Lord Howe Island, NSW
‘Paradise' is a word often used to describe World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, which sits in the Tasman Sea, less than two hours' flight from Sydney or Brisbane. Only 400 visitors are allowed at any time, bicycles are the best way to get around and there's no mobile phone reception. Walk the white beaches, snorkel the world's southernmost coral reef and hike through palm forests to the top of Mount Gower. Leave modern stress behind in this natural paradise, while still enjoying modern comforts such restaurants, day spas and luxurious accommodation.
You won't see any power lines or high-rise buildings on Lord Howe island, which is just 11km long and 2.8km at its widest. Birdsong fills the clean air and lush mountainous terrain rises up all around you. Only 300 people live here permanently and the charming village is just one street. With cars restricted, bikes are the best way to get around the island, most of which is protected as marine park and subtropical rainforest.