Capella Lodge

Australia Oceania
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
Capella Lodge
2 July 2021

Refreshingly off the radar, Capella Lodge is Lord Howe Island’s premium luxury retreat, offering the ultimate island castaway escape. Nestled at the foot of the towering Mounts Gower and Lidgbird, Capella welcomes spectacular views of the ocean, subtropical reef and rolling green pastures.

A contemporary architectural design channels the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, while a high cantilevered roof and floor-to-ceiling windows welcome the outside in. Nine island-style guest suites offer a relaxed, barefoot luxury vibe designed to reflect Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment.

Inspired by the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, Capella welcomes views over the Pacific Ocean and the world’s southernmost coral reef. Capella rests above Lord Howe Island’s tiny, secret beach at Lovers Bay and at the foot of its towering twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird.

Guests are captivated by mesmerising views of the mountains and turquoise sea stretching to the horizon from the lodge’s indoor and outdoor lounging areas, its restaurant and suites.

Lodge living
Capella Lodge is celebrated as the most glamorous hideaway on Lord Howe Island. Its light filled restaurant, bar and lounge feature floor to ceiling windows and offer mesmerising views of the mountains and ocean.

The Kentia Lounge is a quiet space for reading, while outside Gowers Terrace invites a swim or a laze in the afternoon sun.

Exclusive locale
Capella is tucked away on the more remote and exclusive southern end of the island. Peaceful and private, Capella presents a sanctuary from where guests can enjoy a picnic on the beach at Lovers Bay, wander to Little Island around the base of Mount Gower or rock hop along the reef at low tide to discover its reclusive marine residents.

Beach house style
Gently melding modern design into glorious natural surroundings, Capella’s underplayed raw teak and linen aesthetic let’s the true star shine: come-hither views of the mountains and sea.

Wood, glass and white unite in spaces decked out with a trove of Australian designed furnishings, lighting, textiles and artworks to create a barefoot luxury vibe.

Capella Lodge launched the Baillie Lodges collection when it opened in 2003. Capella was subsequently joined by sister properties Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree and Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island to offer a premium and personal experience of Australia’s most extraordinary destinations.

Life and business partners James and Hayley Baillie founded Baillie Lodges in 2003, and together bring a complementary set of tourism industry experience and skills and a joint love for travel, for good food and wine and good design.

Lord Howe Island had been a favourite childhood holiday destination for both James and Hayley and was a natural first port to come together as Baillie Lodges.

Relaxed luxury
A feeling of relaxed sophistication flows throughout Capella Lodge. The vibe is of one’s own island holiday house where the furnishings are stylishly comfortable, the food and wine are local, the books are good, and the faces are welcomingly familiar.

Island-themed artworks, recycled wooden floors and beach house style fittings create an easy ambience.

Luxury of Oz
Luxury Lodges of Australia is a collection of 19 independent luxury lodges and camps offering unforgettable experiences in Australia’s most extraordinary locations. Capella Lodge is a founding member of the collection alongside Baillie Lodges sister properties Longitude 131°, Silky Oaks Lodge and Southern Ocean Lodge.

Rising from the Tasman Sea just 700km northeast of Sydney, this tiny, breathtakingly beautiful island is just 11km long and 2.8km at widest.

Lord Howe Island and its surrounding islets are the eroded remnants of a large shield volcano that erupted from the ocean floor some 7 million years ago. More than 70% of the island is a permanent protected park reserve, and the surrounding ocean is also protected as a Marine Park.

Only 400 visitors are allowed on Lord Howe at any one time, with a resident population of 382 people recorded in the 2016 census. Just about everything is within walking or cycling distance, so it’s uncommon to see cars.

Lord Howe is only 11km long and between 0.3 and 2km wide, so it’s possible to cycle end to end in as little as 25 minutes. With a 25kmh speed limit, everyone always waves ‘hello’ as they pass!

James and Hayley share a love for good design and together they curated Capella’s interiors to create a sense of relaxed luxury and a place to feel at home.

Pierre & Charlotte Julien
Working from their studio in Tasmania, Pierre and Charlotte Julien have worked with James and Hayley Baillie for more than a decade and have supplied custom furnishings for Capella Lodge, Southern Ocean Lodge and most recently for Longitude 131°.

The pair are renowned for their refined chairs and lamps and their sleek, organic style and sustainable techniques fit perfectly with the natural beach house design aesthetic at Capella.

Pierre and Charlotte returned to their furniture foundations to create their most recent commission for Capella – a beautiful oval dining table made from endemic timbers which extends to perfectly seat four for convivial occasions.

Malcolm Greenwood
Sydney-based ceramist Malcolm Greenwood creates individually styled ceramics in a characteristically organic style, with collections spanning tableware to bathroom ware, vases and sculptures. Malcolm’s style is simple and functional, with each piece’s form and signature glazing creating a distinctive design.

His tableware offers an aesthetically pleasing backdrop to the daily changing menus and fresh local produce at Capella. Malcolm takes inspiration from art styles from around the world, including from Japanese potter Makoto Yabe, who taught him throwing, ‘neriage’, glaze formulation and firing.

James Baillie has long been inspired by local sustainable heating company EcoSmart Fires which influenced the final design of the Capella’s lounge and guest suites and appear in various iterations across the sister lodges.

James was impressed by the product for several reasons including their aesthetics, ease of operation, clean burn, lack of smell, the environmental benefits, and the fact that they don’t have a flue.

The fires’ flexible design that enabled their integration into a range of contemporary designs was the deciding factor. Capella uses green energy ethanol to fuel the EcoSmart fires which provide heat both in guest lounging areas and in guest suite fireplaces.

Bruce Goold
Famous around the world for the vivid graphics that made the Mambo surf brand so distinctive, Bruce Goold creates fabrics, linocuts and screen prints that are seen around Capella Lodge.

Bruce has a special affinity with Lord Howe Island, having created the kentia palm fabric which has been used in soft furnishings throughout the lodge, as well as several lino cuts including the SS Makambo produced in 1994 which depicts the rats swimming from the sinking ship off the coast of Lord Howe.

One of the original cuts hangs in the Makambo Loft.

Guests at Capella will enjoy the soft warmth of the premium towels and luxury blankets supplied by Sydney company Bemboka.

The hallmarks of luxury lodging, Bemboka’s bath sheet-sized plush ribbed towels are perfect to wrap up in after a shower or a swim while a soft cashmere blanket or custom-made cotton throw in contrasting marine tones is ideal to cuddle into after a day’s exploring outdoors, with a good book or – better still – a mate!

Anibou, based in Sydney’s Redfern gathers some of the best local and international design furniture and furnishings and has been the source of some of Baillie Lodges favourite design finds over the past few years.

Classic items which are seen across all the lodges – but were featured first at Capella – include the ceramic cubes by Gervasoni which serve as side tables on Gowers Terrace, battered brass bar lights by Paola Navone and the campfire table by Tomek Archer which is found in the Lidgbird Pavilion.

A new addition is the Euvira Lounge Chair by Brazilian designer Jader Almeida which brings a little club culture to Capella and is the perfect place to sink to enjoy a drink…

Julie Paterson
Artist and designer Julie Paterson created textiles company ClothFabric in 1995 with a vision to create contemporary, natural furnishing fabric by hand, using local and sustainably produced base cloths.

All Julie Paterson textiles are made in Australia, mostly in short-batch productions using flatbed screen printing. Julie’s art is inspired by the strength and diversity of the Australian landscape.

At Capella, her distinctive graphics and illustrations of the rare Lord Howe woodhen and kentia palms are seen in soft furnishings and plywood prints throughout the guest suites.

Quality lounging is important at Capella and James and Hayley have engaged with Sydney-based designers Jardan for supply of their sink-in-deep lounges. Relaxed and exceptionally comfortable, the Australian designed and crafted sofas, occasional chairs and love seats from Jardan invite you in with open arms.

Toned in natural hues to reflect the outdoors, the lounge is a place to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Lord Howe Island isn’t a ‘flop and drop’ destination so when guests relax after a day’s exploring, Capella’s lounge, cushioned among jaw dropping views and within reach of the bar is the best place to be.

Guests arriving at Capella for the first or fourth time can expect a genuinely warm welcome and a sense of coming home. A spirit of generosity flows throughout, where the bar is always well-stocked, snacks are on offer to take on walks and snorkel and fins are supplied for a day on the reef.

These myriad thoughtful details seem so natural and effortless and make the world of difference to each guest’s time on Lord Howe.

Lodge managers
Libby Grant and Mark McKillop have welcomed guests to Lord Howe with their genuine, relaxed warmth ever since the lodge opened in 2003.

Guests might join Libby on her island ‘tiki tour’ or get Mark’s tips on the best place to snorkel that day and share stories over a sunset drink. Many guests return year after year and catch up with Mark and Libby as they would old friends at a holiday house.

Inspired by the carefree spirit of the Australian beach house, Capella Lodge has nine contemporary, island-styled suites designed to reflect Lord Howe’s pristine natural environment.

Capella Lodge is the only island accommodation that offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and towering twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird.

Spacious, light-filled interiors feature stylishly appointed king beds, custom furnishings, artworks and private decks that together create a feeling of relaxed, understated luxury.

Lidgbird Pavilion
The superlative Lidgbird Pavilion is truly awe-inspiring and is a popular choice for a special occasion, with wrap around verandahs capturing panoramic views of ocean and mountains.

Lounge and terrace
Living is decadent with in and outdoor lounging featuring custom soft furnishings and features include Tomek Campfire Table, Bang & Olufsen television and sound system and complimentary room bar.

A refreshing dip in the private plunge pool beckons. Extensive decks surround with daybed, rainshower and luxurious outdoor bathing in the freestanding Lotus bath beneath the frangipani tree.

Bedroom and bathrooms
A generous upper level bedroom area with ensuite opens to wrap around verandahs capturing panoramic views of ocean and mountains. The basalt bathroom boasts dual stone slab vanities, rainshower, extensive timber benches and Capella Spa toiletries.

Makambo Loft
Inspired by the seafaring days of Lord Howe, this premium mezzanine suite draws mesmerising views of Lord Howe’s postcard twin peaks, Mounts Gower and Lidgbird.

Lounge and terrace
The Makambo Loft is a superior suite and features a dash of red for fun with Mambo artist Bruce Goold’s soft furnishings and lino cuts, already a Capella design trademark in the main lodge.

Organic artwork by Cardamatis and Saad features bedside. A private deck plunge pool, outdoor shower and cabana style daybed complements the relaxed, fun-spirited sophistication of this luxury retreat.

Bedrooms and bathrooms
The Makambo Loft features a generous upstairs king sleeping area with ensuite powder room, reached by a striking red spiral staircase and is an ideal retreat for two people.

Daybeds in the living area below make for a perfect chillout in front of the open fireplace, or can convert on turndown to one or two single beds for additional persons. A contemporary basalt bathroom is located on the lower level.

Catalina Suite
Perfect for a small family or friends travelling together, the dual level Catalina Suite offers two bedrooms and bathrooms, decks on both levels and private plunge spa.

Lounge and terrace
Inspired by the lofty heights of the mountains just outside, vaulted white ceilings and marine finishes create a cool and airy feel to this suite.

A generous outdoor deck flows easily to offer outdoor relaxation options including daybeds, occasional furniture and hot tub. Guests are spellbound by views of the magnificent mountains soaring above and cool ocean glimpses beyond.

Bedrooms and bathrooms
Upstairs a light-filled master king bedroom offers dreamy views, while a second bedroom on the ground floor provides king and twin bed options. A luxurious ensuite and main bathroom affords easy privacy and convenience, with treats such as handmade soaps, Capella Spa toiletries and organic ceramics.

Cuisine at Capella Lodge is designed to promote the pure taste of superb local and regional produce. A surprising harvest springs from this tiny, pristine island blessed with rich soils, bountiful waters and from Capella’s own kitchen garden.

Breakfast at Capella Lodge is a leisurely affair, the perfect way to kick-start a day of adventuring or relaxing on Lord Howe Island.

Served in the Restaurant with the gentle morning sun reflecting on Mounts Gower and Lidgbird, guests choose from a daily juice and smoothie special, lodge baked pastries and fresh fruits on the breakfast bar, followed by a choice from the a la carte selection.

Espresso coffee and leaf tea provide the fuel for the adventures ahead.

Designed to fit perfectly with a day spent lounging by the wet-edge pool or out exploring the island, there are many options for lunch at Capella.

Dine in Capella’s restaurant on a menu that includes fresh-caught fish and chips or arrange a gourmet picnic or barbecue pack to enjoy at one of the many unspoilt beaches and secluded coves around the island. There are also several cafes and eateries to choose from in the main village.

Dinner at Capella is a daily-changing delight, with three course menus offering choice to cater for everyone’s tastes and perfectly balanced in both flavour and quantity. Fresh, regional produce is showcased in every menu, offering a light, island-style combination of flavours to refresh and invigorate.

Capella Bar
During the day there’s fresh juices, espresso coffee and artisan teas, maybe an icy cold beer or glass of sparkling! In the evening, a generous selection of premium wines and spirits complement deftly mixed concoctions that taste of summer (or at the least never-ending spring).

Bar o’clock
Complimentary from 6pm, Capella’s open bar includes a range of fine Australian wines along with a selection of top-shelf spirits and locally crafted beers. A premium gin bar led by our own Baillies 9 gin is also on offer each evening.

Sunset drinks
Evenings are heavenly at Capella as guests sip on sunset drinks and savour canapés in the bar or watch the sun slip over the horizon from Gowers Terrace. It’s a magic time to reflect on the day and to share experiences with fellow guests.

In-suite bar
The lodge is designed to encourage a relaxed ‘holiday house’ feel. Guests may help themselves to a drink and a snack from their in-suite bar to relax and enjoy with the view, a book or perhaps share with a mate.

Our Chef
Cooper Dickson is Executive Chef at Capella Lodge. Cooper comes north to Capella from sister property Southern Ocean Lodge, swapping wilder shores for the subtropical paradise of Lord Howe Island.

His experience in working in some of the finest kitchens in Australia has led to a real passion for using fresh produce and creating innovative menus that excite the palate and reflect the ingredients’ fresh, clean flavours. All ingredients not grown or caught on Lord Howe are sourced from the island’s state of NSW.

Cooper’s passion for foraging is evident in the rapidly expanding kitchen veggie patch – relationships have been cultivated with plants and islanders alike, who have opened their gardens, in a warm show of community, enabling Cooper to showcase the local harvest in a single dish.

Relaxing into its lofty setting among the swaying Kentia palms, the Capella Spa encourages dreamy surrender to island-inspired treatments. Featuring the Australian-made Li’Tya spa care range, a menu of rejuvenating treatments also embraces Lord Howe’s natural environment.

Serene sanctuary
The Capella Spa is a private sanctuary offering a balm to the bustle of every-day life. The serene retreat welcomes guests like a warm embrace. Island-inspired spa treatments unite body and soul under the magnetic energy of Mounts Gower and Lidgbird’s twin peaks which rise majestically from the ocean.

Island inspired
A signature menu of rejuvenating and relaxation treatments embrace the island’s endemic Kentia palms and marine environment.

The ultimate indulgence is the three-hour ‘Dreaming’, a complete face and body treatment, or for a local touch, the ‘Sacred Stone Therapy’ draws upon the power of heated basalt stones collected from the island’s windward beaches.

Indigenous wisdom
The Capella Spa features Li’Tya spa care products. Meaning ‘of the earth’, Li’Tya embraces a practice of healing rituals that combine Aboriginal massage techniques with botanical beauty essences.

The Li’Tya spa experience combines a range of sensory therapies that purify, nourish and harmonise the body using the earthy wisdom of ancient Aboriginal medicines and healing philosophy.

Let the journey begin
Guests emerge from the Capella Spa more relaxed than ever, ready to soak in the pristine beauty of Lord Howe Island and embark on another day in paradise.

Spa Menu
Each Capella Spa treatment is a personal journey. Guests are invited to select a therapy that resonates most with their mood or desired focus, and each treatment may be tailored with the addition of a Spa Essential for a complete mind, body and soul treat.

Capella Karmal
Facial, hand and foot therapy
An indulgent facial treatment individually tailored to restore balance and natural radiance to the skin. Drift away while enjoying the aromas of wattle, lillypilly and lemon myrtle, traditionally used in Aboriginal medicines.

Surrender to a soothing facial massage before a natural clay mask is applied to purify and rebalance. A hair mask nourishes the scalp, regenerating and restoring lustre to your hair. A nourishing clay mask soothes hands, whilst a head massage leaves you feeling nurtured and refreshed.

Beyond the Big Blue
Facial, hand and foot treatment
An anti-aging facial treatment designed to revitalise and replenish the skin using marine minerals and potent native plant extracts such as marine algae, bull kelp and mother of pearl to smooth skin and restore vitality.

An indigenous-inspired pressure point massage for the face invigorates muscles. While your skin is purified and hydrated, hands and feet are treated with masks and massage oils using the native munthari berry to heal and protect.

Kodo Massage
Li’Tya relaxation massage
This rhythmic body massage is inspired by traditional Aboriginal techniques, which work to balance and realign energy flow, enhancing mind and body wellness.

Muscular aches and pains are relieved by massaging pressure points with swirling movements to ground and uplift, leaving the body’s energies renewed and refreshed. A choice of native aromatic oils is prescribed to address your personal needs, to rejuvenate, harmonise or detoxify.

Situated in the South Pacific Ocean, around 700km north east of Sydney, Australia, Lord Howe Island is a small, breathtakingly beautiful island, measuring just 11km long and 2.8km at its widest point.

Included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982, the island is surrounded by a reef-fringed lagoon, rolling surf and the world’s southern-most coral reef. Lord Howe Island has around 350 permanent residents with visitors limited to 400 at any one time.

Lord Howe is a pristine natural environment with around three-quarters of the island preserved as permanent national and marine park.

Lord Wow!
Lord Howe Island is a subtropical ‘treasure island’ preserved in time. An intoxicating blend of pristine beaches, rich pastures, lush rainforests and sheer volcanic peaks rising from the reef, Lord Howe is a sanctuary for rare plants, sea birds and marine life.

Home to hundreds of rare and endemic species, a visit to the island has the sense of a National Geographic expedition.

Unforgettable encounters
With Capella Lodge as luxury basecamp, guests take to walking tracks to explore towering mountain ridges, subtropical forests and white-sanded beaches.

Climb to the summit of Mount Gower on a guided day walk, rated one of the world’s best. Dive in to the clear, warm waters and discover a vibrant submarine world where a riot of fish cruise among the corals.

World heritage
Recognised as providing enduring habitat for an incredible range of rare and endemic flora and fauna, Lord Howe Island has been a protected marine park for more than a century. The small island, identified as an ancient volcanic remnant, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

Reef wonders
Warmed by currents flowing from the Coral Sea, Lord Howe’s crescent-shaped island protects a coral reef, the most southerly in the world.

Naturally free of marine stingers, and with fascinating tidal rock pools, turtle grazing areas and coral outcrops just offshore, an experience of the reef is as easy as taking a snorkel and fins and wandering into the water from the shore.

Natural selection
Dining at Capella Lodge is a celebration of fresh local ingredients with an abundance of fresh line-caught fish and seafood starring on the daily menus. Island growers produce organic fruits and heirloom vegetables, and the finest regional produce is sourced from the mainland. Read our Dining Philosophy.

Lord Howe Seasons
Warm maritime currents from the Coral Sea endow this iconic island with a near perfect climate often likened to perpetual spring.

Encounter the intriguing rare bird species that choose Lord Howe as their preferred seasonal nesting stopover, explore walks of varying grades amongst ancient palm forests and along basalt rises, all with amazing island and ocean views.


Summer is idyllic on Lord Howe Island, where a traditional Australian summer holiday is on offer. Swimming and snorkelling, enjoying ice-creams and getting lost in the view make for perfect pursuits.

The simple pleasure of a long and lazy barbecue lunch is a favourite Lord Howe tradition. Fresh sea breezes keep the vibe cool. Daytime temperatures range from 25–28°C in Summer.


Many consider autumn the best time to visit Lord Howe, when the days are mild and the water warm for swimming. Autumn is a beautiful time to admire the wildlife and enjoy the many island activities on offer year-round, such as reef walking and bird watching.

During autumn thousands of Providence petrels arrive for their winter breeding season. Daytime temperatures range from 22–25°C in Autumn.


The gentle cool season from May to September offers great opportunities to explore walks of varying grades amongst ancient palm forests and along basalt rises, all with amazing island and ocean views.

Walk the Little Island track at the base of Mount Gower to witness the Providence petrels’ mid-air courtship antics. Daytime temperatures range from 18–22°C in Winter.


Spring is a spectacular time to visit Lord Howe as the island’s flora and fauna flourish in the warm temperatures. It’s the best season to encounter the many bird species that fly in to Lord Howe as their chosen nesting stopover.

Watch out for the eggs and chicks of white terns balanced precariously on a tree limb! Daytime temperatures range from 20–22°C in Spring.

Getting there
Lord Howe Island is situated in the Tasman Sea, 600km east of the Australian mainland and 780 kilometres north-east of Sydney in New South Wales. Just 11 kilometres long and 2.8 kilometres at its widest point, Lord Howe has around 350 permanent residents, with visitors limited to 400 at any one time.

Lord Howe Island is a sub-tropical ‘treasure island’ preserved in time. An intoxicating blend of pristine beaches, rich pastures, lush rainforests and sheer volcanic peaks rising from the reef, Lord Howe is a sanctuary for rare plants, sea birds and marine life.

Island expeditions
These island-based activities are the essentials during a stay on Lord Howe. From beach barbecues to challenging hikes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And there’s always something for next time…

Little Island walk
Little Island is a lovely walk along the island’s southwestern shoreline to the base of Mount Gower. It’s an easy stroll down the hill from Capella, and a good hike up on return!

The walk leads through a shady arbour of banyan trees and kentia palms, which offer the ideal habitat for the endangered Lord Howe Island Woodhen. Walkers can try clapping their hands to catch the birds’ attention, they’ll come out of the forest understory to investigate the action. It’s easy to get twitchy here!

From March through to September, walkers witness the rare Providence Petrels flying around the twin peaks of Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. Lord Howe is the only place where these extraordinary birds breed, and they can be seen by the hundreds returning to their burrows in the late afternoon.

It’s possible to call the birds down from the sky by mimicking their ‘woo woo woo woo’ cry, which is a fun one to try. At the end of the track there’s a beautiful patch of green grass, perfect to sit for a bit and soak up the stunning views of the mountains and the Tasman Sea.

Goat House
Standing 777 metres above sea level, Mount Lidgbird is Lord Howe’s slightly smaller twin peak and includes a run-up walk to the Gower climb, called the Goat House Cave track.

The challenging upwards climb to the Goat House cave on Mount Lidgbird’s eastern face takes around three hours return and features ropes along the way to assist with balance along the steep slopes.

Spectacular views sweeping across ocean and island reward climbing efforts and the cave is large enough to sit in and enjoy a snack or picnic lunch. On a clear day, Ball’s Pyramid can be seen on the distant horizon.

Malabar walk
One of Lord Howe’s most popular walks, the Malabar track starts from Ned’s Beach Road and quickly climbs up a hill that leads to the top of a long mountain ridge.

From here, climbers can get wonderful views – and photos – of Ned’s Beach stretching around to the lagoon and reaching Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. It’s the classic Lord Howe view and keen photographers can set off predawn to capture the sunrise as the pink light casts its glow on the mountains.

Malabar can be completed in two hours, or walkers can decide to extend their adventure along the ridge, reaching Kim’s Lookout or even opt to continue along to Mount Eliza and loop down to return via North Bay. This longer loop is a half-day undertaking.

The walk leads through kentia palm groves and past shearwater breeding burrows. At the top, the walk leads along the cliffs which plunge dramatically into the ocean below and offers views to the Admiralty Islands.

The cliff crannies are ideal habitat for one of the world’s largest colonies of Red-tailed tropic birds, which put on a thrilling aerial display between September and May.

North Bay walk
North Bay, at the north end of Lord Howe Island, is a secluded beach that is only accessible by foot or water. North Bay feels remote even by Lord Howe Island standards.

The pristine cove is idyllic for swimming and picnic tables under the palms make it a popular spot to take an al fresco lunch. From here, walkers can decide to hike up Mount Eliza for views out over the cliffs to the ocean or reach the private rocky bay at Old Gulch.

Mt Eliza is one of the main nesting sites for the Red-tailed Tropicbird and the Sooty Tern and during nesting season (approximately September-March) the track to the top is closed to protect the birds.

Old Gulch has wonderful rock pools which reveal hidden sea creatures in its Herring rock pools at low tide. At low tide, the North Bay walk can be a round trip by taking a route around the rocks to or from Old Settlement Beach.

BBQ island-style
Days spent on Lord Howe Island are relaxed and free, reminiscent of childhood holidays by the sea. Clean white beaches, sparkling clear waters and a carefree vibe are the hallmarks of a Lord Howe stay. The island’s eleven beautiful beaches with sheltered coves and spectacular views are ideal for al fresco lunches.

Beach barbecues are set in some of the most scenic spots around the island. Neds Beach, Old Settlement Beach and Cobby’s Corner are a few of the favourites. Cut firewood is neatly stacked at each barbecue, ready for action.

Guests at Capella can preorder a picnic or barbecue pack in time for lunch and ask the managers’ tips on the best locations for the day, depending on the weather and the wind. They’ll deliver the pack in time for lunch!

Paradise for golfers, the picturesque nine-hole Lord Howe Island golf course meanders through cool kentia palm groves and along the ocean foreshore. A sometimes-challenging course, steep slopes and narrow runs keep the competition strong.

Legend has it noone has ever played a birdie on the number two this par three hole. The Lord Howe Island Golf Club offers golfing gear for hire and invites visitors and locals to get involved on the weekly Sunday Social Competition.

The newly renovated club offers great views across the course to the ocean, and with wide verandahs and an easy indoor outdoor vibe it’s a great place to enjoy a beer or Lord Howe Island gin and tonic after a game, or to enjoy a relaxed meal of local fish.

For bird and nature lovers, Lord Howe’s teeming colonies of seabirds can be viewed along its cliffs and beaches at various times of the year. Commonly seen around the island are Red-tailed tropic birds, Flesh-footed shearwaters known as Mutton Birds, Sooty terns, Providence Petrels and Masked boobies.

Lord Howe’s world–renowned resident naturalist Ian Hutton has been exploring Lord Howe Island, researching and recording its flora and fauna for more than 35 years. Ian is also the curator of the Lord Howe Island Museum and is a frequent interviewee on radio and television nature documentaries.

For dedicated birdwatchers, a private tour with Ian exploring beautiful North Bay is an unforgettable experience. Capella guests have the opportunity to meet Ian and learn from his extraordinary knowledge when he hosts sunset drinks at the lodge on Saturday evenings.

Island Museum
A visit to the Lord Howe Island Museum is an essential part of a stay on the island. The Museum opens from the Lord Howe Visitors Centre so it’s a perfect place to browse while making tour bookings, getting maps and tips on walks, or while grabbing a coffee or a bite to eat at The Coral Café.

The museum is run by the island’s resident naturalist Ian Hutton, who also operates guided walks and is a keen environmentalist and photographer.

Included in the exhibits are relics from the island’s long history and contributions from the community including from the local school kids. The museum offers a great insight to the island’s unique heritage and is the venue for nature talks which are held regularly in the evenings.

Mt Gower expedition
Mount Gower and her ‘twin peak’ Mount Lidgbird preside over the Lord Howe Island landscape like caretakers, rising out of the ocean to 875 metres and 777 metres above sea level respectively.

With dark basalt cliffs, improbable forests and birds flying in and out of hidden crannies the mountains are a source of mystery and intrigue and appear to constantly shift with the changing weather and the light.

A hike up Mount Gower is one of the most unforgettable experiences – and achievements – on Lord Howe and is only available on a guided basis with locals Jack Shick of Sea to Summit Expeditions or Dean Hiscox from Environmental Tours.

Jack and Dean run the tours on set days, and each walk talks eight hours, so plenty of water and snacks are a must. The challenging walk follows the contours of Mount Gower before climbing its southern face – sometimes using ropes – to reach the higher slopes.

At the summit, walkers reach a cloud forest, where endemic plants thrive among the mists and views span out across the island and ocean.

Valley of the Shadows
Starting near Middle Beach, a short distance from Capella, the Clear Place loop track is reasonably level and takes walkers to the Valley of the Shadows and Clear Place through fascinating terrain.

Giant banyan trees – sometimes known as strangler figs – with their aerial roots stretching out for balance stand alongside towering Kentia palms which are endemic to the island, while stands of Thatch palms create a cool, calm vibe under the leafy canopy.

Walkers will see many large holes in the ground along the way, which are Mutton bird (or Flesh-footed Shearwater) burrows. These migratory birds return to the island at dusk between September and May.

A signpost indicates the way to the Valley of the Shadows, where walkers take a step back in time as the peaceful cool of giant banyans and Kentia palms create an eerie sanctuary.

A little further on, the trail reaches Clear Place which is a great spot to see the island’s wilder eastern coast with views to Mutton Bird Island, Wolf Rock, Intermediate Hill and Mount Lidgbird, with Ball’s Pyramid appearing on the horizon.

Aquatic adventures
Lord Howe is home to the world’s most southerly coral reef and is blessed with pristine waters kept warm by currents flowing from the Coral Sea to the north. The island is free of marine stingers, and with coral reefs close to the shore, swimmers can take a mask and fins and snorkel straight from the beach.

Old Settlement Beach
It’s many people’s dream to swim with turtles. At Lord Howe’s Old Settlement Beach, it’s almost a sure thing! The beach is a picture-perfect spot for picnickers, where the swimming is protected and easy and the soft white sand is perfect for whiling away the afternoon with a good book.

Lord Howe Island’s pristine, protected marine environment makes an ideal home for both Green sea and Hawksbill turtles. Visitors to the island over the extended summer months (November to April) will likely encounter a turtle or two from the comfort of a glass bottom boat or ‘face-to-mask‘ when snorkelling!

At Old Settlement Beach there’s a chance to wade or snorkel freestyle above the seagrass beds where turtles like to graze when the tide is right.

Ball’s Pyramid
Often glimpsed as a shadowy figure on the horizon, Ball’s Pyramid is the world’s tallest sea stack, rising up from the ocean some 27 kilometres south of Lord Howe. An exhilarating boat ride brings the mysterious peak into focus.

A boat journey to Ball’s Pyramid, the world’s largest sea stack rising from the oceans some 20km from Lord Howe is an unparalleled adventure. The mysterious seas stack is a volcanic remnant, home to extraordinary bird and marine life and a renowned diving and snorkelling spot when the weather and tides permit.

The 562–metre basalt spire is also home to the endemic Lord Howe Island stick insect or phasmid, long thought to be extinct and rediscovered on the pyramid’s shores in 2001.

Operators including Reef n Beyond and Sea to Summit run boat tours to the pyramid. Often schools of dolphins accompany the boat on its journey there.

Diving the pyramid with Pro Dive Lord Howe is a world–class highlight, and divers can expect clear waters to see huge schools of fish including Sweep, Amberjack, Kingfish, Rainbow Runners, Trevally and Silver Drummer, and the occasional Marlin and Wahoo.

Whale Sharks have also been sighted on the trip to the Pyramid. Ball’s Pyramid is the place to spot the rare Ballina Angelfish, which usually keep to very deep waters.

Admiralty Islands
Viewed from Kim’s Lookout and from Ned’s Beach on the eastern side of Lord Howe, the Admiralty Islands are an intriguing group of volcanic formations. Birds can be seen from afar nesting on the islands’ flanks.

Its islets make for wonderful diving and are ranked highly as among the country’s best dive sites. With names like Noddy Island, Rupert’s Reef, Sugarloaf Island and Tenth of June Bombora – they all sound worthy of discovery!

Guests can see the Admiralty Islands up close on a round island boat tour, or en route to Ball’s Pyramid, tides and conditions permitting.

Lord Howe is legendary for fishing. Surrounded by marine park and with no commercial fishery, the diversity of fish species, fishing terrain and fishing methods on offer, as well as the sheer abundance of fish rank Lord Howe among the world’s top fishing destinations.

Hook-up with local identity Jack Shick on Noctiluca as he takes his eight–metre purpose-built vessel for a great day of deep-sea fishing, sightseeing and bird watching. There are dozens of hot spots for catching pelagic fish such as Lord Howe kingfish, yellowfin tuna and wahoo.

After a thrilling day on the water, return to Capella where the chefs will transform the day’s catch into a culinary delight for dinner. There is also a range of easily accessible shore fishing areas including the island’s jetty.

Water sports
Kayaking with clear view windows and stand up paddle boarding are ideal ways to explore Lord Howe’s calm lagoon and access the remote palm forests and secluded beaches of North Bay.

Lord Howe Island’s 10-kilometre-long lagoon is great for beginners and flat-water enthusiasts, with crystal clear water and beautiful coral reefs to paddle over. For the more adventurous paddlers Lord Howe has 14 surf breaks to offer.

The calm shallows of North Bay and Old Settlement Beach are superb for kayaking and paddle boarding.

Shallow coral reef on the edge of the Pacific Ocean means one thing – waves. Lord Howe picks up powerful groundswell from the Southern and Pacific oceans throughout the year. There are ten regularly surfed waves, and some are world-class on their day. In small conditions, there’s something for everyone.

Explore the marine park
The Lord Howe Marine Park covers around 460 square kilometres, and includes Lord Howe Island itself, the Admiralty Islands, Ball’s Pyramid and South East Rock.

Lord Howe Island is a long-extinct volcanic strip surrounded by several small islets. Its waters – a blend of warm tropical and cooler temperate ocean currents – are home to over 500 fish species, more than 90 coral species and countless other marine species, many only found in the immediate area.

A diverse range of habitats include a barrier coral reef and lagoon with fringing reefs dominated either by coral or macroalgal communities. Lord Howe Island was the first site in New South Wales declared as World Heritage in 1982.

A whole swag of options is on offer for exploring the marine park. At low tide the lagoon becomes a giant fish bowl, revealing it’s incredible wonders for scuba-shoe clad explorers. A North Bay cruise and round-island boat tour show the diversity of the marine environment.

Kayak tours, stand up paddle boarding and surfing, fishing charters and boat adventures to the Admiralty Islands and Ball’s Pyramid are all great ways to get in and around the water on Lord Howe.

Scuba diving
Lord Howe Island’s coral reefs are the world’s most southerly and among the most spectacular. The island’s unique marine ecosystem hosts a uniquely diverse mix of tropical, sub-tropical and temperate marine species; there are over 90 species of coral and 500 species of fish living in the reef.

Lord Howe’s submarine topography of trenches, caves and volcanic drop-offs adds to the awe-inspiring diving experience at the island.

There are over 60 world-class dive sites around Lord Howe, most located just a short boat ride (10-20 minutes) from shore. Arguably the island’s most spectacular dive is Ball’s Pyramid, the world’s tallest sea stack whose treasures extend deep below the surface.

With excellent water visibility, divers can except to see huge schools of fish, among them the rare deep-water Ballina Angelfish. Dives at Ball’s Pyramid average 25 metres in depth and range from drift dives and cave dives to simply following a coral wall.

Ned’s Beach
Ned’s Beach is one of Lord Howe’s most postcard-perfect beaches, with a stretch of white sand for walking, a reef with access channels perfect for snorkelling and a boat house stocked with snorkelling gear and body boards which are available for hire on an honesty system.

Ned’s is also famous for the fish that swim right up into the shallows to be fed. It’s always a thrill for visitors as well as locals to buy a dollar bag of sustainable fish food from the boat house and wade in knee deep to feed the fish.

There’s an instant frenzy in the water as mullet, wrasse, garfish, silver-drummer, spangled-emperor and kingfish vie for their share.

Glass Bottom boat
A tour of the lagoon on a glass-bottom boat provides a close-up view of Lord Howe’s vibrant, diverse corals and kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Lord Howe Environmental Tours runs the Coral Viewing and Snorkelling Tour, an experience of the lagoon’s reef and coral holes.

The two-hour tour explores the coral seascape and introduces visitors to some of the more unusual lagoon inhabitants including the endemic double-header wrasse, stingrays and turtles. This tour provides an optional snorkelling experience at Erscott’s Hole.

A tour with Marine Adventures explores Lord Howe Island’s submarine paradise on board its glass-bottom boat. Tours guide guests over immense coral bommies before mooring for an optional snorkel to explore shipwrecks in the company of enormous anemone and schools of Moorish idols.

Marine Adventures have three different glass-bottom boat tours to choose from. Meet the crew at Islander Cruises at the boat house on the lagoon. There are several tour options including the North Bay Nature and Turtle Tour and the Glassbottom Boat Tour.

Visitors can take in views of the dazzling reef system and its unique marine species on both tours. There are also opportunities for snorkelling the reef from the boat.

North Bay cruise
North Bay is a secluded crescent of beach that is only accessible by foot or water. Renowned operators Marine Adventures and Islander Cruises offer myriad tour options for explorations of the aquatic kind.

Guided by a qualified divemaster, explore the pristine bay and take in views of the dazzling reef system and its unique marine species from above and below the water’s surface. Drop anchor on the beach for some time ashore and the chance to bird watch and wander the beach at leisure.

Choose from a selection of half or full day tours to suit your itinerary. Specialised snorkelling adventures and glass-bottom boat trips are also available.

Getting around
Only 400 visitors are allowed on Lord Howe at any one time, with a resident population of 382 people recorded in the 2016 census. Just about everything is within walking or cycling distance, so it’s uncommon to see cars.

Lord Howe is only 11km long and between 0.3 and 2km wide, so it’s possible to cycle end to end in as little as 25 minutes. With a 25kmh speed limit, everyone always waves ‘hello’ as they pass!

Capella offers complimentary adult mountain bikes for guests to explore the island at leisure. A public phone in town provides free local calls, ideal for SOS pick-ups if needed!

An electric buggy is also available to hire from the lodge (note, bookings are managed on-property). A limited number of hire cars is available with local operators so bookings are best arranged prior to arrival.

Local Know-Howe
Lord Howe Island is one of a kind; bikes are the preferred mode of transport, kids walk barefoot to school, barbecues are wood-fired, honesty boxes are common and there’s no mobile or cell connection (it’s a good thing!). These insider tips help visitors get a sense of how special this place is!

Local hangs
Lord Howe’s picturesque jetty is a hub of island action, embark on fishing and dive charters exploring the world’s southernmost coral reef, jump off the pier into the turquoise waters below and BYO sundowners at dusk, it all happens here.

Lunch spots
Lord Howe offers a range of eatery options for lunch including The Anchorage Cafe, the Sunset Bar & Grill at the Golf Club and the Coral Cafe at the museum. Alternatively, get set for a picnic with provisions from Thompson’s Store.

BBQ etiquette
Barbecuing is a ‘thing’ on Lord Howe and there are grills scattered all over the island in pristine locations. Tip: Reserve a barbecue by throwing a beach towel over it first thing in the morning, so you’ll have it to come back to later, or you might miss out!

Blinky Beach
Blinky’s offers crystal clear water, Jurassic-views of the mountains and arguably one of the best surf breaks in Australia. For an amazing sunrise spot, there’s a sea cave hidden down the southern end of the beach which can be accessed at low tide for one of the coolest views on the island.

Local gin
For a taste of the island, try Lord Howe Island Distilling Co’s Wild Lemon and Hibiscus Gin. The wild lemons used in the gin were first planted on the island by the early settlers, to help sustain them during the long periods between passing ships. Infused with locally-foraged botanicals, it’s one spirited drop!

Lovers Bay
Footsteps from Capella, this little patch of golden sand is a private slice of paradise. Following a little track off the road leads down to the grassy picnic area beneath two pine trees and then on to the sand. Perfect for sunset drinks, maybe even a skinny dip! Absolute secluded bliss.

Island beer
Lord Howe Island Brewing Co was created to celebrate the unique fauna of Lord Howe through beer. The range includes the Phasmid Pale Ale, Double Header IPA, Pyramid Mid Ale and the Golden Whistler Lager. Available in the bar at Capella, on tap at the Golf Club or for purchase at the local store.

New kid on the block, the Crooked Post is a small bar serving island-inspired cocktails set in a historic building on the corner of town. A chilled beverage (or two!) enjoyed on the verandah overlooking the lagoon to the mountains is a hard thing to beat!

Old Gulch
Secluded Old Gulch is a stunning inlet on the island’s north coast. Renowned for the Herring Pools which you can rock-hop to at low tide, the natural basins are filled with colourful tropical fish. Jump in with goggles on and you can see what it’s like to swim in an aquarium. But shhh, it’s a local secret!

The Pot Holes
Situated on the southern end of Lord Howe’s reef fringed lagoon, The Pot Holes are a series of turquoise seams brimming with extraordinary marine life to discover with snorkel and fins or on a reef walk at low tide.

Honesty system
Lord Howe Island is known for its honesty policy. Honesty boxes are the preferred mode of payment for shared commodities such as beach gear hire at Neds Beach. The Golf Club has an honesty system for course fees and club hire and it’s a similar situation at the Bowls Club.

Vehicular vernacular
With less than 6kms of road on Lord Howe Island, bikes are the best way to see the most of the UNESCO listed island. Did you know – the speed limit on Lord Howe is 25kms per hour and bikes have right of way!

Rooms: 9
Price: from 486 EUR per night


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