Catriona soaks up the sun on Lizard.
Hire a dingy and see it all.
The beautiful Lizard Island.
Rich in colour, history and spirit ... you'll be pampered and lured to the seductive tropics of Lizard Island.
Lizard Island was named by Captain James Cook because of all the harmless sand goannas he saw there. It is the furthest north of regularly visited islands in the Great Barrier Reef, and is a National Park covering 2100 hectares.
Captain Cook stepped ashore in 1770, but its first building was a small lodge on the shores of Anchor Bay in 1975.
The beautiful island has 24 private, white sandy beaches and 40 secluded villas, taking a maximum of 80 guests. Children under 10 are not catered for. The temperature swings between 18 and 35 degrees Celsius.
Rich in colour, history and spirit, its Aboriginal custodians are the Dingaal people. The island has recently had a $15 million refurbishment and, in the last year, has won almost every major award, internationally and domestically. It offers the best of diving and snorkelling and a dizzying array of activities. Catamarans, paddle skis, sailboards, glass-bottomed boats, dinghies, tennis, a gymnasium, nature trails, private game fishing and research station tours are some of the things to select from.
Guests can take a motorised dinghy or catamaran to any one of the 24 beaches for a picnic, but if you see a yellow dinghy on one beach, island etiquette says to keep going until you find a beach of your very own! Blue Lagoon is wonderful to catch the sunrise, and Sunset Beach for guess what sunset.
There are two styles of accommodation. The 20 Anchor Bay suites are closer to the beaches and are accessed by raised timber walkways. They have timber shutters, and you can have the luxury of lying in bed enjoying views of the ocean. They have a comfortable lounge area and an outdoor verandah with a day bed. Bathrooms have glass walls, spotted gum floors and limestone walls. Woven cane lights give a soft, romantic glow.
Twenty Sunset Villas are perched high above the Coral Sea. They offer privacy and superb views. Private decks have large squatters' chairs, and classic furniture gives the rooms sophistication.
All suites have air conditioning, telephones, beach towels, CD player, mini-bar, robes and in the unlikely event, umbrellas, though they can double as parasols.
The Lodge is reminiscent of a large Australian homestead with wide verandahs, a cool, elegant interior, polished timber floors and island granite walls. Beautifully designed and comfortable sofas, timber and wicker chairs and custom-made tables give guests the perfect vantage point for a glowing sunset.
Osprey Restaurant is on a wide verandah and is simple, chic and relaxed. Again, attention to comfort, elegance and local colour has been important in the selection of everything, including a multitude of tiny blue candles. For a real treat, guests can dine right on the beach in a private marquee.
Lizard Island's food is fresh and creative. It makes the most of fine, local produce with strong emphasis on seafood, and tropical fruits being used for each meal, with menus changing daily.
For a real pamper, The Pavilion at Lizard Island, overlooking the pool, offers a range of massages, facials and body treatments. There is also a small gymnasium.
If you can bear to leave all of this luxury for the day, a 45-minute boat ride takes you to the underwater kingdom of the potato cod and the giant clam. The cod just eat all day, and can weigh up to 100kg. They are harmless, and will allow you to stroke them.