Daily Archives: February 26, 2012

UNESCO World Heritage Site #176: Lord Howe Island Group

Posted by on February 26, 2012

UNESCO World Heritage Site #176: Lord Howe Island Group

UNESCO World Heritage Site #176: Lord Howe Island Group

From the World Heritage inscription:

Located in the South Pacific, 700 km north-east of Sydney, the property is included administratively in New South Wales. The preserve includes some 75% of the land area of Lord Howe Island and all of the offshore islands and rocks of significant size in the region. These are the Admiralty Group; Mutton Bird and Sail Rock; Blackburn (Rabbit) Island; Gower Island; and Ball’s Pyramid, together with a number of small islands and rocks. The seaward boundary follows the mean high water mark and consequently excludes all littoral and marine areas. The entire island group has remarkable volcanic exposures not known elsewhere.

The main island of Lord Howe measures 10 km from north and south and is little more than 2 km in width. It roughly describes a crescent, enclosing a coral reef lagoon on its south-western side. The island’s topography is dominated by the southerly Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird. Only a narrow isthmus of lowland country in the north-central part of the island is habitable. The northern tip consists of steep hillsides culminating in extensive sea cliffs against the northern coastline.

Lord Howe is one of the truly special places on Earth. Located several hundred miles off the coast of Sydney, it is the southernmost coral reef in the world. The lagoon has excellent coal specimens along with turtles and stingrays.

The island is home to 300 people and only 400 visitors are allowed on the island at any given time. It is a community where everyone knows everyone else and many people will tell you that they are a 6th or 7th generation islander when you meet them.

The island has even taken the step of keeping cell towers off the island, so mobile phones can’t be used. As a result you will see more phone booths on Lord Howe than you probably will in Sydney.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.