Cultural heritage

Maritime heritage

Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, commander of the First Fleet ship, Supply discovered Lord Howe Island in 1788 while sailing from Sydney Cove to the Norfolk Island penal settlement.

  • It became a provisions stop for ships travelling between Sydney and Norfolk Island, but remained uninhabited until 1834. Whaling ships were also regular visitors.
  • In search of food and water, the crews drove some of the endemic birds to extinction, as most were not scared of humans and easy to catch.
  • After settlement in the 1870s, the islanders launched an export business, sending palm seeds to the European market to be grown as indoor plants.
  • A tourist boom that began at the turn of the twentieth century peaked after World War II when seaplanes began to fly to the island, hitherto only accessible by sea. In 1974, the airstrip opened and twin-engine planes began to fly to Lord Howe.

The marine park's shipwrecks and other maritime heritage artifacts are generally well protected under legislation.

  • Twelve shipwrecks have been positively identified in the state waters.
  • Three are yet to be found and mapped.

The Lord Howe Island Museum features materials and displays from its discovery in 1788 to today.

World Heritage Site

The Lord Howe Island Group became a World Heritage site in 1982 because it is an outstanding example of oceanic islands of volcanic origin and it is the world's most southern true coral reef.

For more information, visit the Australian Government Department of Environment.