Lord Howe Island - Australia
Lord Howe is a tiny sub tropical island 320 miles (550 km) off Australia's eastern coast in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 450 miles (770 km) northeast of Sydney. It is part of an island group which also comprises Admiralty Island, Mutton Bird Island and Balls Pyramid. Crescent shaped Lord Howe is a remarkable eroded remnant of one of a series of volcanic pinnacles, part of a submarine ridge that links to the north island of New Zealand. Dominated by the twin volcanic peaks of Mount Gower and Mount Lidgbird, Lord Howe is known for its spectacular beauty, picturesque lagoon and amazing coral reef (the southern most coral reef in the world), and is one of just four island groups in the world possessing World Heritage status. The island is heavily forrested with a wide lagoon sheltered by a coral reef and featuring some fine beaches. National parks cover 70 percent of the island, which harbours rare vegetation and bird life. There are over 240 different species of native plants and at least 168 bird species either living at, or regular visitors to, this island. Discovered in 1788 and named after Admiral Lord Howe, it was first settled in 1834 and early visitors to the island included ships travelling between Sydney and Norfolk Island, as well as American whaling and trading vessels.