There is a special feeling in the air around Lord Howe Island, Australia’s World Heritage listed island, most of it generated by the thousands of visitors seeking to enjoy its unique features. LORD HOWE ISLAND, the last paradise, is in the Tasman Sea about 700 km north-east of Sydney.
A short 90 minutes flight from Sydney, Brisbane or Port Macquarie with QantasLink. Flights from Sydney are daily during the peak season. You can also fly direct from Brisbane on weekends with connecting services from all Australian capital cities and a majority of regional centers in New South Wales and Queensland.
Lord Howe traces its history back to around the 1830’s when explorers first stepped ashore and set about establishing a new community of free settlers. Today, those settlers are represented in great number by families of descendants like the Nichols, Thompson, Wilson and Paytens, among a permanent population of around 300.
Many of the visitors o Lord Howe Island are lawn bowlers who quickly migrate to the impressive, single-green club at the northern end of the island for what is one of the sport’s best-kept secrets. While some accommodation is within walking distance of the bowls club, most operators provide transport there and the club returns them to their resort.
There is a large variety of accommodation styles available on the island with 18 accommodation providers, ranging from a traditional boarding house complex to self-contained, self-service apartments. With a maximum of 400 paid-accommodation holidaymakers allowed on the island at any one time you can chose from self-catering venues to luxury retreats, 1 or 2 bedroom villas, self catering units, bungalows, studio apartments and simple en-suite rooms and 3 and 4 bedroom cottages that accommodate large families or groups.
The two primary contributors to the island’s economy are tourism and the export of Kentia palm trees which grow prolifically on Lord Howe and finish up in gardens throughout Europe and other parts of the northern hemisphere.
Lord Howe is 11km long, a maximum of 2km wide and has about 12km of sealed roadways to serve mostly the fleet of mini buses, operated by accommodation houses, restaurants and clubs to provide free transfers for visitors and clients.
A keenly-supported attraction is the fleet of hire bicycles which dominates the roadways during the day, many taking whole families for their first experience of travelling together on two wheels.
Lord Howe is also well known for its fishing, with Kingfish or Trevally on the menu at restaurants and private homes because local laws limit the fish to local consumption only.
For those who enjoy watching the marine life, a daily fish feeding session at Ned’s Beach with local identity Clive Wilson, attracts an audience of all ages both in and out of the water. On occasions, he is joined by whaler sharks up to 1.5m long, which seek to feed on the fish he is feeding.
Festivities were held all year with the main highlights being the 19th Ocean View Pairs with $7500 prize money in March and then the 30th running of the $9000 Tasman Triples in November.
Lawn Bowls has been a key activity on Lord Howe Island for 90 years and its record is acknowledged in the year of celebrations in 2012.
The founders of the Lord Howe Island Bowls Club were fondly recalled and publicly acclaimed by members, many of them proud direct descendants of the pioneers.
The clubhouse that today stands on the same site as the modest shed officially opened in 1923 is a living testament to the dedication and hard work of their successors over nine decades.
For current President Gail Cameron and for tournament director Clive Wilson, at the age of 77, the anniversary marked 56 years involvement with the club.
Lord Howe Island bowls club has come a long way since the days of the shed and a barely adequate playing surface maintained with basic equipment. There are 40 playing bowlers on the membership list, including women, and all activities are mixed gender.
For bowlers, for travel bookings direct with Lord Howe, contact:
Lord Howe Travelers P/L., P.O. Box 42, Lord Howe Island NSW 2898.
Phone contact 02 6563 2162 Fax 02 6563 2092.