StaffTravelling lets us visit the most amazing places in the world, most of which we find by hearing from colleagues, listening to friends etc. But once in a one a while you find a real gem, somewhere nobody you know has ever been before.

That’s how I ended up on Lord Howe Island.

The phone call

I was sitting on a beach in Sydney, Australia (also an excellent place to visit!) when my phone rang. It was my aunt asking me how my holiday was going and if I wanted to visit some family members while I was down in Australia.

Well, I’m always up for meeting long lost relatives, so sure, why not? Where do they live? Lord Howe Island, it’s not a long flight from Sydney assured my aunt.

Send them an email, and I’ll try and get on a flight tomorrow, and that was that, not knowing what I had gotten myself into.

After hanging up, one of the girls I was hanging out with, who was from Australia, asked me what the phone call was about. I told her I was going to visit some family tomorrow on Lord Howe Island, but I had no idea where it is.

She looked at me blankly for a moment, thinking hard. I don’t even know where Lord Howe Island is, and I’m from around here.

This could get interesting.


Getting back to my hostel, I decided to open my laptop and have a look where this mysterious Island actually was, get some non-rev tickets and plan my trip. So let’s start. Lord Howe Island on Wikitravel, always a great resource!

Lord Howe Island is an island territory of the Australian state of New South Wales situated in the Tasman Sea some 550 km (341 miles) east of the mainland. Lord Howe Island was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1982 due to its beauty and biodiversity.

Okay, this looks cool, let’s scroll down a bit and find out how to get there.

By plane

Lord Howe Island is approximately 2 hr direct flying time with QantasLink from Sydney (daily), Brisbane (weekends) and Port Macquarie (weekly, seasonal). Connecting services are available from most Australian state capital cities. This flight is one of the most expensive domestic flights in Australia.

Be aware that there are baggage weight and piece restrictions for all flights into Lord Howe Island. Service is by Dash 8 aircraft.


This is undoubtedly going to be interesting.

Next stop Lord Howe. Before I start any trip I need a couple of things:

  1.    A non-rev ticket
  2.    The non-rev loads on StaffTraveler
  3.    A place to stay

The first is easy to get through our non-rev ticket system, the second that’s why I have the app, and the third sorted itself out in the next 10 minutes when my relative on Lord Howe emailed me to say I could crash at their place.

Getting there

Getting to Sydney airport was easy, just use the train! The people at Qantas were lovely, as they always are and after making sure I don’t have to much stuff with me for weight restrictions, I was handed my ticket.

Flying into Lord Howe is an experience in itself. I’ve flown into a lot of small airports in my time, but this one is really tiny, and I can understand why sometimes the aircraft won’t be able to get in for days because of bad weather.

But the view!

How to non-rev to Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is not easy to get to. If you want a confirmed ticket, it is one of the most expensive flights in Australia!

Sydney QantasLink (daily)
Brisbane QantasLink (weekends)
Port Macquarie QantasLink (weekly, seasonal)

Text continues below the map


As I stayed with my family on the island, I didn’t really find out what it’s like to book a room on Lord Howe, but from what I gather from the locals, it’s not cheap! So if you’re looking for affordable options, Lord Howe isn’t for you.

Also, I was told that Lord Howe has 450 beds for tourists and they have laws that prohibit the building of any more. So, if someone wants to build a new hotel for 40 beds, they first have to buy an older hotel, knock that down and then build one with precisely 40 beds. This way the island will never be overrun by tourists!

My first day I mostly spent walking around the island. It only has 11KM of asphalted roads as it’s not very big. The island has an incredibly diverse ecosystem, or should I say ecosystems.

You can be on one side of the island on a wind-swept surf beach with high waves, and then walk over to the other side of the Island, which is about 750 meters and be at a beautiful lagoon!

As you walk over the island, you’ll think at one point your in the European Alps, then tropical rainforest and at the end of the island stands Mount Gower.

Things to do and see

For the sports enthusiast there is loads to do on Lord Howe:

  • Walking
  • Golfing (they have a 9 hole golf course, I think it was 50 AUD)
  • Surfing
  • Snorkelling
  • Diving
  • Lawn bowling

Also, try and make an effort to visit the tiny, but passionately maintained Lord Howe Island Museum (


If you are an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter addict, be warned: There is no cellphone reception on the island and internet, where you can find it, is not that good.

I had a great couple of days visiting my family there, and I would recommend anyone to go and visit Lord Howe Island.

Happy Travels!

Got inspired and want to non-rev to Lord Howe Island? Download the StaffTraveler app to get the seat availability for your non-rev flight to Lord Howe Island!

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