Lord Howe Island tourism brochures will tell you Lord Howe weather is great and when to visit doesn’t matter. In general, this is true. However, some times of year are unlikely to provide the weather you see in those glossy pages you’re flicking through.
Lord Howe Island weather has a mind of its own, especially during certain months of the year. If you want general information about Lord Howe Island weather, how to avoid windy weather on Lord Howe Island or just whether Lord Howe Island weather in April is any good, we’ve got you covered. Lord Howe Island is our favourite place in the world to visit. So much so, that we were married there more than 25 years ago and have been back many times since. Sadly, not as often as we would like in recent years as Lord Howe Island has become too expensive for many travellers, including us.
We know all about Lord Howe Island weather, from bright blue skies to freezing gales, torrents of rain and everything in between as we have visited at many different times over the years. What you can expect with Lord Howe Island weather mostly comes down to what time of the year you visit. With the cost of visiting Lord Howe Island starting at an average of $2,000 per person per week in low season, including airfares and accommodation, this is one holiday you want to get right when it comes to timing.
You also want travel insurance. Not so much for anything medical as the island is part of Australia but due to the weather cancelling flights on a semi-regular basis. Flight cancellations are mainly due to Lord Howe Island’s location and short runway, with high winds making for many memorable landings and sometimes no landings at all if the plane has turn around and go back to the mainland. And, yes, I have been waiting at an airport with the dreaded cancelled sign flashing on the departures board. After cursing the weather Gods and weeping into my latte, I made the most of an unplanned night in Sydney and was rescheduled on a very full flight the next day.
The most popular time to visit Lord Howe Island is from September to May, with average temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s in the summer months. You can expect just a few degrees difference during the shoulder seasons most of the time. In our view, summer on Lord Howe Island wins every time as this lets you experience all the things to do on Lord Howe Island, from walking the many trails to dining out and snorkelling the abundant tropical reefs. It’s also the most expensive time to visit so you need to weigh this up in line with your budget.
Walking the trails around Lord Howe Island in summer is also pleasant with many of the trails either shaded or made more comfortable by a sea breeze. However, some trails which are exposed to the sun can get very hot. The added benefit of peak season is also the full range of accommodation and dining on the island is open. Winter often includes closures, limited times of operation and perhaps even noisy renovations if you’re unlucky.
As with most destinations on the planet, wet weather can be unpredictable. However, in general Lord Howe Island rainfall is highest in the autumn and winter months from April to August. Having experienced Lord Howe Island in winter, it is really not that bad provided you have the right mindset. Yes, it can rain a lot, but we have also had plenty of spectacular sunny winter days. Walking in winter is cooler but it can also be windy to the point of feeling like you’re going to get blown off cliff edges. Provided you don’t get too close this isn’t a problem but it’s good to know. We passed on certain walking trails on these especially windy days and opted for those which were more sheltered. Average Lord Howe Island winter temperatures are high 20s down to lows of around 14, although wind and rain can make it feel much colder than this.
Another issue with visiting Lord Howe Island in winter is the shorter days which can impact the guided walks to places such as Mt Gower. You have to start this guided walk in the dark and return in the dark in winter as the climb takes a full 8 to 10 hours. On wet weather days, the options are a bit limited with the Lord Howe Island Museum and its attached cafe offering some boredom relief. Other cafes and restaurants can also be used to pass the time with a long lunch or dinner. There is the option to join the locals for a drink at the Bowls Club if you want a genuine ‘local experience’.
Visiting Lord Howe Island in winter does have one huge advantage and that is the lower cost. It’s still expensive but also cheaper than visiting in peak season. The best deals are usually a winter package deal with QANTAS or a Lord Howe Island tourism specialist such as Oxley Travel. These packages will save you the most money as they include airfares, accommodation and possibly a tour or two at lower winter prices.
It is also worth checking the specials on offer at the individual accommodation options on the island or joining the lodge mailing lists as they almost always have deals in winter. Just beware of ‘renovation specials’ they don’t tell you are renovation specials until you get there. We booked a high-end lodge on Lord Howe Island at a great price not long after we got married only to be informed on arrival about the extensive renovations that were taking place between 8am to 4pm each day. Needless to say, we always check if there are any renovations going on before we book whenever we visit now.
Overall, remember to be mindful about what you want from your visit to Lord Howe Island. You might save a few hundred dollars by travelling in winter but if you love snorkelling and swimming, you’ll be missing out on all the water activities. Don’t believe those brochures which insist you can swim year round. Even with a thick wetsuit, we find it too cold to swim and snorkel comfortably in June, July and August. Any holiday where the weather doesn’t work in your favour is disappointing. However, when the destination is exorbitantly expensive you can’t help but feel especially miffed. Choose the time that is best for your interests and your budget using the information above and have a wonderful time. It’s hard not to at any time of year on Lord Howe Island.
Disclosure: The writers love Lord Howe Island and would visit every month of the year if they could afford it.
Want to travel smarter and save money? Check out our tips for flying a low cost airline, keeping your luggage safe, visiting Europe in peak season, getting a great car hire deal, avoiding travel scams, saving money at the airport, staying at an Airbnb, finding cheap five star hotel deals, catching public transport overseas, staying safe in a big city, getting the best round-the-world airfares, making the most of a five star hotel stay, travelling during low season, visiting a theme park in peak season, packing a carry on bag, visiting a wine region, planning a romantic getaway, early morning flights, visiting the Great Barrier Reef, multigenerational travel, travelling in a motorhome, buying the best souvenirs, going on safari, visiting the Eiffel Tower, travelling with pets, holidaying with adult children, travelling with teens, and sleeping on a plane.