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“Beautiful but expensive” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Lord Howe Island

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new zealand
Level Contributor
91 reviews
93 helpful votes
“Beautiful but expensive”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2009

We enjoyed our time at Lord Howe Island but our overall impression is that tourists are to be endured rather than welcomed.
From the post office staff, the store staff, restaurant staff, visitor centre (particularly unhelpful) there was an attitude that we were in the way.
Campbell (?) at the bike hire centre was very nice, friendly and helped us sort out bikes for a week, wetsuits and also booked a fantastic fishing trip for us. The rest of the island would do well to take a leaf out of his book!!
Dave on the Greenfin boat trip was also friendly, and whenever we saw him during our stay would always talk to us. He also cooked some nice meals at the Bowling Club. I will review his fishing trip separately.

8 Thank Kiwiduo50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
18 helpful votes
“Close to heaven on earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2009

Having been to Lord Howe Island 11 times I can say that it is about as perfect a holiday destination as I can imagine and it is this on many levels.

Location: You fly 500 km from the Australian mainland and then this dramatic chunk of rock appears out of the ocean. Small but spectacular.

Nature: Stunning above the sea and stunning below. Fish, birds, coral, mountains, trees, flowers, stunning sunsets and (if you are up) sunrises . . . you name it.

Safety: Must rank as one of the safest places on earth. Safe for kids to swim, safe to leave your valuables and safe from natural nasties. Speed limit is 25 km/h - about the max I can do on a bicycle – and there are very few cars.

Culture: I like the way most people on the island are related to most of the others. It produces some interesting effects (lots of people with the same first and last names). Most islanders are SDAs so some things are not available on the Sabbath - like fresh bread, although the liquor store and butcher are open.

Night life: Virtually none.

Mobile phone coverage: Absolutely none and not likely to change but there is wireless internet.

8 Thank SonOfSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
8 helpful votes
“The Magic of Lord Howe”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2009

Lord Howe is one of those magical places where you are constantly in awe of everything you see. The first few days on the island had a wow factor whenever we went around a corner or bend.
Everything was top class considering the remoteness of the island from the Australian mainland. Eating out was expensive so we ate in most nights. The museum is a must and gives a great history and background to the place. If you can you must go up Mt Gower but it can only be done with a registered tour guide, Dean Hiscox seems to be the most reliable. It will take all day 7am to 5pm. And make sure you are fit. Everything is dependent on the weather so book things you want to do early in the week. The Chase 'n' Thyme tour is worthwhile and gives you an idea of what you might want to do during your stay. The walks are fantastic and there are a variety to choose from for all levels of ability. Every walk has a magnificent view.

8 Thank Rainier50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Young, NSW, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
64 helpful votes
“Lord Howe Island - A Beautiful Place to Visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2009

We have just returned from 6 days on Lord Howe Island staying at Somerset Apartments and the following are some thoughts -
The island is absolutely beautiful - with pristine beaches and magical sights everywhere you look.
Accommodation - We had a Standard Apartment at Somerset which was a bit tired looking but quite comfortable with a Double Bed, small sitting area with a second bed, a tiny bathroom and adequate kitchenette. The balcony area at the front had room for a table and four chairs, but we found the lattice like division between it and next door lacked privacy and we chose not to use it. However, that was purely our decision and others may be quite happy with it. The grounds were extremely well kept and there were a number of bbq's available. Also a laundry and comfortable sitting area for waiting for transport to planes etc.
This area also contained a comprehensive collection of brochures for restaurants and tours etc.
Somerset was very well situated being an easy 5 minute walk to the shops in one direction and 10 minutes to Ned's Beach in the other.
Restaurants - The island has a number of extremely good restaurants and an excellent service where your accommodation's bus takes you to whichever place you chose and they will take you back at the end of the evening. We found this to be good and conducive to getting out and trying what is on offer. During our time we ate at Pandanus (twice) Beachcomber, Coral Cafe, the Bowling Club, Palm Sugar and Arajilla (which was the only disappointment). and Humpty Micks Cafe. As mentioned in earlier reports prices are not cheap but this is to be expected.
Tours - We enjoy taking various tours of places we visit and during the course of our stay enjoyed Lord Howe Enviromental Tours Glass Bottomed Boat Coral Viewing - the coral and fish are just amazing and far exceeded anything we had seen on the Barrier Reef. We also took Islander Cruises tour to North Bay - again saw some wonderful coral and several large tortoises.
The Whitfields Island Tour was our first and a very good taste of what was to come during the week. We also enjoyed our time with Ramblin' Ronnie. Our final tour was Islander Tours Round the Island and this was a fitting climax. We can highly recommend all of the above tours and found the people concerned with running them to be extremely well versed in what was on offer and very efficient. A special mention to Anthony of Islander Tours for his knowledge and talent for being able to pass this on in such an engaging manner.
Once again touring is made easy with the use of the free telephone service at the shopping centre for making reservations at restaurants and tour companies.
We self catered for breakfast & found no trouble in buying anything we needed from Thompsons Store. There was also no trouble with finances as 99% of people we dealt with had Eftpos or would take Visa Cards. We also found everyone we dealt with to be friendly and extremely welcoming.
To sum up we would recommend a trip to Lord Howe to anyone interested in a place just full of beautiful places to see and lots of interesting things to do, with a myriad of nice places to stay and wonderful places to eat.

10 Thank Vilavisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
142 reviews
101 helpful votes
“Lord Howe Island - Just Beautiful”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2007

My husband and I have just recently returned from Lord Howe Island. What a stunning island, its just incredibly beautiful. I was amazed. Although it rained a lot while we were here we did a lot of bike riding.

We stayed at Somerset Apartments. Great location to the main attractions and to the CBD. The rooms were comfortable but not flash and for the price of the rooms you would of thought they could of been a bit better. But again I say they were comfortable but just not value for money and located in a great part of the island close to shops, lagoon and Ned's Beach. We thought they were decked out more like motel style rooms for above standard room prices. We did get upgraded to an 3 bedroom apartment which I thought would be decked out better but no it had plastic chairs for dining room with a terrible uncomfortable lounge. The beds were comfy so that was a plus. The staff are friendly and I must admit I was surprised to be told there is no key to your room, we don't lock up homes or cars.

I would of liked to try other restaurants but we couldnt be bothered as we ate majority of our meals at Humpty Micks just because it was so close to Somerset. We thought majority of the meals were good but expensive for "cafe" style meals. We thought the salt & pepper calamari was the best and the prawns were good. My father-in-law wasn't too impressed with the lasagna and I thought there chips were just too salty.

Groceries were so expensive, say about double the price you pay back home in mainland Oz. So if you do want to save some $$ I recommend you bring some things from home. I bought over tea, chips, peanuts etc and I'm glad we did as we saved a fair bit. I should of bought chocolate too as a family block of chocolate is $6.00.

Joy's shop wasnt too bad but I don't think the owner assuming its Joy wasn't really a joy to deal with. Not the friendliest lady.

Top Shop is expensive and I thought the fruit and veges were not good quality at all. Also what a hike to get there.

Thompson's wasn't too bad, not the best service but nice fresh bread.

We hired bikes from Wilson's and that was fun for $7 per day per person.

Ned's Beach is great for feeding the fish and for snorkelling. The fish are amazing and huge! It was a lot of fun!

Coral cafe had nice cakes and hot chocolate. We didnt try the coffee.

Its great with no mobile coverage, no keys to lock your car, bike or home and such beautiful scenery.

Overall if you ask me what I thought, LHI is just beautiful, absolutely stunning. What a spot.

I would say expect to pay a lot of money for everything. Its an expensive island but I highly recommend it for a nice holiday.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — the cost and value for money wasn't too good
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      Check-in / front desk
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7 Thank Butterflygirl54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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