Lord Howe Island is my favourite place in Australia. There, I said it. I first visited here many years ago, and I can't really describe my experience as anything other than love at first sight. The island is a jewel in Australia's already very impressive crown of stunning locations that basically beg to be photographed.
In October 2015 a friend from the island invited me to come over and take family photos of her and her daughter, who was turning 1. Suffice to say, I didn't really need too much convincing to jump on a plane and head over there. From the instant the plane dips through the clouds and you catch a glimpse of either the island itself, or the prehistoric looking Balls Pyramid, you know you are arriving at a pretty special place. Cue theme from Jurassic Park.
So, a bit about the island briefly. You're looking at a 2 hour Qantas Link flight from Sydney or Brisbane (weekends only), and when you arrive you will be 1 of no more than 400 "guests" on the island - the local population is around the same. The island (and the chain of surrounding islands) are World Heritage listed volcanic remnants, with a diverse range of landscapes including forested areas, pristine white sandy beaches, wild rocky cliffs, and the island's piece-de-resistance - the twin peaks of Lidgbird and Gower.
Lord Howe is a haven for holiday-makers, bird-watchers, game fishermen, hikers, and photographers. There are geographical features and wildlife that you will not find anywhere else in the world, and the vibrant colours of the island are to be seen to be believed. The weather is mild and pretty good year-round, although Spring and Autumn are probably the best times to go.
This time around, I sadly only had a few days here, but I tried to get as many shots in as I could hiking around the island and trying to suss out which spots might work best at different times of the day. It's an incredible place to explore, and fascinating to watch the twin peaks dictate the island's weather patterns. On my final morning, Mt Lidgbird and Mt Gower put on a show - with a mindblowing display of lenticular clouds. Incredible. The locals reckon it happens a bit there - and being a weather nerd I knew what lenticular clouds were, from pictures - but seeing it in person was magical.
I was really happy with how the shots for my friend came out as well, but with a backdrop and light like that, how could they not have looked amazing. Lord Howe Island, I'm not done with you yet - I shall return!