Address: Lizard Island QLD 4871
Phone: 1300 130 372
About 93km north-east of Cooktown, in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The six islands of the Lizard Island National Park lie in a cluster 27km from the coast, 93km north-east of Cooktown. Regular flights operate to Lizard Island from Cairns. Charter flights are also available from Cairns and Cooktown. Private aircraft may land with permission from the resort. Commercial charter vessels depart Cairns, Port Douglas and Cooktown for Lizard Island. These six islands are surrounded by luxuriant coral reefs and warm, sparkling blue waters, fringed by mangroves and sandy beaches and cloaked in grasslands, woodlands and wind-sheared heaths. Lizard Island National Park is the only continental island group close to the outer barrier reef. The stark, rugged beauty of Lizard Island contrasts sharply with the sparkling blue waters and luxuriant fringing reefs which surround the island group. More than half of Lizard Island is covered in grasslands. Eucalypt and acacia woodlands, heaths, paperbark swamps and mangroves are also found on the island. More than 40 species of birds have been seen on Lizard Island, while nearby Osprey, Seabird, South, Eagle and Palfrey islands are important bird nesting sites. The island’s best-known animal is a lizard — Gould’s sand monitor — after which the island was named by Lt James Cook during his exploration of the east coast of Australia in 1770. The island group is rich in cultural meaning for the Dingaal Aboriginal people. The islands contain sacred sites including initiation, ceremonial and story sites as well as middens. Lizard Island is also rich in European heritage associated with the earliest European exploration of the coast and subsequent settlement. Today the islands are a popular tourism destination and the base for world-renowned tropical marine research.