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Unique Film Locations: Lord Howe Island

Written on October 8, 2016

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Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a Unesco World Heritage Site and Marine Park located in the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand.

Measuring only 11km in length and 3km across, the crescent shaped island is know for its twin peaks, lush rainforest, waterfalls, and beautiful beaches with turquoise waters. It is home to the world’s southern most coral reef as well as many plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The waters are so rich you can catch lobster by hand.

Filming on the island requires permission from the 7 member Lord Howe Island Board. The island is under the governance of the New South Wales Ministry of Environment, so permission from Australian authorities may also be required, depending on the specifics of your shoot.

Balls Pyramid

Balls Pyramid

About 23km (14 miles) southeast of Lord Howe Island you can find the unique film location of Balls Pyramid. A remnant of an extinct volcano, Balls Pyramid rises from the ocean 562 metres (1,844 ft) high, while measuring only 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) in length and 300 metres (980 ft) across, making it the tallest volcanic stack in the world. Casting an imposing figure, Balls Pyramid is the ideal location for a Bond villain’s lair.

For nature documentarians, the thought to be extinct Lord Howe Island Stick Insect, was found on Balls Pyramid and has since been reintroduced to Lord Howe Island.

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Interesting Facts

• Only 350 people live on Lord Howe Island and the number of visitors are not allowed to exceed 400.
• Lord Howe Island is a 2 hour flight from Sydney. Flights to Lord Howe Island are among the most expensive domestic flights in Australia. There is a 7 kg carry on baggage limit and a 14kg checked luggage limit per person that applies to all Lord Howe Island flights. In cases where you need to bring in more crew and equipment, it might be better to charter a flight and package a deal.
• Walking is the main mode of transport. For vehicular traffic the speed limit is 25km / hr (15.5 miles / hr).
• The currency is the Australian dollar.
• There and no cell phones or internet.
• Given the remote location of the island most goods need to be brought in. As such, Lord Howe Island is working to be 80 per cent solar and wind powered by 2019.
• There are no restaurants or bars on the island. Only accommodation options have food and drink. Arajilla Retreat offers luxury accommodation and is the best place to stay on the island.

Production Support & Shooting Crew

There are no locally based shooting crews or film equipment in Lord Howe Island. The closest major production centre is Sydney, Australia. If you are looking for a local fixer in Lord Howe Island, or a shooting crew or producer based in the region, contact us for recommendations.

Images courtesy of Arajilla Retreat. Photos by Ken Lee.