Island House, Lord Howe Island: The secret island paradise that hosted the Hemsworths

Lord Howe Island is a World Heritage-listed Island paradise where shoes are optional and the lifestyle is laid back. Just an hour by air from Sydney or Brisbane, only 400 visitors are allowed on the island at any time, and there are just 300 permanent residents. It's one of Australia's best-kept secrets.

Its most-recent addition is the luxurious Island House. What was once a group of small apartments built in the 1970s has been transformed to become two luxurious lodges, where guests can enjoy breakfast on the deck listening to the sounds of the forest and use it as a base to explore the island.

The lodges' open design and natural materials reflect the timeless nature of the island, with hardwood timbers, copper, wide oak floorboards, solid oak walls and ceramics featuring throughout. Expansive kitchens are stocked with island-grown produce from sister-business, the Nursery.

The island itself is fringed with coral reefs and turquoise lagoons and topped with mountain valleys and sea-cliffs. When David Attenborough visited Lord Howe Island he described it as: "So extraordinary it is almost unbelievable…".

Among the first guests to stay at Island House were Tourism Australia global ambassador, Chris Hemsworth and his extended family. As well as the Lodge, they got to enjoy the island's fishing, surfing, snorkelling and hiking.

With spectacular weather, the group also enjoyed a beach barbecue at Old Settlement Beach, with food cooked over the local community barbecue, followed by a game of beach cricket.

Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said many people would find holiday inspiration from the Hemsworth's travels in Australia.

"Chris has long been a passionate ambassador for Australia and continues to remind people around the world of the many unique and wonderful experiences that holidaying in Australia offers," Ms Harrison said.

"With summer just around the corner, now is the time to not only book a holiday, but also the time to book an incredible experience or tour. Whether it's a snorkelling or boat tour, a guided walk, or cellar-door tasting - operators across Australia are ready to welcome Aussies on their next holiday."

See also: The nine things you must do in Byron Bay

See also: Paradise on a budget: Australia's cheapest islands

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