It’s the infamous beach in the middle, affectionately known as ‘Middles’. It’s between the world famous Neds Beach and the much quieter, but just as beautiful Blinky Beach. Discreet and appropriately named, it’s a little nugget of beach gold on the eastern side of Lord Howe Island.
There’s a mellow vibe to this entire corner of the island. Tucked away at the end of a dead-end road, over the back of the fear inducing and inanely named ‘Joys Hill’ (there is nothing joyful about it), it’s a place where few people venture on a regular basis. Perhaps it’s the walk here that mellows people out. There’s a peaceful and serene shortcut up from the Liquor Store. A quiet bush track that avoids Joys Hill and cuts straight up onto the back of the Kentia palm studded, quaint backstreet end of Anderson Road. With blades of sunlight streaming through the towering Kentia Palms, there’s an almost imperceptible change of mood, nature induced.
There are two entry points down onto ‘Middles’. The descent onto the northern side of the beach is easier but restricted considerably by the high tide. Upon hitting the beach you’re greeted with an inhospitable wall of sharp and jagged sandstone, not ideal to scramble over when it’s wet. This entrance starts directly in front of the summit of Joys Hill. Forget this one. Go for the jugular.
If you’re on a bike, roll down the the dog legged road until you hit the end, just past the island’s diary factory, aka Gower’s quaint little milking shed. Here lies the most picturesque and easier of the entrances to Middle Beach.
Upon rounding the cliff and sucking in the first mouthful of easterly wind, and with it, the first glimpse of ‘Middles’, you’ll have a memorable moment mired in magic.
Towering over the beach below, surrounded by a dense pocket of vegetation, this cozy little corner would make the perfect setting for a park bench. Wallah! There’s one right here, as I pause momentarily to ponder the lost opportunity of not bringing my book. However as my warm backside hits the cold steel and I spin around and lock eyes with the seducing vista, I don’t hold that thought for a moment longer.
With the ubiquitous birdsong providing the audio, the spectacular visuals on display and the warmth of the early morning sun canvassing my exterior, this is the stuff people dream about.
‘Middles’ is one of the least visited ‘popular beaches’ on Lord Howe Island.
With no BBQ, lots of stairs and the formidable ‘Joys Hill’ as a significant deterrent for casual holiday cyclists, it’s relatively free of traffic. Combine that with a reputation for pernicious ocean currents and inimical waters and you’ll find it’s a fairly empty beach most of the time. Which is exactly why it’s a locals’ favourite. So if you want to go where the locals go, go to ‘Middles’.