Nestled among towering Norfolk pine trees on the sheltered western side of the island, Pinetrees is the best-known lodge on the island and a much-loved Lord Howe landmark, and not just because it has the best sunset-viewing spot on the island: the Boatshed, which has uninterrupted views of the island’s two mountains, Gower and Lidgbird, and the turquoise lagoon (Pinetrees’ six-kilometre-long natural swimming pool).
Although it has been run by the same family since the 1870s and retains its distinctive lodge vibe, it moves with the times too. The 32 breezy island-chic rooms were recently renovated and there are now themed activity weeks on offer, such as yoga & wellness, photography, food & wine, wilderness, walking and ocean-swimming weeks.
The food is one of the highlights of a stay at Pinetrees. With room rates including three gourmet meals a day plus an informal but sumptuous afternoon tea, guests often report leaving “fatter, but fitter”. Breakfasts come with cooked options that the chef varies daily, dinners are four-course affairs featuring local kingfish and fine Australian wines, and for lunch, Pinetrees will deliver a hamper or barbecue supplies to a pretty picnic spot on the island, so you can ride your bike there, to maximise your island time (you can also opt for a buffet lunch at the lodge).
The best thing about this place, however, is that from the moment you arrive, you’re made to feel like part of the Pinetrees family. In fact guests should be issued with a warning: Beware, we’re going to look after you so well, and so warmly, you’ll fall in love with Pinetrees, and with Lord Howe, and vow to return.