The luxurious Lizard Island Resort is your own private paradise – explore it, and the aquatic wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, at your leisure.
Lizard Island could be one of Mother Nature’s finest moments: 10 sturdy square kilometres of granite ringed by deserted powder-sand beaches that slip into lagoons the colour of a Curaçao cocktail. From the air, the northernmost island resort on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef looks like one of the last opals spilled from a giant jewellery bag.
Where to stay
The luxury resort, which had a $50 million refurbishment last year, features 40 white weatherboard villas that either hug the shore of Anchor Bay or line the elevated sunset ridge. All have water views and their interiors are straight out of the contemporary-beach-shack handbook – a sophisticated palette of dove-grey, white and duck-egg blue. The most luxurious, The Villa, sits on the point and has its own private deck and infinity plunge pool.
What to do
Onshore facilities include a tennis court, swimming pool and day spa but the most memorable experience you’ll have on Lizard Island requires a snorkel or scuba gear. You can literally wade into the water from the beach directly in front of the resort and, within minutes, be snorkelling above one of the most remarkable parts of the reef. Take the Clam Garden in Watson’s Bay, for instance, where giant clams measuring up to two metres long live among hard and soft corals. There are also full-day tours to the outer reef.
What to eat
Your room rate includes gourmet meals, non-alcoholic drinks and selected wines, beers, spirits and sparkling wine. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are hosted at the beautiful Salt Water Restaurant. Executive chef Mark Jensen focuses on local produce so expect plenty of seafood. Want something a little more intimate? For an additional charge, you can indulge in a seven-course dégustation dinner with matching wines on the beach.
Don’t leave without…
...enjoying a picnic on your own private beach. The staff will happily drop you off at one of the island’s 24 secluded beaches. Spend the morning spotting iridescent fish amid an aquatic forest of bright coral and pulsating sea anemone, before reclining under an umbrella and enjoying a picnic lunch.
How to get there: Fly to Cairns, in Tropical North Queensland, where you’ll board a charter flight for the 240-kilometre journey north (about 60 minutes) to Lizard Island.
SEE ALSO: Our full guide to the Great Barrier Reef