Lord Howe Island Tour December 2022 and December 2023

Black-winged Petrel - Angus McNab
Black-winged Petrel - Angus McNab
Tour date: 
Thursday, 1 December 2022
Duration: 
7 days
Price: 
Estimated 2022 tour price AU$5,700 per person twin share. Single supplement: $1,200*.
Highlights: 
Lord Howe Island Woodhen, Black-winged Petrel, White Tern, Grey Ternlet (Noddy), Kermadec Petrel, Providence Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Masked Booby, White-bellied Storm Petrel, Red-tailed Tropicbird. Song thrush (introduced but rare in Australia).
Overview: 

PLEASE ENQUIRE ( NO SET DATES CURRENTLY ) Lord Howe Island is roughly 600km off the Australian coast and is a sub-tropical seabird covered island. Unlike most seabird islands it is inhabited and accessible! This tour offers the opportunity to see thousands of seabirds – from the comfort of land, with the option of seeing them from the water as well. Home to a number of subspecies, the highlight for most is the Lord Howe Island Woodhen; once extremely difficult to see, this species is now readily detectable across the island as a result of successful conservation efforts to protect it.

We are aiming to run the trip when the birdlife is at its peak, after the Black-winged Petrels have arrived and most species are on nests or have recently had chicks.

Start Location: 
Lord Howe Island NSW
Australia
Finish location: 
Lord Howe Island NSW
Australia

Inala Nature Tours Lord Howe Island Tour December 2022 and December 2023

Itinerary: Prepared by Angus McNab, Inala Nature Tours 23 February 2022.

Highlights: Lord Howe Island Woodhen, Black-winged Petrel, White Tern, Grey Ternlet (Noddy), Kermadec Petrel, Providence Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Masked Booby, White-bellied Storm Petrel, Red-tailed Tropicbird. Song thrush (introduced but rare in Australia).

Overview: Lord Howe Island is roughly 600km off the Australian coast and is a sub-tropical seabird covered island. Unlike most seabird islands it is inhabited and accessible! This tour offers the opportunity to see thousands of seabirds – from the comfort of land, with the option of seeing them from the water as well. Home to a number of subspecies, the highlight for most is the Lord Howe Island Woodhen; once extremely difficult to see, this species is now readily detectable across the island as a result of successful conservation efforts to protect it.

We are aiming to run the trip when the birdlife is at its peak, after the Black-winged Petrels have arrived and most species are on nests or have recently had chicks.

Day 1. Arrive on Lord Howe Island.
Chances are you’ll have seen a Lord Howe Island Woodhen before you arrive at the accommodation, and you will get plenty of opportunities to see them daily. The trip will start with an easy walk near the accommodation to help get everyone their bearings, Lagoon Beach, Ned’s Beach, Stephen’s Reserve are all within walking distance and will provide numerous opportunities for bird watching and photography. Welcome dinner and orientation tonight.
Accommodation: Lord Howe Island (en suite room). Meals included: D

Day 2. Malabar and North Bay.
Straight into the adventure, we will hike the Malabar track to North Bay. The vista’s from the top provide the opportunity to see the entire island, as well as nesting red-tailed Tropicbirds, Sooty Terns, Grey Ternlets, Common Noddy and Black Noddy. Thousands of seabirds including Masked Boobies will be flying around circling, fishing, and returning to nests. The sea cliffs of Lord Howe Island are unique within Australia but will remind many of the seabird cliffs of the northern hemisphere.
Accommodation: Lord Howe Island (en suite room). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 3. Pelagic sea birding.
Visiting Ball’s Pyramid is a highlight of a trip to Lord Howe Island and provides us the opportunity to see many of the pelagic species the island is famous for, Kermadec Petrels are common in various morphs, white-bellied storm petrels can be seen dancing on the water (multiple morphs present), Flesh-footed and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters are abundant whilst Red-tailed tropicbirds circle the pyramid. Grey Ternlets are present in their thousands, as schools of silver drummer are visible on the water’s surface and offshore bottlenose dolphins ride the wake during our trip. Providence Petrels and Little Shearwater may still be present if we are lucky. A night walk will provide the opportunity to explore the nesting seabird colonies as individuals return from sea.
Accommodation: Lord Howe Island (en suite room). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 4. Lord Howe beaches.
A day at the beaches will provide the opportunity to see more Sooty Terns than you could ever want. Nesting birds are abundant as are photographic opportunities! White and Sooty Terns are on nests and have babies, Common and Black Noddies have babies, whilst other continue to collect nesting material throughout the day. Black-winged Petrels are undertaking display flights and fly past at speed. A number of shorebirds are also present and can be seen on each of the beaches.
Accommodation: Lord Howe Island (en suite room). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 5. Climb Mount Gower (for those interested) or lowland forests. We have two options for today:

Option 1: Climb Mount Gower (for those interested)  The fit and adventurous will have the opportunity to climb the 850m high mountain and see the absolutely magical oceanic mist forest, breeding ground for the Providence Petrel (it’s not breeding season in December). A strenuous climb that provides views of the island and the opportunity to see the island from a different perspective. Climbers are not going to miss the opportunity to see any birds.

Option 2: For those not wanting to climb the mountain we will spend some time in the lowland forests, searching for Lord Howe Island Woodhen, Pied Currawongs (endemic ssp), Australian Golden Whistlers (endemic subspecies), Emerald Doves, Song Thrush, and potential vagrants such as Long-tailed cuckoo. 
Accommodation: Lord Howe Island (en suite room). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 6. Relaxed Lord Howe.
Today is an easier day for those to help those who climbed recover, and we will also spend more time searching for birds we’ve missed and provide photographers the opportunity to improve on their image collection for the tour. An afternoon out at Clear place will provide a relaxing opportunity to watch the seabirds flying by in the sun and a night walk will provide the opportunity to explore the nesting Black-winged Petrel colony as individuals return from the sea.
Accommodation: Lord Howe Island (en suite room). Meals included: B,L,D.

Day 7. Depart Lord Howe. Some morning birding may be viable depending on flight times.
Accommodation: none. Meals included: B.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Group size: 6-8 participants and 1 Inala tour leader (Angus McNab) + local guides.

Tour Price: Estimated 2022 tour price AU$5,700 per person twin share. Single supplement: $1,200*.

*The single supplement is priced on each single having their own room and bathroom throughout.

Inclusions: Accommodation for each night of the tour, specialist guiding and transport for day and night tours as outlined in the itinerary, all meals (B, L, D) and activities outlined in the itinerary.

Exclusions: any international or domestic airfares, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, laundry, tips etc).

Please note: Fitness level: the Malabar Track, and Clear Place tracks are undulating, steep and uneven in places. They are not hard tracks (3km or less), but Malabar is 200m high. In December it is hot, even early in the morning so please take this all into account when considering if this tour will be suitable for you.

Tour balance: The tour will give people plenty of time to rest during the heat of the day, or for the more active, there is plenty of time to search on your own (or with guide) outside of the designated activities. Seabird colonies can be visited any night of the week, rainforest walks and walking around the settlement is easy.

The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline.  Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to.  The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.
Airfares are expected to be quite expensive at between $500-$1000 per flight to and from the island. Qantas is the only airline that currently offers flights to and from Lord Howe Island, departing from Sydney on most days and from Brisbane on weekends.

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Weight: 
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Weight: 
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