Since we had already been to the Great Barrier Reef (trip 1 and trip 2) as well as Heron Island, as explained on the visiting Lord Howe Island page, thanks to Dirk, we had heard that there was another interesting place to go dive at when in Australia: Lord Howe Island. Since we were going to be flying by Sydney anyway, we thought we'd do a small detour on the way back :)
We didn't quite luck out with diving. The best dive sites were very weather dependent, and we had too much wind every day to go see the better ones in the 7 days we were there. We still got the chance to go diving out of the lagoon eventually, but even that took several days.
The diving we got, was not bad, but it wasn't fantastic either. Temps were 24C, which was borderline cold for a 5mm full suit for me, and vis was from good to decent enough in the sites we were able to go to. Fish life was a bit different from the GBR due to the lower temps.
Thankfully Brian, who runs Howea divers, knew the weather and local conditions very well, and made sure to get us the best diving possible for any given day over better dive sites where conditions would have been too bad to enjoy the site.
The first day, all we could do were 2 very shallow dives off a sheltered beach:
Linus and Dirk
Ride back from the beach
A funny thing was this little fish that kept trying to scare us off by pretending to attack us. I've had some come straight at my face and look like they were going to head butt me :)
After that, we were able to do boat dives, first in the Lagoon, and then a bit farther where diving was a bit more interesting:
Eel snake or snake eel?
this snake skinned eels are huge teeth
there were many many fat lobsters :)
I also loved this colorfull fish:
These sea snails were cool
Unfortunately, wind and surf never died down enough for us to be able to dive their better sites. It's hard to say how much better it would have been, but with what we had, I'd say the diving was ok, but somewhat inferior to Heron Island, and definitely inferior to the great barrier reef.
All that said, diving was still decent, and if you are diving in Lord Howe Island, I'll definitely recommend Howea divers over Prodive, which seems to just be a second choice if Howea is booked out.