Great Walks of Australia have expanded to Lord Howe Island to include the Seven Peaks Walk.
By Jessica Wilkinson
Previously a ‘signature’ collection of ten walks taking hikers from Tasmania's wilderness and the Northern Territory outback to the white sand coastline of Western Australia and the rainforest hinterland of Queensland, the Great Walks collective have added an eleventh walk - the first walk based in New South Wales.
Located on the UNESCO World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island, Seven Peaks Walk offers a hiking experience that spans five days and six nights, based out of Pinetrees Lodge. Starting along the expansive sands of the coastline, the walk guides you up to the gentle mist forests on the summit of Mt Gower. Sheltered swimming coves, subtropical palm forests, freshwater creeks, rugged sea cliffs and volcanic peaks create the scenic backdrop for this walk that engages and highlights Lord Howe Island’s natural beauty.
Day 1: North Bay
Start the day with a glass bottom boat cruise to North Bay, then a climb of North Head and Mt Eliza. Depending on conditions, replace one climb with a trip to the Herring Pools from the Gulch, which is an amazing place, but only available on the low tide without swell. Walk over Dawson Point to Old Settlement Beach and back to Pinetrees along the Lagoon foreshore.
Day 2: Malabar
Climb to Kims Lookout and traverse the ridge between Kims and Malabar (two peaks). Descend the south ridge of Malabar to Neds Beach and have a swim or feed the fish. Then walk to Middle Beach and climb Transit Hill before returning to Pinetrees. This is a moderate trail with steps and rough ground. It offers spectacular views of the island.
Day 3: East Coast
Head to Mutton Bird Point and Rocky Run and climb to Goathouse on Mt Lidgbird – an optional walk which is steep, uses ropes and provides the most rewarding views of the island. Descend to Smoking Tree Ridge and climb Intermediate Hill to the new observation platform. Return to Pinetrees via Blinky Beach.
Day 4: Water day
Enjoy a snorkeling trip on the outer reef (or an offshore snorkel adventure to the Admiralty Islands) followed by a kayak trip on the Lagoon. All activities are optional today – you can choose your own adventure.
Day 5: Mt Gower
This is the optional day for the advanced walker to climb Mt Gower at 867 metres (2844 feet). Stunning views await and a chance to experience the mist forest and bird rookery at the summit of this extinct volcano. Variations of this day are offered depending on the group ability. If people aren't up to the summit of Gower then there is the option of the Erskine Valley or an off-track adventure to some secret spots on Mt Lidgbird. All options take people along the Lower Road, which is one of the most spectacular 400 metre (1312 foot) walking tracks in Australia.
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