Our family (two sons aged 11 and 16) recently returned from a 3 week vacation in Australia. We spent a total of 8 days on the Great Barrier Reef, with the last 4 days being spent at Lizard Island. (the other 4 days were split between Heron and Wilson Islands) Our time spent at Lizard was idyllic. I am so pleased that it was booked at the end of our trip as everything else would have seemed disappointing after Lizard.
We flew to Lizard on Hinterland Air which takes about an hour. The view of the reef is lovely. You are met at the airstrip by a van which whisks you to reception where a cold cocktail is waiting for you while you sort out paper work. Then you are accompanied to your room where your luggage is waiting for you. On the way to our room we saw our first lizard!! He was massive and just ambled by us as if we were not there. The lizards are fabulous and you are sure to spot dozens of them.
We had two Anchor Point Suites booked. The rooms were bright and comfortable. The ceilings are high and the furnishings are light and in cheerful blue and white. There is a mini bar filled with complimentary food and drinks that is replenished daily. Our children greatly enjoyed that. The bathrooms are well stocked with towels that are replaced several times a day and we had everything that we needed. There are chairs and hammocks out on your deck. There is no internet access except for in the lounge area. This did not bother us at all as we were not there to stay inside. We would pop by the lounge for 1/2 hour each day before dinner and catch up on anything that was happening in the outside world.
The dining area is lovely. It is open and does not have AC so was a bit warm at times. The room has lovely views of the water and is a delightful place to convene to three times a day. There is a resident bird who lives in a hanging nest by the bar and there is an amazing green frog named Gretel who lives by the fridge behind the bar. She has her own mural of a waterfall and a big bowl of water and she is there every night. We have some hilarious video clips of her.
The food, as expected, was fabulous. There are two breakfast menus which rotate. They each offer about 15 options. At lunch there is 3 or 4 options that change daily. Same for dinner. Once a week they have a degustation dinner which we were lucky enough to sample. Their version of a snicker's bar for dessert still has my kids talking. Usually at a resort I can't be bothered to take the time for lunch but there was no way that I was missing a meal at Lizard Island! Everything was gorgeous from the cheese selection, the homemade ice creams that changed daily and all of the enticing menu selections from the kitchen. There was also a great wine and cocktail list that you could select from and there were mocktails and smoothies for the kids. Our kids are fussy eaters but the Chef was happy to whip them up pasta, hamburgers and chicken. I felt that the staff were happy to meet any request that we could come up with.
The common areas were all lovely and open. The lounge had lots of couches and several computers that you could use, if you didn't have your own. It was next to the pool, which was always empty and for your use alone.
The beach(s) were stunning. As per other reviews, there are 24 beaches so that you never had to share. The beach was a 20 second walk from our Anchor Point Suites and the Beach Club was right there. On the main beach, you might find 6 people. The beach was quite long and everyone was spread out. Or, you could sign out a boat and go off exploring and find a secluded beach. If you didn't feel like going to the effort, the staff were happy to drive you to the beach of your choice and arrange for a time to pick you up. We at first set out on our own and then discovered we were lazy and it was much easier to have someone else take us! The staff is very knowledgeable and will recommend the best beach for what you are looking for (snorkelling, turtles, relaxing) Again, the staff are so helpful and whether you set out on your own or in a boat with them, they provide you with a cooler of cold drinks and stacks of towels. You are so well taken care of.
The staff is amazing - ALL of them. They couldn't have been more friendly, helpful or welcoming. They made a point of learning our names, asking about our previous day's experiences, giving us suggestions of things to do. The staff are # 1 at Lizard. We went on two scuba days. The first was an all day trip where we did two dives. The second was a half day trip with one dive. We got to experience the famous Cod Hole. The dive boat is fabulous and has every convenience that you need. A lovely lunch is provided and everyone is always fetching you drinks or sunscreen. The scuba diving was great and there was an excellent ratio of staff to guests. We had a private dive master as our son is only 11 and she was lovely. On the full day dives they have someone filming you the entire time and that evening before dinner the video is played for everyone and you have the option of buying it. Also, on the full day dives, when the boat returns the staff feed "simon" the resident grouper who lives under the dive boat. This is a real treat and is hilarious to watch. Simon is massive and the day we were there he had two nurse sharks jumping out of the water trying to steal his fish. The nurse sharks are like puppies and the staff kept pushing their heads out of the way to give Simon access. Such fun!
We also explored some of the beaches and went snorkelling. The giant clams are out of this world. One of my favorite things that I saw! The coral was gorgeous and lots of bright fish everywhere. We also paddleboarded and tried out the kayaks.
The days flew by and we wished we could stay forever. I wish we had had more time to do some of the guided tours but every minute was packed full of enjoyment. Lizard Island is not inexpensive, but you certainly feel pampered and welcome the entire time that you are there.
Things I liked:
-The food, the beverages, the ambiance, the scenery, the staff, the lizards and wild life, the scuba diving and snorkling (especially cod hole, Simon and clam beds), the beautiful beaches, the comfortable light and airy rooms, the well supplied mini-bars, and again - the STAFF.
Things I didn't like:
-The only fault I came up with is that with the price of the scuba diving expeditions, I felt it would have been nice if the video had been a complimentary memento of your day. Also, there are a lot of insects there (only outside) so you might want to wear bug spray. It was readily available at Reception. We got a couple of little nips during meal times but that stopped with the bug spray.
All in all, Lizard Island was such a special way to finish our trip to Australia. We were relaxed and pampered and full of wonderful memories. The kids loved it and I am certain it will remain a highlight of their trip. It is expensive for a family, especially when your kids aren't partaking in all the wonderful food and wines, but I don't think they'd let us go back without them!!
I hope you get to go - enjoy!
- 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