Simon Benson & Alison Edwards
Five Days on Lord Howe Island

Some months ago, we had the offer of a trip to Lord Howe Island at a very good price; in midwinter, to help in a project to eradicate rats from the island. But thanks to political inefficiencies, the chemical planned to be used was not approved in time by the relevant government department, and the whole project had to put off for a year. But we are still going.

It is the middle of winter, and not the most popular time to go; but temperatures (especially the minimums) are a bit higher than in Victoria.So we've flown to Sydney to get on the little Dash-8 aeroplane for the two hour flight out to Lord Howe.

After leaving Sydney in cloud, we arrived on Lord Howe in brilliant sunshine and with warmth we were not accustomed to. got off the plane, and there were Mt. Lidgbird and Mt. Gower making an amazing backdrop. It is such a beautiful place!

We were picked up and taken on a little tour before being taken to Milky way Villas, where we are staying. Not to waste the day we walked down to Old Settlement beach, two minutes away; and then headed up a track uphill. We had no plans but ended up atop a ridge, so continued on past Kim's Lookout and over Malabar Hill, getting home just after sunset. Sunset is ~ 5.15pm - it is midwinter!

And so it has continued. We didn't know quite what to expect with the weather, but maximum temperatures slightly higher than home associated with minmums much higher (10º+ higher) meant that I've only worn shorts during the day the whoe time we were here. The evenings got a bit cool, but not badly so. There has been quite a lot of rain, but a lot of it has been at night and that that fell during the day was often in brief squalls.

We have walked a lot - by the time we were leaving people seemed to recognise us as the people who walked around a lot - been to most of the island's vantage points, including up Mt. Eliza which has always been closed on our previous visits. We've helped with various conservation activities, which have been interesting and not too arduous.

And in general we've had a good time. The island has a really nice "vibe" and it is one of the most beautiful, photogenic places I've ever been.