Lizard Island is special. Beautiful white beaches, fabulous snorkelling a few steps from the resort, amazing outer reef dives only an hour away plus five star accommodation, food and service. We thought long and hard about the cost but it was worth it. This was our experience:
Getting to Lizard: We were met by a representative from Hinterland Air after disembarking from the plane at Cairns airport and driven in a clean town car to their base 5 minutes from the main domestic terminal. Hinterland have a small lounge reserved for passengers flying to Lizard or Bedarra. It has basic tea and coffee facilities. A small point - some cold water would have been nice. The flight to Lizard took an hour in an 8 seater plane, very smooth, nice views of the ocean and reefs.
Checkin: We were greeted with friendly smiles from the Lizard staff who were professional and made us feel very welcome. A two minute mini bus ride to the checkin area and we were introduced to the Manager. While we sipped iced tea he gave us a quick island briefing before we were shown to our rooms.
Accommodation: We were upgraded from an Anchor Bay Room to a Suite (the resort was less than half full when we arrived, May can be a quiet time). Next time I would pay the extra to guarantee this type of accommodation. We had a large room with silent airconditioning and a a ceiling fan. Features included a comfortable bed, pillow menu, two shower heads, CD player with relaxing music, day bed on the balcony and a partial ocean view. We had a look at the Sunset Villas - they have better views but are elevated with steps down to a different beach. We preferred the fact that our room was a few steps away from the main beach especially when carrying snorkelling equipment.
Food: The food was excellent. Breakfast quality continental plus order gourmet hot dishes from the menu. Lunch and dinner a la carte entrees, mains and deserts, beautifully cooked and presented. We had a wonderful private dining experience with a seafood platter (entree and desert from the menu).
Drinks: Drinks are included in the tariff (except for high quality vintage wines etc). The drinks menu details what is and isn't included. The wines that don't incur an extra charge (and there is a decent list) were generally good e.g. Australian and NZ.
Snorkelling and Diving: Colourful coral and fish right off the beach and from most of the other beaches on the island - in our opinion better than Heron, Lady Elliot etc. Diving was amazing. Lizard's full day trip gives you access to sites normally only accessible from a live a board. Cod Hole lived up to its reputation - interacting with the huge potato cod was one of the best diving experiences of my life. It's easy diving as well - minimal current, detailed briefings. There's even a special fish feeding surprise at the end.
Activities: We booked a dinghy to one of the many pristine island beaches. We were provided with a gourmet picnic lunch, drinks etc and had the beach to ourselves for a short time. Snorkelling at Watsons Bay (next beach over) is excellent but pick your time as it is visited by some of the liveaboards. We didn't have time to do the various walks but there are several options of different lengths. We did the trip to the research station - interesting if you have a genuine interest in reefs and sealife.
Spa treatments: The spa is a small building and lacks ambience but the massages we had were good.
Service: We found the service to be outstanding and uniquely Australian in that staff were more than happy to have a brief chat and share their tips and experiences of the island but equally will leave you alone if you don't initiate a conversation. Meals were served promptly (in appropriate timeframes), housekeeping was exemplary, beach hut staff were knowlegible and friendly.
Weather: The weather in May was a bit windy but it wasn't uncomfortable and didn't stop us doing anything.
We celebrated our anniversary and were incredibly sad to leave Lizard after a short 3 night stay - not long enough. We are already planning to go back next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. With 24 powdery-white beaches and 40 luxurious suites, it is the most northern resort in tropical Queensland and is located directly on the Great Barrier Reef. A National Park covering 1,013 hectares with 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon, Lizard Island is accessible only by private charter from Cairns Airport in northern Queensland, Australia. Cairns Airport is accessible from all major Australian airports and directly from some cities in Asia. The island is reserved for the fortunate few who will experience an unforgettable holiday like no other. Enjoy secluded picnics and sunset beach degustation on private beaches, five star cuisine in the beautiful Salt Water restaurant and indulgent spa treatments in the Essentia Day Spa. Relax in style in premium accommodation and take in the wonders of Australia's Great Barrier Reef - right on your doorstep. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lizard Island Hotel Lizard Island
- Lizard Island Resort All Inclusive