Travel Insurance – Lizard Island
On Lizard Island, you won’t have to search too hard to find a small yellow-spotted monitor lizard. But don’t let a few little reptiles put you off. Lizard Island is a tropical paradise in the Great Barrier Reef – just off the coast of northern Queensland – and is described by travellers as “picturesque” and “serene”.
Lizard Island features a luxury resort, but the Lizard Island National Park also provides the opportunity for travellers to camp at Watsons Bay for a small fee provided they book a spot in advance. Lizard Island is a popular destination for those looking to get away from it all and enjoy a relaxing holiday in paradise. However, taking out a travel insurance policy is highly recommended before you do make the trek.
Where is Lizard Island in Australia?
Lizard Island is located in the northern stretches of the Great Barrier Reef, 1624km northwest of the Queensland capital of Brisbane. The nearest major town on the mainland is Cooktown, which is about a four-hour drive north of Cairns or three hours from Port Douglas.
Lizard Island Accommodation
Lizard Island features a boutique luxury resort named Lizard Island Resort.
The all-inclusive resort features just 40 rooms and villas, with gourmet meals, beverages and water sports included as part of your package. Located on the cliff top, ‘The Villa’ is the jewel in the crown of the resort and offers ultimate luxury and privacy for up to five guests.
It also features an eight-metre infinity pool with some of the best views from the island.
Those on more of a budget might be better suited to the lowest-level Gardenview Rooms, which are surrounded by lush landscapes and feature pathways directly onto Anchor Bay beach.The resort, which caters only for adults and children 10 years and over, offers a range of activities from diving to snorkelling, paddle boarding to glass bottom sea kayaks and even motorised dinghies so you can take yourself to a private beach for the day.
Lizard Island weather
When is the best time to visit Lizard Island? Almost any time. The island enjoys an average year-round temperature of about 27 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit). December and January are the warmest months, with average highs of 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit).The coolest month is July, with average highs of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). The wettest months on Lizard Island are between January and March, where it rains up to 15 days per month on average. If you want to avoid the rain, June to November is the best time to visit Lizard Island.
Given the remoteness of Lizard Island and its limited access, travel insurance is highly recommended. Travel plans can easily be affected by poor weather, especially when you are relying on light planes to get you to Lizard Island and back to the mainland. Northern Queensland is prone to tropical cyclones, particularly in cyclone season which primarily runs from January to March.
Travel insurance can protect you with cover for cancellation fees and lost deposits, medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation and even loss or damage of luggage and personal effects. Make sure your trip to Lizard Island is properly covered.
Flights to Lizard Island
The best way to get to Lizard Island is to fly. You can take a scenic one-hour flight from Cairns to Lizard Island, which has a small airstrip. Flights from Cairns to Lizard Island generally operate twice a day. Not only will the flight get you to your destination, but you will also soar over about 200km of the Great Barrier Reef on the way. One thing to remember is to pack lightly. Each guest can only take a maximum of 25kg of luggage with them on the small planes, including hand luggage. Transfers from Lizard Island airstrip to Lizard Island Resort can be arranged through the resort.
Lizard Island National Park
Lizard Island is one of six islands in the area that make up the Lizard Island National Park.
The other five islands which are part of the group are Osprey, Palfrey and South islands and Seabird Islets along with Eagle Island. More than half of Lizard Island is covered in grasslands and more than 40 species of birds inhabit the island group. There are a range of hiking trails located on Lizard Island, ranging from easy 30 minute hikes to very difficult two-and-a-half-hour ventures.
The Island is also surrounded by reef and offers some amazing snorkelling. The most popular snorkelling spot is the Glam Gardens in Watsons Bay, where giant clams measuring up to 2m in length (6 foot 5 inches) can be spotted among the coral. Another popular snorkelling spot is Blue Lagoon, which offers shallow and sheltered waters.
Lizard Island camping
Yes, you can camp on Lizard Island – for a fraction of the price a stay at the resort will set you back. The camping area in the national park is located just off the beach of the famous Watsons Bay. There are only five camping spots available and you need to bring in and bring out almost all of your own camping essentials. A composting toilet, picnic tables and a barbecue are available for shared use, while water can be obtained by a hand pump about 250m from the camping site but must be treated first before drinking.
There is no mobile phone coverage in the area and the camping sites are located a 1.2km hike on foot from the Lizard Island airstrip. But if you are willing to tough out all of that, you can camp for just $6.85 per person per night or $27.40 per family per night.
Advance bookings through Queensland National Parks are essential.
Lizard Island Research Station
Along with the resort and camping ground, Lizard Island houses the Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station. The station, which was established in 1973, conducts coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef. Its aim is to uncover what makes the reef and its inhabitants tick in the region and provide the scientific basis for sound reef management. About 100 research projects are conducted each year by more than 300 people.