Regarded as the world’s ‘last paradise’, Lord Howe Island lies 600km east of the Australian mainland. A World Heritage-listed ‘treasure island’ of extraordinary contrasts, it has long been recognised for its pristine natural environment characterised by volcanic peaks, lush forests, serene lagoons, coral reefs and prolific marine and bird life.
Lord Howe Island and its surrounding isles are the remains of a 7-million-year-old shield volcano. The island is considered an astounding example of an ecosystem developed from submarine volcanic activity, and being isolated from the mainland, it has an incredibly rare diversity of flora, fauna and landscapes.
These ten facts highlight just how incredible Lord Howe Island is:
1. WORLD HERITAGE
Lord Howe Island was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of global natural significance in 1982, in recognition of the island’s unparalleled beauty and biodiversity. More than 70% of the island is a permanent protected park reserve, and the surrounding ocean is also protected as a Marine Park. Lord Howe is home to the world’s southernmost coral reef, meaning swimmers, snorkelers and divers can explore the reefs in warm temperatures, without worrying about marine stingers.
2. ISLAND DISCOVERY
Lord Howe was first discovered by Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, Commander of the oldest and smallest of the First Fleet ships, Supply, in 1788. Ball was enroute to Norfolk Island to establish a penal settlement, and named the then uninhabited island of Lord Howe after British Admiral, Richard Howe. He named the sea stack situated to the island’s south, Ball’s Pyramid, after himself.