Often described as Australia's most beautiful island, Lord Howe lies approximately 600km NE of Sydney on the same latitude as Port Macquarie. The crescent shaped, eroded remnant of a large shield volcano that erupted from the sea about 7 million years ago is only 11km (7mi) from north to south and up to 2.8km (1.7mi) wide. Dominating the still largely untouched forest landscape are the ruggedly spectacular mounts of Gower and Lidgbird. World Heritage listed in 1982 by Unesco, it is surrounded by the world's southernmost coral reef, home to an astounding 500 species of tropical and temporal marine species, plus many rare and endemic plants and animals. With its protected marine park, no mobile phone reception, no jet skis, no glitzy resort scene, no big buildings, very few cars and only 400 visitor beds, the island is never crowded and there is minimal human impact on the environment. Much of the island's coastline is exposed to waves that have unlimited fetch, hitting a great variety of breaks, creating fairly consistent surf all year.