Lizard Island's 24 spectacular beaches offer fabulous snorkelling and diving in some of the clearest waters of any Great Barrier Reef island. This 1,000 hectare rainforest clad island has been a National Park since 1939, and there are also a number of walking trails around the island. You can hike to the island's highest point, Cook's Look, for breathtaking panoramic views as far as the eye can see.
PLEASE NOTE: LIZARD ISLAND IS OFF THE COAST OF COOKTOWN, 260 KILOMETRES NORTH OF CAIRNS. CHILDREN UNDER 10 YEARS ARE NOT CATERED FOR, AND THERE IS NO RESORT ACCESS TO DAY TRIPPERS.
To the indigenous Dingaal people who inhabited the island before Captain Cook arrived, the island was considered a sacred place, used for the initiation of the young men of the tribe. The Dingaal believed that this group of islands were created during the Dreamtime and they called it Dyiigurra, or 'stingray', due to its shape. They saw Lizard Island itself making up the body of the stingray and the rest of the islands of the group forming the tail.
The first European exploration of the island was by Captain Cook, who - from the top of the hill now known as Cook's Look - surveyed a suitable passage away from the island. A century later, Captain Robert Watson and his ill-fated wife, MARY BEATRICE WATSON, established themselves on the island. The ruins of the cottage they built are still visible.
ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO - LIZARD ISLANDSpectacular diving opportunities abound in the Marine National Park around Lizard Island, and snorkellers will find coral gardens, brightly coloured tropical fish and giant clams just moments from the island's beaches. You can discover secluded, pristine beaches by foot or by motorised dinghy with a gourmet picnic just for two. Try a gentle bushwalk, sailing, fishing or a glass bottom boat trip. Every year between September to December the rich waters attract game fishers in pursuit of the Black Marlin.
The Lizard Island Resort has snorkelling gear, motorised dinghies, deep sea diving, and a glass bottommed boat.
Please, bear in mind that fishing is not allowed from most parts of the island, neither is collecting animals or plants, alive or dead, including shells.
The Lizard Island Research Station, which is a world-leading supplier of on-reef facilities for coral reef research and education, is open to visitors as well. Tours of the Research Station are conducted for guests of the Lizard Island Resort on Monday and Friday mornings. These are arranged through the Resort.
ACCOMMODATION - LIZARD ISLANDThe Lizard Island Resort is away from everything, and is a perfect hideaway. Australia's northernmost resort, Lizard recently underwent a $13 million rebuild, and is located right on the Great Barrier Reef, fringed with coral reefs and powdery white beaches. It is popular among celebrities, and there are no day trippers. But please note that children under 12 years are not catered for.
The Island Resort houses 40 exclusive and private rooms of varying styles. Each of the 40 Villas are elegant and spacious, designed so the indoors and outdoors blend in an elegant open plan design each with ocean or beach views. All meals and many island activities are included in the tariff.
There are also camping facilities on the island, albeit fairly basic. You'll find a fireplace, pit toilet, and water. You will need to bring all supplies, including coal as all the wood on the island is protected. For more information on camping on Lizard Island, please visit our NATIONAL PARKS page.