Earlier this year I spent 8 days exploring the World-Heritage listed Lord Howe Island, a paradise that offers lush forests, incredible lookouts and vibrant reefs to explore just off the NSW coast. If you have followed my travels you’ll know that I’m somewhat of a Lord Howe addict, having visited numerous times in the last year and currently in the process of planning an Adventure Photography Week on the island for early-2018. As part of my recent trip I was fortunate enough to stay a night at Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island’s premium accommodation choice and possibly Australia’s most exclusive luxury island lodge.
Resting at the base of the island’s towering twin peaks on the Southern, quieter side of Lord Howe, Capella offers nine contemporary suites that look out over the island’s rolling hills and glistening turquoise lagoon. Spacious and cosy beach house style interiors offer a serene sanctuary to relax, with all rooms featuring king beds and a private balcony with spectacular sunset views. Beach towels, bathrobes and backpacks are provided, along with daily housekeeping and a well-stocked complimentary mini-bar. (The banana bread and chocolate pieces on arrival to the room was a personal highlight.)
If not for the island paradise on your doorstep, you’d find it hard to leave the lodge at all. A dip in the horizon pool overlooking the lagoon is an excellent way to end the day, or maybe you would rather snuggle up with a book by the lounge fireplace or indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment at the petite Capella Spa. The open-plan layout of the bar, restaurant and outdoor entertaining deck creates an easy-living feel and provides plenty of space to spread out and find your own secluded corner of the luxury island lodge.
Using fresh, local produce sourced daily by the Capella staff, the Pacific-themed restaurant menu features a selection of knock-out dishes with seasonal variation. The relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant and friendly staff makes it easy to wind-down and relive a day spent exploring or relaxing on the island. With a full breakfast each morning, sunset canapes on the deck and a gourmet dinner accompanied by an excellent range of premium wine and beverages each evening, Capella certainly takes the cake when it comes to premium Lord Howe Island dining experiences. The ever-helpful staff even offer a lunch drop-off service anywhere on the island, making it easy to enjoy a picnic or barbeque by the ocean.
Lord Howe Island boasts the Southern-most coral reef in the world, with pristine beaches, an abundance of rare wildlife and a range of activities and tours to enjoy. Two-thirds of the island is covered in natural forest, with spectacular walks including the infamous Mt Gower hike; regarded as one of the best day walks in Australia. Whatever you choose for the day; kayaking over the crystal clear lagoon, diving among the 500 species of fish or relaxing on one of the island’s 11 beaches, Capella will always welcome you back to recuperate and prepare for the next day in paradise.
Lord Howe Island is just a two-hour Qantas flight from Brisbane or Sydney, with services every day of the year. The perfect spot for a weekend getaway, the island is easier to get to than the Great Barrier Reef or Whitsundays and has managed to fly under-the-radar as one of Australia’s forgotten island gems. With only 400 tourist beds on the 14sq km island, it’s not hard to find your own secluded patch of sand for the day.
Explore more of Capella, Lord Howe’s luxury island lodge, at www.lordhowe.com