Lizard Island - A Luxury Lodge of Australia
Great Barrier Reef and Islands, Queensland, Australia
At a Glance
Set right on the Great Barrier Reef and boasting its own beautiful fringing reefs, Lizard Island has the advantage of being able to offer diving enthusiasts both half and full day reef experiences
With Lizard Island maybe being your last stop in Australia you need to make the most of the beach. The only option here would then be to stay in one of the Beachfront Suites which have direct beach access and a large day bed on your deck.
After some time exploring Australia, Lizard Island is the perfect place to relax and being all-inclusive you can revel in gourmet meals and the fine selection of Australian wines.
Being right on the reef you will be constantly be enticed by the water so why not jump on a paddle board, or jump in a kayak and go exploring. For those more keen on keeping their feet firmly on the shore head to the research station to find out about the abundance of nature on the island.
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
April through November is the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef, although southeast trade winds can sometimes make it a tad choppy at sea. December through March can be uncomfortably hot and humid, particularly as far north. In the winter months (June-Aug), the water can be a touch chilly (Aussies think so, anyway), but it rarely drops below 22°C.
To start planning your holiday to Lizard Island
Lizard Island is an award winning hotel offering the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity located directly on the Great Barrier Reef in northern Queensland. Sensational diving opportunities abound and 24 deserted beaches await exploration.
Lizard Island is Australia’s premier island resort, a national park and isolated haven in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef offering no less than 24 exquisite white sand beaches and stylish, understated accommodation.
Each of the 40 luxury rooms, suites and villas are well appointed with a host of modern conveniences and a private veranda with views over the ocean or tropical gardens. Choose from Sunset Point Villas with great views from the private decks or Anchor Bay Suites, each with a pathway leading directly to the beach. The Pavilion is the ultimate accommodation, with a vast interior and a 270 degree spectacular view from its expansive deck with plunge pool.
Dining at Lizard Island is a simple and relaxed affair. The open-air restaurant, Osprey's, offers a daily changing menu fusing Asian, Australian and European dishes of the finest local produce including wonderful fresh seafood and luscious tropical fruits. Private dining can also be arranged, a highlight being a 7 course dégustation menu with matching wine. The Bar and Lounge are open all day and have comfortable sofas for relaxing on and enjoying coffees, teas, juices and the extensive wine list.
The hotel has a wide array of activities available including tennis, nature walks, non-motorised water-sports, picnics to remote coves and diving on the inner and outer reefs. As an alternative to all of this exploration, a trip to the indulgent Azure Spa for one of the signature treatments is a great way to wind down after a busy day.
Lizard Island has 40 rooms. The Garden View and Ocean View Suites all have a classic understated elegance. The Villas have large decked areas with room for comfy chairs and a hammock and have access to a string of private beaches. The suites are open plan with alfresco daybeds and The Pavilion is a private luxury retreat.
Set in a broad sweeping arc along Anchor Bay, with easy access to the main lodge, the Beachfront Suites offer captivating sea views and each has a pathway leading directly to the beach. Seamlessly blending indoors and out in an elegant and spacious open plan design, a large verandah with daybed is one of the many comforts. The Beachfront Suites also feature a Bose sound system with a CD player and iPod connectivity.
|Ocean View Villas||
Sunset Point Villas are set high on Sunset Ridge among native eucalyptus bushland. Providing filtered sea views over Anchor Bay or Sunset Beach, these villas offer privacy and easy access to a string of secluded beaches. Each villa has a private deck with comfortable Australian timber chairs and a hammock.
|Garden View Suites||
Located in a tropical Garden with easy access to Anchor Bay and the beach, Garden View Suites have a private balcony with a hammock. Interiors are compact but comfortable and include a Bose sound system with a CD player and iPod
connectivity. Anchor Bay Rooms with two separate sleeping areas are also available.
Perched high above the Coral Sea and set on the point of Sunset Ridge, The Pavilion combines complete privacy with a spectacular 270 degree panorama of Anchor Bay, Osprey Island and Sunset Beach.
An expansive decking area incorporates a private plunge pool, sun loungers and a day bed area, inviting guests to relax and take in the stunning views. Leaving the balcony to stroll down
a private path, guests will discover another secluded area where chairs and a table have been perfectly positioned to make the most of sea breezes and gorgeous views.
Inside, the Pavilion offers every comfort. A Bose sound system with a CD player and iPod connectivity and a laptop computer for downloading and sending emails are among some of the special features.
Champagne and a deluxe fruit bowl greet guests on arrival
Children under 12 are not accepted at Lizard Island but for families with older children, Anchor Bay has family rooms with two separate sleeping areas available.
Osprey's restaurant serves wonderfully fresh fusion cuisine in a picturesque venue overlooking the ocean. They can also organise gourmet picnic hampers for beach side outings. The Bar & Lounge are open all day for drinks and with the comfortable sofas are a great place to curl up and read a book out of the sun. Lizard Island has a wonderful pampering spa which uses natural Australian products, a freshwater swimming pool, library, tennis courts and a gym.
Lizard Island offers all guests complimentary non-motorised water sports including paddle skis and kayaks and snorkelling gear. Beachside picnics, motorised dinghies, glass bottom boat trips, tennis and nature walks are also included in your stay here. Scuba diving and snorkelling trips, game fishing and sunset cruises can be organised at an additional charge.
Charlotte Winter (Staff)
On my 1 hour charter flight from Cairns to Lizard Island, over the famous and very picturesque Great Barrier Reef, I knew I was in for a treat. The hotel is located on a National Park and is the only property on the island. Lizard Island is a very unique property in the sense that it is directly located on the Great Barrier Reef. Unlike other resorts and islands, there is no need to board a boat to go snorkelling or diving on the reefs, unless you're wanting to explore additional dive sites further out.
The property is made up of an assortment of garden, oceanfront and beach front rooms and suites, as well as the more luxurious Pavilion and Villa, the latter of which is made up of two bedrooms. A stay on Lizard Island is not complete without taking advantage of the numerous water sports and activities. The reefs around the island have an abundance of marine life such as giant clams, reef sharks and puffer fish, so make sure you go either snorkelling or diving. The island is also made up of 24 private beaches which, with just 40 rooms on the entire island, means you're likely to end up with an entire beach to yourself! The best way to explore the beaches is to take out one of the island's complimentary dingy's - a picnic lunch can also be arranged so you can enjoy a delicious meal whilst you're out and about. Other activities include walks and hikes, kayaking, paddle boarding and tennis.
Meals on the island are all included during your stay and are absolutely delicious. If you're a seafood fan, then you're definitely in for a treat as most of the produce is sourced/fished locally.
The property is not overtly formal, but instead offers guests the chance to enjoy some relaxed luxury on a very beautiful tropical island.
Stephen Legg (Staff)
The excitement really started building at the first glimpse of northern Queenslands outer ribbon reefs - part of the largest reef system on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef is the only UNESCO WORLD Heritage site visible from outer space. Until then it was impossible to imagine that there were so many different shades of blue. Dotted here and there were coral islands and sand bars fusing with the reefs to form one giant glittering opal-like mass. Flying low in a small Cessna plane, the one hour flight from Cairns to Lizard Island is nothing short of spectacular. This emerald gem of an island is so named after the giant monitor lizards first discovered by Captain Cook and which still roam freely today.
Lizard Island Resort is actually closer to Indonesia than many Australian cities and this tropical vibe is not lost, with an utterly decadent but truly relaxed beach atmosphere. This is the type of place where champagne and petit fois are served with sand beneath your toes.
The main dining pavilion (Ospreys) is open-sided, allowing cooling sea breezes to waft through. Blue and pastel coloured fabrics compliment the aqua marine ocean views, seen from all directions.
Each of the 40 luxurious suites are kitted out with Bose sound systems and fitted with a daybed or hammock. The Sunset Point Villas are perfect for those wanting seclusion and romantic views while the Anchor Bay Suites are great for divers- being close to the beach club. If you are looking for uber luxury with magnificent views then The Pavilion should be the one to consider - Perched on an outcrop overlooking one of the quieter beaches and vivid aquamarine reef of the Coral Sea. The Pavilions crowning glory is its private infinity plunge pool and spacious decking; this combined with a four poster bed with linen drapes gently wafting in the breeze make it the most romantic of getaways.
Its at the Beach Club, nestled at the end of the resorts gorgeous curve of coral sand where most of the action happens. Upon arrival you are given your own snorkelling gear with some good snorkelling directly from the beach.
Activities at Lizard primarily centre on the phenomenal marine environment. Of course with famous dive sites like Cod Hole nearby just speak to one of the staff about arranging day diving or big game fishing. At Ospreys modern Australian cuisine is served with an emphasis on seafood. A gym, sublime Azur spa, sublime pool and library offer non-marine focused distractions.
We decided instead to take out one of the little tin motorised boats to explore the island. It came complete with luxury bento style box filled with our choice of wine, fresh, hams, meats, shell fish, salads and baked goodies. We chugged along the islands rugged coast through sea grass meadows and glittering coral bombs to discover giant clams, turtles and as many of the 24 pristine beaches as you we could. Within an hour we were swimming with 6 graceful turtles with not another soul in sight - certainly some of the best snorkelling I have ever experienced. Circumnavigating giant granite boulders we found a spot for lunch with the bento box nestled amongst the sand.
The staff have it down to a fine art, impeccable service mixed with a fun, relaxed vibe, exactly how it should be on a tropical island, and a true feeling of staying with friends. This theme runs through to the Marlin Bar, hidden away at the end of the resort beach. Marlin is the staff bar but is open to guests. We sat side by side with the staff, enjoying a chilled glass of wine as the sun set casting pink and golden hues across the island.
Olivia Cryer (Staff)
Flying low over endless expanses of cerulean ocean, dotted with colourful reefs and tiny islands is something few can even dream of, and this was simply the prelude to the magical experience we were about to have on Lizard Island. Landing at the heart of the island, which is only 10km2, we were met by the delightful team and whisked straight to the main lodge (all of 90 seconds away) to be met by champagne and afternoon tea.
As soon as you set foot inside the main lodge, you realise that Lizard Island is an exercise in totally relaxed sophistication. It feels inimitably Australian, with friendly greetings of gday a regular occurrence, and whilst this laid back attitude is totally disarming, the team seem to couple it with a fearsome attention to detail.
Rooms are simply decorated, with classic Aussie styling, splashes of colour and lots of white wood, letting the views really take centre stage. Aesop products feature in the bathrooms and whilst there are no baths here, powerful showers are perfect for washing off the salt after a day out at sea.
Lizard really is all about the views. Be it the spectacular ocean panoramas, or the rugged island landscape viewed from Cooks Look, so named from when the famous Captain dropped anchor here on the 12th August 1770. The main beach, Anchor Bay, is a swathe of pristine white sand and is home to the watersports centre, which takes care of all ocean-bound activities. Snorkels, masks and fins are fitted and are yours for the duration of your stay, and the passionate team here can tell you the best spot to see turtles (we saw 6 in the space of 20 minutes!) or give you directions to the Giant Clam Gardens. Reef charters, fishing, diving, taking out the motorised dinghies for the day (the best activity in our opinion) you name it, they can organise it.
Dining is very special too, be it a fine dining extravaganza or a delicious seafood barbeque, it is served with flair and aplomb, alongside matching wines in the main lodge, with the lapping waves as the soundtrack to your meal.
Lizard Island is the perfect haven for those looking to kick of their shoes, escape from the crowds and vanish, without sacrificing on comfort. Quintessentially Australian, with charming staff and a location that I cant provide enough superlatives for, Lizard is now a firm favourite and somewhere I hope to return to one day soon.
Amy Welfare (Staff)
Wow, what an amazing trip - take a 10 seater light aircraft from Cairns to the island, and this is an experience in itself you fly low over the Great Barrier Reef and its many cays and islets that seem to float in the clear turquoise seas. On arrival, you realise that the hotel is the only property on Lizard Island and with over 70 beaches to choose from, you can ensure plenty of privacy. They can arrange a picnic for you and take you to one of these many deserted bays for an idyllic day of snorkelling and relaxing in total seclusion. As the hotel is fairly established, the dcor is maybe a little out of date for some peoples tastes, but it is what I would call traditional Australian luxury rather than the more contemporary style that is coming through in more recently developed properties. The other thing is that although the rates are all inclusive, there is only one restaurant to choose from, so after a week the menu becomes a little repetitive. But these are minor issues when you realise you are in a tropical paradise in a pristine natural environment.
Lizard Island Private Boat Charter for the Day
Spend a day exploring the waters of the Great Barrier Reef that surround Lizard Island, on board the 45-foot Riviera Cruise Vessel. Snorkel and dive amongst the marine life or try your hand at fishing, before enjoying lunch on board.
Private Yacht Charter on the Barrier Reef
A full day sail and snorkel cruise aboard a luxuriously appointed sailing catamaran is a great way to experience the Great Barrier Reef. Relax as your yacht is nudged casually along by tropical breezes in the balmy waters of the reef.
Wildlife and Culture of the Daintree Rainforest Private Tour
Explore the 135 million year old Daintree Rainforest and the traditional Aboriginal lands at Cooya Beach on this cultural and wildlife tour of Tropical North Queensland.
Sydney, Wolgan Valley, Kangaroo Island & Whitsundays
inc flights & transfers for 13 nights
- Plunge into the tranquillity of the Blue Mountains, with a plethora of walking and hiking trails you will capture its beauty first-hand
- Lose yourself in unlimited luxury the only way to see Australia. Staying in the country's top properties all the while exploring in style
- A fully immersive trip taking in the key highlights of this vast country; you will encounter wildlife, beaches, reefs and iconic landmarks
Location & directions
Great Barrier Reef and Islands, Queensland, Australia
Lizard Island Resort is a secluded island located right on the Great Barrier Reef, 240km north of Cairns and 27km off the coast of North Queensland. Lizard Island is a National Park covering 1,013 hectares with 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon.
How to get there
Cairns is the nearest domestic and international airport. From Cairns International Airport it is a short 60-minute Hinterland Aviation flight transfer to Lizard Island. Alternatively; a private charter can be arranged.
- 100% financial protection
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- Firsthand knowledge
- Renowned service
- Award-winning tour operator