On a trip to Lord Howe Island to experience Pinetrees Lodge's Wilderness Week, Great Walks took on the island's highest point, Mount Gower (875m).
This is a tough 8hr return trek, complete with rope-assisted climbs and dizzying drops.
It's not for everyone but if you're reasonably fit and are prepared to get out of your comfort zone it'll be a day you'll never forget.
The walk began at a rocky beach and from there it was a scramble up a trail that disappeared vertically into a rainforest on the lower slopes of Mt Lidgbird.
The next task was to skirt the exposed southwest scarp of the mountain by creeping along a narrow ledge, face to the cliff and clinging to a rope with a sheer drop at our back.
Along this part of the trail we had to wear helmets in case of falling rocks but we ditched them at the end of this roped section.
From here we disappeared into cool tropic rainforest, crossing Erskine Creek. And then the real work began.
The track climbed steeply here – about 200m up in less than a kay – bringing us out at the top of the valley, on the saddle between Gower and Lidgbird (777m).
You need to use ropes up most of this section so you have to trust your grip and if you don't have a head for heights (and were still crazy enough to do the walk) don't look down.
Little pockets of moss-covered rainforest kept the sun off our backs for some of the way until we popped out the top of Mount Gower and were rewarded with the best views in the house. This was truly a great walk.
Words_Brent McKean. Photos_Luke Hanson.
If you want more info on climbing Mount Gower click here.