Added by David Gregory
Mount Gower is a challenging 8 hour return hike that climbs from sea level to 875m of elevation through one of the most pristine mist forests in the world. At the peak you're surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and stunning views along the crescent shaped Lord Howe Island.
Starting at sea level, the hike begins as a gentle stroll along the coast. However, don't get lulled into a false sense of security, this hike gets tough very quickly. Climbing up around 50-60 metres from sea level, it's time to strap on a helmet and use the ropes that are fixed to the sheer cliff face. After this rather narrow section, the track widens and continues to wind around the mountain, gaining altitude through a narrow track that's cut in the dense vegetation.
It's much like this for around two and a half hours. You spy glimpses of the amazing azure waters as you climb. You eventually get to a point, where the landscape changes dramatically and the only way up is by holding on to the vertical ropes that hang down.
At this step climb up, there's also a sheer drop of several hundred metres that you need to be extremely careful of when negotiating the ledge.
Above this extremely steep section you move into the tranquil mist forrest. There are ancient ferns here that you can't find anywhere else in the world. This is a truly unique micro-climate and is probably the most impressive thing about the hike. The cool clean air, the beautiful flora, the serenity, all worth the gruelling 3 hour slog to get here.
Eventually you clear the mist forrest and finish at a breath taking lookout, from which you can see the entire Island in all its beauty.
The return journey is just as enjoyable and all up it's around an 8 hour hike. Given daylight hours are shorter in winter, this can be done, but guides run few trips during this period.
Please note that you must have an official guide to attempt this hike and you must book ahead. You do get a nice certificate at the end though when you complete the trip.
- Sturdy Hiking Boots
- Rain Jacket
- Food & Snacks
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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