A trip to the Lizard Island, even though off the Queensland shore, is among the most sensible excursions that the gallant backpackers can experience outside Cairns. Designated as the de facto national park, the island is the permanent abode of some of the most magnificent coastal views pulling countless tourists per month! Nestled very far away from Brisbane, but near to the Cooktown, the Lizard Island is more famous for its outstanding Great Barrier Reef that renders the atoll as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the travelers including me prefer taking a flight from Cairns and landing at the airport here for soaking in its national park extending up to six islands. A conservation sanctuary, a chic tropical resort, and a holder of some landmarks makes the Lizard island a tempting bite of a never tasted flavor!
One of the most thrilling things to do on the Lizard Island is diving. No tourist can afford to miss this truly aquatic experience at the worldwide acknowledged Cod Hole – a memorable dive site nearby that mesmerizes the divers via its numerous as well as stunning array of tropical fish. And yes, you can also get a chance to feed the white, big, and spotted potato cod. Looking for the Great Barrier Reef? Well, this live underwater experience is possible via the Lizard Island Resort that organizes many trips. Night dives, snorkeling, as well as training are also possible.
If you do not wish to dive or snorkel, you have one more option to explore the reef. I think you must have guessed it – yes, it’s via the tour on the glass-bottomed boat. The entire island is a national park in its own right. So, no matter where you go, you will come across a huge assortment of flora and fauna. And yes, the lizards dragging on the island are abundant, which will tell you why this island is named so.
Do take a tour of the Palfrey Island where the Picnic Beach will tempt you for a picnic. If you like adventures, then the beach is just suitable for snorkeling for making you spot the sharp, antler corals boasting red tip along with the purple-headed corals as well as tiny yellow gobies. Other activities here include snorkeling in the sheltered Watsons Bay that is quite shallow, bush camping near the bay’s beach, walking on the footsteps Captain Cook, ambling along the Blue Lagoon on the other side of the island, and knowing about the historic tragedy at the Mary Watson’s cottage.
Besides nature, history also resides here in its own charm on the island. Just do not miss a visit to the Mrs. Watsons Cottage. The lady used to stay here with her husband who was a fisherman. One day when the aborigines from the mainland assaulted her home, she along with her child as well as the Chinese servant tried reaching the mainland via a boiling-purpose barrel. Unfortunately, all died because of the unquenchable thirst due to the moving away of the vessel far away.
Visiting the Lizard Island Research Station here is really exciting where the experts conduct researchers as well as experiments on the reef system present around the island. As you stroll or drive around the island, do spot the highest point, Cook’s Look, on this continental Island. In the past, it was a landmark for the sailors for determining a safe route for passing via the Reef. Think of being a bit more adventurous and hike the mountain for two hours for enjoying the great views.
Coming to the food, dishes represent here the ‘Modern Australian’ cuisine that is a unique blend of Asian, Mediterranean, and Californian cuisine. You can choose to dine at the Voyages Resort or at Lizard Island Resort Ospreys Restaurant.
Stay options here are very few and expensive. Accommodation begins from $765 per night. Hotel Lizard Island starts from $1998, Lizard Island Resort from $1399, and Voyages Hotel from $1277.
The tropical climate prevails on the Lizard Island and above average rainfall as well as hottest conditions is witnessed from December to April. This time is just fine for the divers. However, the best time is February.