Lord Howe Island is one of the best walking destinations in Australia. Its World Heritage listing is for scenic beauty, biodiversity and rare flora and fauna, and there’s a large variety of terrain in a small area. You can explore the intertidal zone at low tide and discover amazing life forms, you can climb small hills and capture vistas that feature in David Attenborough documentaries, and you can climb big mountains. When your legs need a break, you can swim with reef sharks and turtles over the southernmost coral reef in the Pacific.
The Seven Peaks Walk is Lord Howe’s premier five day guided adventure that takes you from pristine beaches and exposed coral platforms to the gnarled forests on Mt Gower. Along the way, you’ll see sheltered swimming coves, subtropical palm forests, freshwater creeks, rugged sea cliffs and volcanic peaks. Some sections of the walk, such as the Lower Road on Mt Lidgbird, wind along exposed narrow ledges (protected by ropes, of course) across a 300 vertical metre cliff. If it wasn’t for the ocean and seabirds, you could be traversing on a Via Ferrata in the Italian Alps. Other sections of the walk take you deep into Jurassic Park style banyan forests with the only rookeries of Providence petrels in the world. When you yell, the curious birds land at your feet, almost hypnotised. It’s an incredible experience.
After a memorable day, you’ll return to Pinetrees for a hot shower, cold beer, exceptional four course dinner, great wine and luxurious bed. You may find the perfect balance between physical exercise, mental stimulation, social interaction and, well, some of life’s more enjoyable treats. Did we mention the day spa?
The Seven Peaks Walk is for experienced hikers who enjoy a challenge by day, and some luxury by night. A few sections of the walk are ‘off-track’ and require a steady head for heights. You also need to be fit – as a guide, you should be able to walk 10km in three hours and climb 600 stairs in 20 minutes (free tip: use the trip as motivation to train for a few months before you come). All groups are hosted and led by former United Nations ecologist Luke Hanson, from Pinetrees Lodge, and former Lord Howe park rangers Dean Hiscox and Bruce ‘Gilly’ Thompson. The maximum group size is 12 guests.
For a better feel for what to expect, watch the video of our Seven Peaks Walk by film-maker Andy Lloyd, and read the feature articles in The Sydney Morning Herald, Weekend Australian Magazine, Great Walks Magazine, The Guardian, and The Australian.