Not your case. You, Sir." :cheerful:

Not travelled on the 200 yet, only the 100, 300 and 400, so it's still one for me to log. The flight looked comfortable enough. Some great aerial shots there.

Thanks for taking the time to write this extensive report. :trophy:

Roy.


Hello

Thanks! :fluffy:

Regarding the weighing also, I went hot-air ballooning for the first time this year! There you also need to provide your weight, verbally or via email initially, but on the day you have to fill out a consent to fly form, and you need to provide your weight again on the form and sign it. No weight, no fly, same principal applied - but they don't weigh you. I guess they can assess you on sight too. They can refuse to take you.

With this LDH flight, you would just pay more, up to a point? I have heard of incidences where luggage needs to go separately, I guess that is how they balance the issue if it is a full flight - more diplomatic! IIRC there were about six spare seats on those flights, so there was a bit of leeway for 'heaviness' there. :twocents:

Yes, the flight was comfortable, like any QantasLink flight.

Your trip reports are very informative also, the background and history that you provide. I think it is good for the reader though isn't it, when exploring these out of the way places!

Cheers =
 
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Ryan h
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 3:09 am

Good to read the return report.

As RoySFkying said, flown on the other Dash8 models, except the -200.
South Australian Spotter
 
AR385
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 6:13 am

Thank you for a fantastic Trip Report. As I wrote after reading part one, this report is many levels above what we see in this section of A.net I commend you for taking the time to ensure flawless grammar, style and fluidity. It´s obvious you took the time to proof read and edit your text, more than a few times.

Before reading your report, I had no idea Lord Howe Island existed. Now I really want to visit there and I hope next time I am in Australia I can arrange such a visit. It does seem like the ideal place to take a vacation when what you actually wish to do is REST.

Thanks again.
 
TN486
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 7:47 am

Thanks VT, I have been waiting with baited breath for Part 2 (and yes, I kept checking). You have not disappointed. well written, and a great style. Thank you so much, I also loved the photo's. Cheers mate
remember the t shirt "I own an airline"on the front - "qantas" on the back
 
AA737-823
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon May 29, 2017 8:49 am

This is easily one of the best, most destination-focused trip reports I've ever seen on a.net.
Thank you for taking the time to create it.
An hour ago, I'd never heard of Lord Howe Island, and now, I'm putting it on my list of places to visit!
My only concern is two hours in a Dash8-200. If it's smooth, I'll absolutely love it; if it's rough... you may read about me in the news, for jumping into the pacific from the exit!
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Tue May 30, 2017 12:14 am

Ryan h wrote:
Good to read the return report. As RoySFkying said, flown on the other Dash8 models, except the -200.


Hi Ryan h, thanks! Now, you had me looking through my old photographs, as I believe I now have the -100, -200, -300, -400 set (av geek moment). I came across an old photograph taken in November 1992 at DPO of VH-WZJ, and it seems that yes I would have definitely flown on this aircraft, or one similar - De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash 8 when they flew for Southern Australia Airlines (that livery with the green gold blue and white).

Thanks again. Cheers =

AR385 wrote:
Thank you for a fantastic Trip Report. As I wrote after reading part one, this report is many levels above what we see in this section of A.net I commend you for taking the time to ensure flawless grammar, style and fluidity. It´s obvious you took the time to proof read and edit your text, more than a few times.

Before reading your report, I had no idea Lord Howe Island existed. Now I really want to visit there and I hope next time I am in Australia I can arrange such a visit. It does seem like the ideal place to take a vacation when what you actually wish to do is REST.

Thanks again.


Hi AR385, thank you so much! :fluffy: These TR can also help with other areas of your life when it comes to (practising) writing skills, and it is said that these TR are or need to be seen as a labour of love, so it makes it all worthwhile in the end - the time and investment put into these, and your feedback. :thumbsup:

There are still minor errors or flaws in it, but they are that, minor. The auto-correct also overdid its job and renamed one of the place names on me and I didn't spot it. :mischievous:

I am not a fan of the thirty-minute edit window here, an hour would be better, or two, for the Trip Report forum, relative to the size of the posts on TR.

I will say however, that the trip reports come up really well on (small) mobile devices, that is what the new A.net site is really good at. :thumbsup:

I hope that you do get the chance to visit Lord Howe Island next time you are in Australia. Cheers. = :wave:
 
VapourTrails
Topic Author
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Tue May 30, 2017 12:31 am

TN486 wrote:
Thanks VT, I have been waiting with baited breath for Part 2 (and yes, I kept checking). You have not disappointed. well written, and a great style. Thank you so much, I also loved the photo's. Cheers mate


Hi TN486 :biggrin:

LOL - I didn't mean to keep you in suspense - I can assure you it was not deliberate! I did underestimate the time it would take to compile this, and get it up, but the important thing is, it's done now! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Thank you for reading and commenting. :highfive:

=

AA737-823 wrote:
This is easily one of the best, most destination-focused trip reports I've ever seen on a.net. Thank you for taking the time to create it. An hour ago, I'd never heard of Lord Howe Island, and now, I'm putting it on my list of places to visit! My only concern is two hours in a Dash8-200. If it's smooth, I'll absolutely love it; if it's rough... you may read about me in the news, for jumping into the pacific from the exit!


Hi AA737-823, thanks! Glad I could tell you about a place that you had never heard of. As said, this was an opportunity to do something that wasn't on here, and that also gave the reader the whole experience, not just the flight/s focus. If I had the spare $, time and right opportunities, I'd be doing a lot more of this. Alas, no more new island adventures for me for the time being. I want to do King Island, one of the Bass Strait Islands. If someone beats me to it and does a TR I won't mind. It'll help my planned trip!

The Dash 8 -200.. I am one of these pax that has/had anxiety with flying, and the main reason I think is claustrophobia. To be honest, I did not have anxiety on either of the flights, particularly too as they were over water. Reasons? I think I was already relaxed when I boarded. I had my reading and my music, and a travel buddy to talk to. Yes, we were fortunate we had smooth flights, apart from the bumpy approach. The time actually went really quickly. I say if you want to do the island visit, then you will just have to do it! A window seat near the front may help?

Cheers =
 
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WarRI1
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Tue May 30, 2017 1:41 am

I certainly enjoyed your trip report about an area I know I will never travel to. I am not a person that is fond of long flights, nor is my wife, so I will just have to follow your travels in that area. These are locals I have read about over the years and seen in movies and the news. To be able to see your pictures and read your words is very enjoyable and so easy from my home chair. I will leave the traveling to you down there. I will mostly remain up here and enjoy your adventures. A very good job with your report. I did not see any train tracks on the Island so I know you will not retire there. ;)
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Tue May 30, 2017 3:00 am

WarRI1 wrote:
I certainly enjoyed your trip report about an area I know I will never travel to. I am not a person that is fond of long flights, nor is my wife, so I will just have to follow your travels in that area. These are locals I have read about over the years and seen in movies and the news. To be able to see your pictures and read your words is very enjoyable and so easy from my home chair. I will leave the traveling to you down there. I will mostly remain up here and enjoy your adventures. A very good job with your report. I did not see any train tracks on the Island so I know you will not retire there. ;)


Hello WarRI1, thank you for visiting the forum and leaving comments. :highfive:

I too 'travel at home' quite frequently! I find myself living my travel adventures through other people also. This week I visited Japan, Cambodia, and various parts of the US, courtesy of YouTube. :profile: It's all good! It fills in the travel gaps, and I either add them to my list, or cross them off as no, I've seen enough on here. In some ways, the YouTube generation shows us the world, from our homes, as TV in general does. It is the next best thing to the actual travel experience, if travel is not possible or practical. It is not for everyone.

No, no train tracks! Not enough av happening either. :wink2:

:mischievous:

There is a fiction book about Lord Howe Island I was recommended, called Bright Air, by Barry Maitland. Haven't started it yet.

:airplane:

Generally, I forgot to mention a couple of things in the report. One is, like on Norfolk, there are no locks and keys for anything, doors or bikes being two main examples. Don't know why I didn't take a photo, but there are these metal bike racks everywhere also.

The other thing to mention is that some nights we ate in as the villa was self contained. We were given a hamper on arrival for the first day, and we ended up cooking on the staying in nights with food from the local supermarket in the fully equipped kitchen. I would recommend bringing breakfeast cereal, muesli bars and other non-perishable foods on the flight though, to cut down on costs of buying food there.

I occasionally check out those trip review websites of places I've been, to see what others have to say and their experiences, and it is important and perhaps obvious, that you also always need to pre-book accommodation. There is no camping or anything like that. http://www.lhib.nsw.gov.au/environment/ ... ve/camping

:airplane:
 
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allrite
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Wed May 31, 2017 5:57 am

Lovely report, from that first photo all the way to the end. It's sad that relaxing in modern life seems to require a conscious effort. Living in a city is being in a permanent state of stress, so it's nice to escape, if only through your words, into a different world.

The only thing was the lighting; it was difficult to see what you were eating depending on where you were sitting, with the electricity rationing. Needed a torch to help see and eat the meal at this one, as we were sitting in an annex marque.


Considering the brightness/power usage of LEDs I'm sure this will be resolved eventually.

The other issue was the lack of non-smoking accommodation or not having designated smoking areas within the accommodations. There is only one completely smoke-free accommodation I believe. Smoking outside in the vicinity of other guests, whether that be then leaching inside or around outside the other guests accommodation did spoil about forty hours of our trip while at the venue unfortunately. And we are not talking the occasional ciggie here; this was getting on toward chain smoking, in which the air freshener that was needed to be used was also contributing to a not so healthy environment to humans or the island environment. Sheesh.


No seatbelts, no cigarette restrictions... Maybe LHI should call itself a Libertarian paradise! Oh wait, bike helmets. Isn't it every tourist's right to suffer a brain injury on an island without trauma surgeons? :)

I accidently hit a very shallow piece of the latter with the front of my ankle and the graze was still there two weeks later!


When visiting the reefs off Cairns we were told that coral cuts can easily become infected or may involve toxins injected into the would by the polyps.

Considering that QantasLink operates mostly in rural Australia I find it a bit strange that they serve Laughing Cow cheese made in Europe rather than supporting local producers. Though serving a laughing cow on an emu's bottom (see the crackers) seems rather weird.

Thanks again for your wonderful conclusion to your LHI trip. It was a real pleasure to read.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
VapourTrails
Topic Author
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Wed May 31, 2017 10:42 pm

allrite wrote:
Lovely report, from that first photo all the way to the end. It's sad that relaxing in modern life seems to require a conscious effort. Living in a city is being in a permanent state of stress, so it's nice to escape, if only through your words, into a different world.


Hi allrite,

Thanks! :highfive:

Yes, it is true what you say about the conscious effort. A bit sad really. But here we are.

allrite wrote:
Considering the brightness/power usage of LEDs I'm sure this will be resolved eventually.


Yes, true. The lights were those small downlights IIRC about inch and a half diameter ones - and up, in the ceiling.

allrite wrote:
No seatbelts, no cigarette restrictions... Maybe LHI should call itself a Libertarian paradise! Oh wait, bike helmets.


:laughing:

..with all those little waratah logos popping up around everywhere like mushrooms, mmm... I think not! :mischievous:

I recall I made a sarcastic comment while I was there. I laugh about it (all) now. :profile:

Even though it's a little dot in the ocean, and IMHO the isolation is really more than can you actually feel, you certainly don't forget you are still in New South Wales. :mischievous:

Re the smokers - yes there was more than one, weren't actually doing anything wrong. That four metre rule or whatever it is, and wherever it applies ..doesn't take into account the wind!

I know I am not the first person to say about the smokedrift and doubt I'll be the last, but they should have smoking sections, that take into account the prevailing winds. They've got the room. There is obviously no smoking allowed inside the villas, but it is the other guests here which it is affecting, not the walls or the furnishings.

allrite wrote:
When visiting the reefs off Cairns we were told that coral cuts can easily become infected or may involve toxins injected into the wound by the polyps.

I am glad I read this after my graze had fully healed. :profile:

allrite wrote:
Considering that QantasLink operates mostly in rural Australia I find it a bit strange that they serve Laughing Cow cheese made in Europe rather than supporting local producers. Though serving a laughing cow on an emu's bottom (see the crackers) seems rather weird.

Yes, that is a good point. Yes, I agree, weird!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

allrite wrote:
Thanks again for your wonderful conclusion to your LHI trip. It was a real pleasure to read.


Cheers. = :airplane:
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Wed May 31, 2017 11:14 pm

Weather info snapshot that may be useful for some.

Lord Howe Island has a subtropical climate. Under the Köppen climate classification, Lord Howe Island has a Humid subtropical climate (Cfa).

In general the summers are warm-hot with rainfall erratic but occasionally heavy while in winter it is very mild with rainfall more or less uniform. There is a gradual transition from summer to winter conditions and vice versa. Winds are frequent and salt-laden being moderate easterlies in the summer and fresh to strong westerlies in the winter. July is the windiest month, and the winter months are subject to frequent gales and strong winds. The island has 67.8 clear days, annually.

Storms and occasional cyclones also affect the island. Rainfall records are maintained in the north where rainfall is less than in the frequently cloud-shrouded mountains of the south. There can be wide variation in rainfall from year to year. July and August are the coldest months with average minimum temperatures of about 13 °C (55 °F) and no frost. Average maximum temperatures range from 17–20 °C (63–68 °F) in the winter to 24–27 °C (75–81 °F) in the summer. The humidity averages in the 60–70% range year round becoming more noticeable on warmer summer days than in the cooler winter months. (Source: Wikipedia, 2017).

Image
(Source: http://www.lord-howe-island.climatemps. ... -graph.gif)

To me, this is t-shirt, and possibly shorts weather all year round during the daytime. :sun:

The lady at the boat shed remarked that I must be either from Canberra, Victoria, Tasmania, or Antarctica dressed like that! :smirk:

It's all relative.
 
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allrite
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:47 pm

VapourTrails wrote:
To me, this is t-shirt, and possibly shorts weather all year round during the daytime. :sun:

The lady at the boat shed remarked that I must be either from Canberra, Victoria, Tasmania, or Antarctica dressed like that! :smirk:

It's all relative.


Well you do live in Canberra, a place that my Tasmanian housemates (Launceston, Burnie) found freezing in winter. I spent a whole year at university in Canberra wearing shorts and t-shirts (including one -5C day of snow walking up to the top of the Pinnacle). A 15C spring day felt warm! :)
I like artificial banana essence!
 
joffie
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:32 am

Great report of a little visited island.
 
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777Jet
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:55 am

Excellent! I've been waiting for part 2 of this trip report for some time and it was certainly worth the wait... Lots of great pics and good commentary to go with them. I look forward to the trip report following your next adventure...
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Remote Island Paradise - Lord Howe Island, Australia - Tasman Sea South Pacific | QF QantasLink Dash 8 -200 - Part 2

Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:45 am

joffie wrote:
Great report of a little visited island.


Thank you! :wave:

777Jet wrote:
Excellent! I've been waiting for part 2 of this trip report for some time and it was certainly worth the wait... Lots of great pics and good commentary to go with them. I look forward to the trip report following your next adventure...


Hello mate, thanks! :profile: Don't know when that next adventure will be. I would like to do a CBR TT destination or return trip, but so fare nothing booked. It is looking likely I will be doing the QF Antarctica chartered flight from/to HBA next year (the inaugural one), but there is a trip report on here about that flight, not HBA though, so I may do one for that!

Cheers. =

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