I had been wanting to visit Lord Howe Island for years and finally the opportunity arose. We stayed there from 22nd-29th January 2012. I initially did the web search and wanted to stay somewhere that included breakfast and dinner, but also provided self catering facilities, with above average accommodation, and close to all the attractions. Earls anchorage was all this and more. From the moment I arrived with my two teenage children I was completely besotted with the beauty of the island. This was equalled by the hospitality and friendly service provided by John Green, and his daughter Alanna, who was having a break from University at the time. Alanna picked us up from the airport and also worked in the restaurant with many other friendly young staff.
We stayed in a 1 bedroom self contained Villa which was more than big enough for the three of us with a lovely self-catering kitchen, TV, and internet access. This was serviced daily. We had fortunately included breakfasts and dinner in our package at the restaurant "The Anchorage" (just changed names from Humpty Mick's), and the chef David is fantastic. The meals were incredibly good and would be on par or better with some of the best restaurants in Sydney. Most of the locals eat there and the coffee and home-baked bread and cakes are the best on the island. John is a baker and butcher among many other talents and the bread is superb, whilst his wife Kath bakes the cakes which are fantastic.
Earls Anchorage also provides snorkelling equipment, and bikes were pre-arranged.
Whilst staying there we checked out the competition- Capella Lodge, which is way too far away from the main area and the must-do snorkelling at Neds beach (and looked like a fish bowl full of stunned well-dressed tourists), and Arajilla (nice for a massage but small rooms from the outside, and quite expensive).
We could not have had a better time and we will be hopefully going back next year.
Our favourite activities were snorkelling at Neds, diving (for the first time) which can be booked when you get there, kayaking out to Blackburn Island, eating at The Anchorage, listening to live music at The Anchorage (Gemma Glendenning was fantastic), walking up to Malabar Ridge, cycling everywhere, getting a glass bottom boat trip to North Bay, visiting the Museum (incredibly interesting history and ecology of the island), and (for me) visiting the cemetery (fascinating lesson in history!), watching the mutton birds return to their nests at sundown, swimming with turtles.........the list goes on.