We are at the end of our epic journey around Australia, and what a year we picked to travel! Despite the extra challenges, we found so many silver linings, including the chance to run a photography workshop on the beautiful Lord Howe Island.
We could not imagine a better end to our trip – there is just so much to do here. Being surrounded by worlds most southerly coral reef, and home to the towering Mt Gower, Lord Howe is an adventurers playground.
23kms off the Lord Howe coast, stands the worlds tallest sea stack – Balls Pyramid. This giant spike of rock, taller than Sydney’s highest skyscapers, towered over us as we dived the coral reef below. Then on the way home, a pod of dolphins came to play with us. They stayed with us for ages, clicking and whistling so loudly that we could still hear them after we got on the boat.
On our dives we saw large green turtles munching on the reefs, Galapagos Whaler sharks, pelagic fish as well as Lord Howe’s array of endemic reef species. We practiced split-shots at Neds Beach, where fish swarm the shallows waiting for a feed, and we even tried our hand at surf photography on Blinky’s Beach.
However, when we heard our last dive was to be a “Shark Dive” we weren’t prepared for just how incredible it would be. Waiting in the blue, a few Galapagos whalers circled us at first. Gradually more and more showed up, until there were hundreds of sharks cruising along with us. This is definitely a world class shark experience! Lord Howe is full of surprises.
Once diving was complete, the adventurous (crazy?) members of the group joined local guide Jack Shick to summit Mount Gower. This day-long experience was a mixture of hiking and rope-climbing up to an 875m elevation. I think everyone agreed that the bird life, the views, and of course the bragging rights were well worth the aches & pains we had the next day.
Even though we were sad to finish this adventure around Australia, we were still buoyed up by incredible memories of our journey as we touched town in Sydney.
So what’s next for us? We’ll take a break from tent-life, enjoy hot showers, clean the dirt off our car, and avoid crowds (we aren’t used to them!), but continue to explore the natural world and share as much as possible. In the meantime you can look forward to the launch of our 360in360 exhibition and upcoming book, so stay tuned.
Photos by Rosie Leaney & Scott Portelli using Olympus OMD cameras & Mavic2 Pro drone