If you like your scuba "white glove", the Lizard Island Resort is for you. I was on a tour of Australia, that fortunately ended in Cairns, and wanted to spend some extra time seeing the Great Barrier Reef and scuba diving. As I read up, it became clear that I could be disappointed with diving out of Cairns (too crowded, reefs that are day-trip distance have been ruined by too many visitors, etc.). Also, I got my heart set on seeing Cod Hole and the Coral Sea. The only way to get out that far are live-aboard dive boats, which were already booked up, or the Lizard Island Resort. While the Resort is remote and eye-popping expensive (it's all inclusive price except for activities like scuba), I decided to splurge for a two night stay. Flights to the island are mid-day and the resort only goes to Cod Hole every other morning, so plan accordingly. The morning of my Cod Hole trip, even though I am certified, I hadn't been in some years, so I did a quick 15 minute check out dive with the dive staff (weights, skills, etc.) and we were off. The dive staff took care of EVERYTHING for me -- suit, mask, fins, BCD were all prepared and laid out neatly and they helped me step into everything. I basically had a private dive master guide and one of the staff took pictures of me playing with the giant 4 ft cod (actually groupers) and gave me a CD upon my departure. The dive master talked to me about our dive plans and what we were seeing (aside from the cod "pets", there were "cleaning stations" fish, giant/giant clams, and lots of other odd critters living in the reef). The food was, of course, amazingly fresh and well prepared. We got to both Cod Hole and, they told me because of good weather, right at the edge of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea - I got to see the slope that leads off to infinity! I couldn't have had a better visit to the reef. Other features of the resort - great hiking, snorkeling, boating/fishing, terrific food with wine pairings offered at lunch and dinner (seriously, no one is going hungry) and a complementary stocked fridge in room. If you have time, the weekly trip to the neighboring Australian national Lizard Island Research Station is worth the time. The Director spends an hour or so explaining the work they are doing on the reef and helps you contemplate the health of the reef, cycles of life, and the planet. If you can swing the price, it's a phenomenal way to see the glory of the Great Barrier Reef.
- 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