Is Lizard Island Australia’s best-kept secret? Discover a pristine tropical paradise where humanity and nature live in harmony.
Environmental stewardship is the cornerstone of Lizard Island, the northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef. Opened in 1975, it was renovated in 2015 and today sets a benchmark for ecotourism and conservation practices. With only 40 rooms, suites and villas, Lizard Island offers guests an exclusive tropical retreat while maintaining a sustainable environmental footprint.
Lizard Island Research Station
The internationally recognised Lizard Island Research Station attracts marine experts from around the world and hosts approximately 100 research projects each year. Supported solely by fees from visiting scientists and private donations, it has produced more than 600 scientific publications to date, aiding in the development of coral reef conservation plans. The station also assumes a crucial educational role with tours empowering future generations to safeguard and nurture the reef. The resort has also partnered with two leading conservation organisations – Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and Parley for the Oceans and has projects in place to sustain the island’s ecosystem, protect its cultural heritage and support the local community.
Cultural and environmental preservation
Guided walks observe key historical sites of the Dingaal people, the traditional owners of the island (also known as Jiigurru). And the resort is dedicated to implementing environmentally friendly practices: around 60 per cent of the island’s waste is recycled, single-use plastic water bottles are banned, guest toiletry products are refillable, and chemicals used on site (such as for cleaning) are from EcoLab.
Things to do on Lizard Island
There are countless ways to immerse in the marine delights surrounding Lizard Island, from guided snorkelling tours to clam gardens and glass-bottom sea kayaking, to scuba diving and outer reef day tours. On dry land, the resort boasts a freshwater swimming pool, gym, tennis court, yoga sessions and a day spa. Nature walks and hiking trails allow guests to savour the island’s greenery, and a range of vessels are on hand to cruise the reef’s heavenly waters.
The stunning landscape has heavily influenced the resort’s design. The largest villa – The House – can accommodate up to eight guests over three floors. There’s a private swimming pool, outdoor baths, yoga deck and rooftop spa. And all guest suites are five-star energy rated and thoughtfully designed with shutters providing flow-through ventilation and double-glazed windows keeping rooms cool in the summer months.
Gastronomy on Lizard Island
Ninety per cent of the food you’ll eat here is from ingredients sourced locally. Chefs create each gourmet meal with inspiration from the local environment and menus are updated daily. Dining (and a range of beverages) is included when you stay here, with several bespoke culinary experiences on offer, including degustation beachside dining (at an extra cost) and carefully curated picnic boxes for you to relish on a private beach.