Lord Howe and neighboring Norfolk islands are both former penal colonies. Located east of Sydney, the islands are part of New South Wales.
Lord Howe, 490 mi/790 km northeast of Sydney, boasts the world's most southerly coral reefs and has been awarded a UNESCO World Heritage listing. Attractions include the ruins of the penal colony; pristine beaches; rare collections of plants, birds and marine life; and very friendly people. No cars are permitted on the island, which is a magnet for nature lovers and those who truly want to get away from it all.
Norfolk Island, 1,045 mi/1,680 km from Sydney, is even more remote. It once held some of the Bounty mutineers. Rocky, jagged cliffs and beaches run along its coast, with a covering of Norfolk Island pines in the interior. Norfolk is a great place to go deep-sea fishing or to just hang out and meet some of the island's 2,000 hardy residents. It is particularly popular with the mature traveler. There are quite a few small- and medium-sized places to stay, but few of them are near the beaches.
Both islands can be reached by air from major Australian cities and Auckland, New Zealand.
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