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Lord Howe Island

500 km off the NSW coast of Newcastle lies a spectacular island that literally looks like a drop in the ocean: Lord Howe is a small group of seven million year old volcanic islands of great natural value and beauty surrounded by the warm currents of the South Pacific Ocean. White sandy beaches, coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and corals, an astounding array of fauna and flora and, as if all of the above was not enough, imposing jungle-covered mountain peaks 800 m tall. The isolation of the islands and the absence of humans until very recently, Lord Howe Island has a very rare flora and fauna; in fact, one third of all its plant species can not be found anywhere else on the planet. When first settled, there were 15 species of flightless birds; 14 of which were unique. Six have survived to date. The main island is 11 km long and quit narrow, Lord Howe has the shape of a boomerang. Tourism is handled very cautiously, a maximum of 400 visitors at any one time are allowed on the island. Balls pyramid is a 400 m wide ‘needle’, poking over 550 m out of the crashing ocean waves. Lord Howe Island is a paradise for nature-lovers.