Capella’s resident naturalist guide, Experiences Manager Caitlin Woods came to Capella Lodge on World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island to joining the lodge’s restaurant team. Multi-talented for sure, Caitlin’s true skills and interests quickly showed to be in the great outdoors, and the qualified marine biologist began to put together interpretive nature excursions around the island designed to entertain and inform Capella guests of Lord Howe’s unique natural heritage. Caitlin has a natural knack of discovering the shyest of rare sea birds or cleverly camouflaged marine wildlife, to the delight of her expeditioners.
Capella guests have embraced the walks, each informative and different depending on the season, the weather, the tides and which wildlife is discovered on the day. Caitlin has further developed the experiences on offer, exploring the range of fascinating ecologies on the island, both shore-side and submarine. Her walks started in Capella’s ‘front yard’ with a tour of the accessible base of towering Mount Gower, along the coastal track to the tiny beach at Little Island. She also now gathers guests for a low-tide reef walk along the shoals off Lover’s Bay, and often points out marine life from above-water, fun for guests to rediscover while swimming or snorkelling the reef during their stay.
Recent guest Graham said Caitlin’s adventures were a fabulous addition to a stay at Capella. ‘Caitlin is a walking encyclopaedia on Lord Howe’s flora and fauna. Her enthusiasm is contagious!’ he said.
Next up are plans for a forest walk through ancient subtropical rainforest and a ramble on the Island’s east to welcome in the mutton birds as they make their clumsy landing in the summer’s dusk. On an island with an ecology as diverse and rich as Lord Howe’s the possibilities are endless. Watch this space!
In the meantime, join Caitlin’s hikes around Lord Howe virtually, as she tracks her vivid discoveries on Instagram @naturenun