Lord Howe Island, a 2-hour flight from Sydney or Brisbane, is an exceptional setting for an ‘away from it all’ break. A UNESCO world heritage site since 1982 in recognition of its beauty and biodiversity, it’s a haven of flora and fauna which draws adventurous eco-tourists from far and wide. Two thirds of the island is permanent park reserve, the northern part hosting some prolific and exotic birdlife – which contributes to its nickname of 'the Australian Galapagos'.
You can also go hiking through lush rainforest - the Mount Gower trek is great, particularly if you go with a naturalist; and snorkelling over a virtually untouched coral reef. Back on land, our favourite place to stay is Capella Lodge, with a private beach and just 9 suites - ideal for both couples and families. Best of all, there’s no mobile phone coverage, so you’ll have no choice but to switch off! Of course secluded luxury comes at a price – neither the hotel itself nor the flights to get there are cheap, but the experience is worth it.