Lord Howe Island

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WorldAustraliaNew South WalesLord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island
31°33.659'S, 159°05.169'E Chart icon.png
lat=-31.56098 | lon=159.08615 | zoom=12 | y
Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site lying 600km (370mi) east of Port Macquarie on the Australian mainland. Lord Howe is a New South Wales protectorate rather than an Australian territory.


Australian Hydrographic Service
Aus610 Lord Howe Island


Give local weather conditions or refer to another page (a region or island group) that covers these conditions.

Sources for Weather forecasts:

  • Via the internet, the LHI weather forecast from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is available here: http://www.bom.gov.au/nsw/forecasts/lordhowe.shtml
  • On the island, a daily weather synopsis is posted on the front of the post office.
  • A trip to the Bureau of Meteorology office on the island (the building to the south side of the airport, ride around the southern end of the airport until the entry is seen to your right) is well worth while, as the staff there are helpful, informative, and can usually give a 5-7 day synopsis of the weather patterns over the Tasman Sea, using their computer models.


  • Lord Howe Island is a 4 or 5 day sail from Sydney, Newcastle or any of the other ports on the NSW coast. I recommend travelling in the summer months, although the prevailing winds will be against you for the sail there (but behind you for the return trip).
  • Sailing from New Zealand is also possible, again I would advise a summer sail and you should have prevailing winds in your favour for at least the second half of the trip. My last passage from the island to New Zealand took 8 days of mixed weather sailing, arriving in Nelson


Ball's Pyramid
  • Ball's Pyramid is the most well known of the islands near Lord Howe Island. It's well worth a trip to explore it, although landing is prohibited (and would be nearly impossible for most boats).

There are also some offshore islets to the north east of the main island (the Admiralty Islets). Anchoring near these is best avoided by cruisers due to uncertainty in most of the charts of the area, and difficult tidal / current conditions. However they can be explored by dinghy from the shore of Ned's Beach or by dinghy from a sailing vessel nearby in calm conditions. One of the islands has an interesting archway which can be explored by dinghy.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


Lord Howe Island must be approached from the west if you wish to moor in the lagoon. If approaching from the east (NZ) side, sail around to the west side of the island and come in via the north western passage into the lagoon.

You must radio ahead on VHF 16 advising of approach. The local police/water rescue/customs folks will find you a mooring if there is one available. Moorings are limited, and so in peak seasons prepare for some disappointment if none are available.


Although Lord Howe Island is technically NOT a port of entry, this page needs to be consulted before arriving/departing through Lord Howe Island. The relevant text is as follows:

NOTE: Due to staffing restraints on Lord Howe Island Customs and Border Protection is unable to provide Customs, Immigration and Quarantine clearances for arriving and departing smallcraft. Craft are still allowed to use Lord Howe Island as a tech stop (refuelling, provisioning) but,

  • For smallcraft landing at Lord Howe Island from overseas, must make their next landfall at one of the Customs and Border Protection declared ports on mainland Australia. (Sydney, Newcastle, Eden, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane)
  • For craft departing for overseas via Lord Howe Island will need to obtain their clearance at a Customs and Border Protection declared ports on mainland Australia. (Sydney, Newcastle, Eden, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane)

Note that passengers onboard arriving and or departing smallcraft are not permitted to break their journey on Lord Howe Island and make their way to mainland Australia by commercial aircraft. Additionally no arriving and or departing smallcraft can take on passengers on Lord Howe for transport to the mainland or overseas destination.Normal quarantine restrictions apply whilst at Lord Howe Island, no food or animals to be taken onto the Island from the vessel.

To confirm the details of your intended arrival at Lord Howe Island ,and restrictions that currently apply, please contact Customs and Border Protection Coffs Harbour Office on 02 6656 8500.

For entrance details see Australia.


There are no berthing options on the island, the only two options being to pick up a mooring in the lagoon, or to anchor in one of the anchorages shown on the various charts, e.g. off Ned's Beach. To protect the corals, anchoring in the lagoon is not permitted, you must pick up a mooring.


There are no marina facilities on the island.


  • Moorings are available (for a fee) in the lagoon on the western side of the island. Radio ahead on VHF 16 and you will be directed to a mooring if one is available. Anchoring is not permitted.
  • If you plan to arrive during the busy season (southern hemisphere summer, basically) it may pay to call or email ahead to ensure that a mooring is available.
  • In the rare instance of SW winds, anchoring is possible in 10m - 15m depth in sand in the bay off Ned's Beach on the NE side of the island. You can guarantee that SW winds won't stay around for more than a day or so in summer so be prepared to move as the wind shifts.


Water Although there are taps, bathrooms and laundry at the wharf, taking water from the island is discouraged because the island has to rely entirely on its own rainfall
Electricity No electricity is available to the moorings. There are a small number of power points in the laundry at the wharf. A power point or two may be found at some of the cafes ashore
Toilets In the building on the jetty
Showers In the building on the jetty
Laundry There is a laundry at the wharf, with a single washing machine and inside and outside clothes lines. A key needs to be obtained from the LHI board office ($20 deposit) and needs to be returned into the key deposit box at the wharf before leaving the island
Garbage Garbage can be disposed of in the bins at the wharf. Recyclables and compostable rubbish must be separated
Fuel No fuel is available on the island
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers There are no chandleries or similar on the island. Dried goods suitable for cruising sailors can be obtained at several of the small stores on shore, hunt around for the supplies you need as stocks may change regularly
Repairs There are no repair facilities on the island, except those that you bring yourself. At busy times of the year, other yachtsmen may be able to lend some assistance where able
Internet ?
Mobile connectivity There is extremely limited and not very cheap wi-fi available at the museum. A range of plans are available, an example is $15 for 3 days allowing a maximum of 40 MB of traffic
Vehicle rentals Bicycles can be hired from Wilsons Hire Service on Lagoon Road. The cost is approximately $8 per day


  • Thompson's General Store on Ned's Beach Road carries most basic corner store items, as well as a small selection of hardware, fishing and marine goods.
  • Joy's Shop on Middle Beach Road is more of a supermarket type store, carrying a larger range of food and grocery items. Expect higher prices than you would pay in Australia or New Zealand.
  • The Island Co-op on Ned's Beach Road carries a range of dry goods which can be purchased in bulk (bring a container and fill it, you will be charged by the weight of the items). It's well worth a visit to stock up on flour, pasta, dried fruit, etc. Some locally grown fresh produce is available depending on the time of the year.

Eating out

  • There are many small restaurants and cafes on the island, mostly associated with the tourist lodges however nearly all are open for visitors. The notice board outside the co-op on Ned's Beach Road and the Visitor's Guide & Map will list the names and phone numbers of these. There is a free courtesy phone available next to the notice board. Most of the restaurants will collect you from the landing area and return you there after your meal.
  • Thompson's General Store does excellent hamburgers, around lunch time (12pm - 2pm)
  • The Museum Cafe is open for lunches and some dinners.
  • The Anchorage Cafe on Ned's Beach Road (the largest one you see) does quite good meals and is open for lnch and dinner.


  • For transport within the island, hire a bicycle.
  • QantasLink runs daily flights to and from the island. Check the Qantas web site for flight details.
  • Tours on glass bottomed boats within the lagoon operate from the lagoon beach. Boat tours of Balls Pyramid are also available.
  • There are no taxi services or similar on the island.


View from the top of the Goat House Track


Give a short history of the island.)

Places to Visit

One of the great things about Lord Howe Island is that there is very little to do there. There are no nightclubs, bars, heli-tours, jetskis, or similar. However it has some great bushwalks, most of which can be attempted solo after picking up one of the local guides from the shops ashore, or engaging one of the tour guides who are easy to find and run these daily or even more often. There are snorkelling tours, fishing tours and other similar low-key activities which can be arranged by arriving at a specific place and time advertised in several of the shop windows. The bird-watching tours are particularly popular.

My #1 favourite activity would have to be snorkelling in the lagoon. BYO snorkelling gear and head for one of the several popular snorkelling holes around, the aquatic life is certainly colourful and not to be missed.

Be prepared for a relaxing time.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



  • Always pick up a copy of the "Red Map" and Lord Howe Island Visitor's Guide, available from any of the shops on the island for free. It contains a map and contact details for all of the island services.
  • Other guide books, such as guides to the island's bird life, fish, walking tracks, etc, are available from the museum.

See also Australia.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • Delatbabel -- I have visited the island 4 times now and have always found something new and relaxing to do there. It's still one of my favourite summer stopping places.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Lord Howe Island and this page's details validated:

  • Delatbabel -- Sailing visit with Haiqu and 2 other crew in December 2013.

This is a usable page of the cruising guide. However, please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to add your personal notes on this page or to discuss its contents. Alternatively, if you feel confident to edit the page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

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Names: Haiqu; Delatbabel

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