The Seven Peaks Walk is a stunning experience based out of Pinetrees Lodge on Lord Howe Island. This 6 night, 5 day guided walk encompasses up to 45km of walking, graded moderate to hard, with options depending on ability and weather conditions. It’s a truly spectacular way to explore a UNESCO World Heritage listed island, only two hours from Sydney by plane with QantasLink.
Walking the Walk
This premier adventure takes guests from pristine beaches and exposed coral platforms to the delicate mist forests on Mt Gower. Along the way guests will see sheltered swimming coves (swimming opportunities), subtropical palm forests, freshwater creeks, rugged sea cliffs and volcanic peaks. Some sections of the walk, such as the Lower Road on Mt Lidgbird, wind along exposed narrow ledges (protected by ropes) across a 300 vertical metre cliff. Other sections of the walk take guests deep into Jurassic Park style banyan forests with the only rookeries of Providence petrels in the world.
The walk is for experienced hikers who enjoy a challenge by day and some luxury by night. Over five days, guests will climb to peaks and lookouts, and earn some of the best views in the world. A few of the sections of the walk are off-track and require a steady head for heights. Alternate walks are offered.
Daily walk itineraries will be determined on the basis of weather and group ability with options to split into two groups as needed. A sample itinerary will be provided and guests will be briefed on the Sunday night arrival, but flexibility is needed to explore the best parts of the island in the best conditions.
At the end of each walking day, guests return to luxury accommodation with ensuites, hot showers, sunset drinks and a four-course dinner (entrée, main, dessert, cheese). The lodge hosts up to 75 guests per day, and was ranked TripAdvisor’s No.1 Hotel in Australia for 2017. Pinetrees Lodge is one of the oldest family businesses in Australia and is famous for exceptional meals, personalised service, comfortable accommodation and a stunning beachfront location.
Operating season: Autumn (April – May) and Spring (September – November)
Departures: Weekly on Mondays (arrive on island on Sunday)
Group size: 12 guests maximum
Optional extras: tennis, day spa, boatshed (sunset drinks), beach, SUP, kayaking, bike riding, fishing (lagoon and deep sea), snorkelling, diving, fish feeding at Neds beach, ½ day cruises, golf, surfing
North Bay – starting the day with a glass bottom boat cruise to North Bay, then a climb of North Head and Mt Eliza. Depending on conditions, walkers 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. Guests then walk over Dawson Point to Old Settlement Beach and back to Pinetrees along the Lagoon foreshore.
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.
East Coast – walkers head to Mutton Bird Point and Rocky Run, and then climb to Goathouse on Mt Lidgbird – an optional walk which is steep, uses ropes and provides the most rewarding views of the island. Walkers then descend to Smoking Tree Ridge and climb Intermediate Hill to the new observation platform (funded by Dick Smith). Walkers return to Pinetrees via Blinky Beach.
Water day (and rest day) – snorkelling trip on the outer reef (or an offshore snorkel adventure to the Admiralty Islands) followed by a kayak trip on the Lagoon. All optional – guests can choose their own adventure. Can be used as a weather day if earlier days are not favourable for walking.
Mt Gower – this is the optional day for the advanced walker to climb Mt Gower at 867m. Stunning views await and a chance to experience the unique 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 (and many won’t be) then there is the option of the stunning 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 400m walking tracks in Australia.
Committed to the environment
Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed Island (since 1982) 600km east of the NSW coast. It has wildlife to ‘rival the Galapagos’ and mountains with unique ecosystems.
Lord Howe has its own system of raising funds for conservation work. The Permanent Park Preserve is the core area of the World Heritage listing, funded through the Environment Levee of the Lord Howe Island Board which business operators contribute to.
All visitors move around the island on bike or foot only. There are a limited number of vehicles allowed and a limit to the number of guests on island too.