Journey to the nature-lover’s playground of Lord Howe Island, a tiny isle in the Tasman Sea with such extraordinary flora, fauna, and geology that it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety. Your home here is Capella Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World poised perfectly between the turquoise lagoon and the dramatic mountains that rise up on the island’s end. Hop on one of the lodge’s mountain bikes and go exploring, hit the trails with a guide or on your own, snorkel or kayak in crystalline waters, and scale the summits of the island’s jaw-dropping emerald peaks. Each evening, indulge in world-class Pacific cuisine, taking in exhilarating views.
Day 1—Sydney/Lord Howe Island
Fly from Sydney to Lord Howe Island, where lodge staff will meet you for the short transfer to Capella Lodge, and give a colorful overview of the island along the way. After getting settled in your loft, lounge on a daybed on your private deck, enjoy mountain views in the lodge’s infinity pool, or set out to explore the island on your own. Hop on one of the lodge’s mountain bikes, or walk along trails to the island’s east coast to watch for seabirds such as terns, boobies, noddies, and shearwaters. Tonight, enjoy a three-course dinner at the lodge complemented by grandstand views of the coast as the sky turns from pink to moonlit.
Day 2—Lord Howe Island
After breakfast, cruise the sheltered, crystalline lagoon in one of the lodge’s glass-bottom kayaks. Head to Ned’s Beach, renowned as one of Australia’s cleanest beaches. Join in on the island tradition of lingering over a barbecue lunch on the shore, go for a snorkel or swim, and wade into the shallows to hand-feed the island’s mullets and kingfish. If you’d like, grab a surf board and head to Blinky Beach, known for its impressive breaks. Back at the lodge, savor a dinner of fresh seafood and other regional specialties crafted with foraged herbs and flowers.
Day 3—Lord Howe Island
Fuel up at breakfast for a day of adventure. If you wish, set out on an all-day climb to the top of Mount Gower. Considered one of Australia’s best hikes, the challenging trek rewards the intrepid with views of Ball’s Pyramid, Mount Lidgbird, and the world’s southernmost reef. At the summit, explore the mist forest that’s home to mosses, orchids, and other plants unique to Lord Howe Island. Or spend the day enjoying the lodge, whether with a round of golf or a tennis match or with some rejuvenation time at the spa, where treatments incorporate natural products derived from the earth and sea and tap into ancient Aboriginal therapies. This afternoon you’ll be treated to an experience exclusively for National Geographic travelers: Watch the sun set over Lover's Bay, the island’s most romantic beach, where a personal waiter will serve you drinks and appetizers.
Capella Lodge (B, D)
Day 4—Lord Howe Island/Sydney
Enjoy your final morning at Capella. Take a scenic walk along the spine of the island’s mountain ridge, passing through kentia palm groves and burrows where shearwaters breed. Climb Malabar Hill, where one of the world’s largest colonies of red-tailed tropicbirds shelter in the steep cliffs that drop to the sea. From September to May, you might catch their fascinating aerial courtship display. This afternoon, head to the airport and fly to Sydney. Transfer to your hotel in the Rocks district, an historic waterfront neighborhood bustling with cozy cafés and galleries.
Shangri-La Sydney (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your international flight home.
April 2018 – March 2019
Prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. Single traveler prices are available upon request. For 2019 price inquires please call our reservations specialists.
Roundtrip airfare between Sydney and Lord Howe Island, are not included in the expedition cost and are an additional $750 per person (subject to change).
A holiday surcharge may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals.
Please note that this extension is not offered between May – August 2018.