Mt Gower, Lord Howe Island

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Lord Howe Island

Fast facts

  • The supreme walk on this World Heritage island.
  • From sea level to the summit of Mt Gower.
  • 10 km

Why walk it

Mt Gower dominates the southern tip of Lord Howe Island looming over the lagoon. This 8 - 10 hour, 875-metre rope-assisted climb to the summit is rated one of the world's best one-day hikes, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. The trail begins at a beach of ankle-turning rocks, from where hikers must scramble up a trail that disappears vertically into the forest on the lower slopes of Mt Lidgbird, Gower’s little brother.

The next task is to skirt the exposed south-west scarp of the mountain by creeping along a narrow ledge, face to the cliff and clinging to a rope with a sheer drop at your back.

But even for an island that has many sensational walks, the ascent of Mt Gower stands head and shoulders above the rest. The views are unparalleled, the climb takes you through habitats that are found nowhere else on the island and the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day makes it worth every step. Since there are hazards along the way, this can only be done as a guided walk.

Along the way

  • Watch for the Lord Howe Island woodhen, a flightless bird species rescued from the brink of extinction by the world’s first successful captive breeding program.
  • Relish the rustling shade of the Kentia palm forests, unique to Lord Howe.
  • Stop for a lingering look across the coast on the saddle between Mt Lidgbird and Gower.
  • Admire the rainforest at the summit, with some species that originated in New Zealand.

Don’t miss

  • Celebration cocktails at Capella Lodge, one of the island’s luxury restaurants.
  • Views of Balls Pyramid, a 600m rock spire erupting from the sea.
  • A soothing massage at Arajilla Retreat the morning after the climb.
  • Panoramic sunset views across the lagoon from Signal Point.
  • An idle day snorkelling off Lagoon Beach.
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