Lord Howe Island off New South Wales – climbing to the clouds


We arrived on Saturday.  The only reason we came along on this trip was because our German Neighbours, Andrea and Detlef,  suggested it last January and we said yes, and then it was booked before we knew it and here we are.  I’m very glad we made the choice to come along, the island is beautiful.  It is 11 km long and 2.8 km wide.  Covered in tropical lush rain forrest and it has 370 residents and always at any one time there is a maximum of 400 visitors.  Its pretty tiny.  Limited vehicles and the speed limit is 25kph.  Most people get around on bikes. There are hills and flat plains and undulating country side.  Just perfect.  No mozzies, nice climate, cool nights – the best place to be on holidays. Water temp is 21.5 degrees.  There aren’t many roads so my bike riding has come to a hault.  Nevertheless there is plenty to do with some very scenic climbs.  Of which we have managed to do two of them.  Climbing is a new skill for me.  Having a fear of heights I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope.  Im the girl that freezes on the Karajini Gorge.  Mind you I did have some broken ribs while I was climbing there.  On Lord Howe the climb to the Goat House Cave is a category 4.  Im not sure in climbing terms what that means but it is a rope assisted climb.  We travelled along a fair way with our own speed until we reached the heights of the climb and we had to use ropes to pull us up the granite out crops.  It was damp, and it was warm.  The air was filled with clouds and I like to say we climbed to the clouds – because we did.  All 400 meters of climbing.  As we reached the top the air began to feel really damp, and the rocks and roots that we were using to hold onto and climb up onto began to get slippery and damp.  We were pretty much covered in mud splashes up our legs and on our feet and our shoes were – muddy.  The light in the trees began to diminish and we weren’t really sure how far we had to go. We didn’t quite reach the top as we were told we had to make sure we were down on the flat ground by 5pm and it was already 4.10 pm when we decided to turn back.  Through the trees we couldn’t see a view anyway because the cloud was all around.  Upon talking to the locals we were possibly one shelf from the top.  Ive never really climbed a “mountain” before.  If you can call it that.  It felt like it to me.  Testing my strength and my skills.  I didn’t have time to talk myself out of this climbing thing, because we were on a mission to reach the top and climb as high as we could.  The trees twisted and turned around each other and the ground was completely covered with roots and small places to put your feet and pull yourself along with.   There always seemed to be a vine or a branch in the correct place to help.  It had been raining so the ground was muddy and wet and the trees were damp slippery.  THe descent back down was pretty scary though. I had to go down backwards down the rope walks.  Geez…. pressure.  Anyhow it took us just as long to get down as it did to get up.  We had to really be careful where we placed our feet on the way down as the ground appeared even more slippery.  The path seemed to fall away at a great rate, and it was now that I realised how high we had actually managed to go.  I’d recommend a holiday to Lord Howe island.  Its a great place.  Except the food is really expensive and most nights we have had to eat out as there was limited amount of groceries to buy.  They haven’t had any fresh fish here for a few months.  Not in the quantity’s they like.  So there is non to buy and the fish that is caught goes to the restaurants first.  A supply boat comes in once every two weeks to deliver the supplies for the island. However, the food in the restaurants is exquisite.  Its just out of this world.  They even had Kimchi for me and Bone broth sauce – amazing.  I can imagine a very natural lifestyle here with little effort.  It rains often – just for short periods – so there would be ample time to grow your organic veges and keep yourself away from chemicals and any nasties.  An idealic place on the shores of our great country.