Lizard Island: What To Do When

Dec 28, 2022

Lizard Island is an explorer’s dream…

Lizard Island’s unique location on the Great Barrier Reef places it at the centre of inner and outer reef systems as well as fringing reefs; all forming a critical part of the eco-system that is home to the most diverse, colourful and intriguing marine animal and plant life, meaning all of its wonders are yours to explore straight off the beach or just a short boat trip away.

Guests have the rare privilege of simply stepping off the beach and snorkelling onto parts of the reef- witnessing the wonders of Giant Clam gardens and schools of tropical fish both big and small, manta rays, turtles and coral. Literally straight from the shore or minutes by boat from the inner and outer reef systems with many fringing reefs to stop and explore on the way.

While there’s no best time to visit Lizard Island, here’s a selection of what you can expect to see and experience at any time of the year…

January | This is the amphibious month. Green tree frogs dominate the nocturnal sound scape as they come out to breed. The black flying fox camp sizes are at their largest, providing spectacular flight scenes at dusk around. Monitor lizard activity is also high with tunnels being dug for nesting chambers around the island. Get up close to the marine and plant life in the waters off Anchor Bay in a glass bottom sea kayak.

February | The melaleuca forests are flooded and mangrove swamps are rich with juvenile fish life. Black-naped terns begin nesting and swarming around Osprey Island preying on the summer fish stocks. After a morning snorkel and salty skin, guests can take time out to rejuvenate with massage, water therapy, body scrubs or organic facial treatments at Essentia Day Spa. At day’s end, the constellation of Orion dominates the early night sky.

March | Crested terns begin nesting while pheasant coucal birds changing to their darker plumage. Sacred kingfishers often sighted around the island. Each month the island changes with the migration of birds and animals and the blooming of plants. The resident naturalists know and love every corner of the island and observe each seasonal nuance. A guided tour offers a greater understanding of these treasured natural wonders, history and eco-systems of Lizard Island.

April | Migratory birds such as the lesser golden plover begin to show their breeding plumage before the migration to the northern latitudes and bar shouldered doves start nesting. The Southern Cross constellation rising early in the night sky. The qualified yoga instructor at Lizard Island offers guests the opportunity to stretch in the tranquil surrounds all year round, with each class designed to accomodate all levels of experience and fitness.

May | Green sea turtles can be spotted feeding along the beaches at low tide. Snorkel with the resident green turtles in Casuarina Beach, watch them grazing in the shallows and see Hawaiian triggerfish hiding in their little coral homes. There are a range of stunning reefs to explore – the guides will discuss the best ones to visit with you prior to your excursion. Snorkel equipment and lessons are complimentary and the qualified marine staff will ensure you are properly kitted out. Keep your snorkel gear with you and head out anytime you like. Clear skies and early twilights bring red sunsets over the Pacific. The kapok bush begins to flower and swallowtail butterflies can be sighted fluttering around the lodge.

June | Humpback whales begin their northern migration. Curious minke whales often approach tour vessel for a closer look while playful spinner dolphins may surf the bow wave on the outer reef trips. Clear views from the top of Cooks Lookout – this hike can be guided or self-guided. It covers 4 kilometres and at times is very steep so an early morning start and medium to high fitness and agility is required to safely undertake this hike. Centaurus shines over the meridian at night.

Experience the most picturesque reef and marine life by simply stepping off the beach…

July | Sightings of humpback whales during their migration to warmer waters for calving. Goannas often sighted along tracks warming their bodies in the midday sun. Osprey often sighted around their large, high nests. The beauty and wilderness of Lizard Island National Park are distinctive, and Lizard Island was declared a National Park in 1937, while its surrounding water was declared a Marine Park in 1974. Experience the natural island wonders on a guided interpretive walk or view our marine and terrestrial presentations, scheduled throughout the week, with the resident naturalist.

August | The very sociable white-breasted wood swallows begin breeding. Umbrella trees showing off their brilliant red flowers. Constellation of Scorpio dominates the spring night sky as it chases Orion over the western horizon. Beautiful at any time of year, two private beach pavilions sit on Anchor bay – each commanding spectacular views of the nightly sunsets. Here you can enjoy a 7-course  beachside degustation menu with accompanying wines. Be sure to reserve early as these are one of the most popular dining experiences on the island and book out.

September | The marlin season begins with giant black marlin cruising the outer reef during their breeding season. One of the greatest joys of fishing in and around Lizard Island is the ease of access to some of the world’s greatest fishing spots. On the boat at this time of year, you might get the opportunity for minke and humpback whale sightings. Black flying foxes feed on the mango fruits around the lodge at night. As the water temperatures warm towards 27°C, you’ll see an increase in wildlife activity. The prominent bright yellow flowers of the kapok bush in full bloom. The ‘Teapot’ in Sagittarius shines above at night.

October | Bird watchers can see the lesser golden plovers arrive on the island from Siberia & Alaskan territories. Torres Strait imperial pigeon migrates down from Papua New Guinea to form breeding colonies on the island. Beach stone curlew patrol the beaches acting as decoys for their nests. Black marlin begin their spawning season on the outer reef. Elevate your Lizard Island experience with private vessels and charter boats.

November | Coral spawning occurs once a year, generally around the end of November when corals release an explosion of colour and a show-stopping sign of life on the Great Barrier Reef. Green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles can be seen grazing on sea grasses along the beaches and pelagic fish species are active around spawning season. Monitor lizards are out and about whilst constructing nesting chambers and the kapok trees are fruiting.

December | Occasional sightings of manta rays around the island occur at this time of year and the water temperature is a warm 29°C. Lizard Island’s guides can drop guests to secluded beaches for picnics or arrange snorkelling or dives on the outer reef as well as unlimited use of non-motorised water sports and motorised dinghies.

Guests can experience Lizard Island on the reef, on land or in the tranquility of the spa year round with guided and self-guided activities include snorkelling, diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, visits to the Research Centre, tennis under night lights, morning yoga on the beach and indulgent spa treatments.

For further information on the seasonal spectacles of Lizard Island, visit.


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Apr 08, 2021 | Lizard Island offers access and opportunities to discover fascinating intricacies of the coral reef. More »

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Jun 01, 2021 | The Weekend Australian lists 25 holiday destinations you’ve got to try (at least) once. More »

Jun 01, 2021 | The Weekend Australian lists 25 holiday destinations you’ve got to try (at least) once. More »

Aug 13, 2021 | Industry veteran Leon Pink joins Lizard as General Manager and Winston Fong as Executive Chef. More »

Aug 13, 2021 | Industry veteran Leon Pink joins Lizard as General Manager and Winston Fong as Executive Chef. More »

Aug 13, 2021 | Industry veteran Leon Pink joins Lizard as General Manager and Winston Fong as Executive Chef. More »

Nov 28, 2022 | The Weekend Australian Magazine features Lizard Island and their partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. More »

Nov 28, 2022 | The Weekend Australian Magazine features Lizard Island and their partnership with Citizens of the Great … More »

Nov 28, 2022 | The Weekend Australian Magazine features Lizard Island and their partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. More »

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Jun 02, 2021 | A steadfast return to the top tropical escape, The Canberra Times reveals why Lizard Island has made such a comeback. More »

Jun 02, 2021 | A steadfast return to the top tropical escape, The Canberra Times reveals why Lizard Island … More »

Jun 02, 2021 | A steadfast return to the top tropical escape, The Canberra Times reveals why Lizard Island has made such a comeback. More »

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Dec 15, 2021 | Harper's Bazaar rounded up 7 of Queensland’s most chic and sophisticated stays including qualia, Spicers … More »

Dec 15, 2021 | Harper's Bazaar rounded up 7 of Queensland’s most chic and sophisticated stays including qualia, Spicers Peak Lodge and Lizard Island Resort. More »

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Mar 29, 2021 | Luxury Lodges of Australia in clear demand as local travel encompasses remote backyard destinations. More »

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Dec 03, 2022 | TTG looks at the all-inclusive Luxury Lodge stays and experiences to tempt travellers to stay … More »

Dec 03, 2022 | TTG looks at the all-inclusive Luxury Lodge stays and experiences to tempt travellers to stay even longer. More »

Jul 29, 2022 | Forbes magazine reports 'Just Opened: A New, Luxe Villa On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef ', with the launch of Lizard … More »

Jul 29, 2022 | Forbes magazine reports 'Just Opened: A New, Luxe Villa On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef ', … More »

Jul 29, 2022 | Forbes magazine reports 'Just Opened: A New, Luxe Villa On Australia’s Great Barrier Reef ', with the launch of Lizard Island's multi-level residence The House. More »

Aug 30, 2021 | Writer Catherine Marshall illustrates the layered history of Lizard Island after a recent stay at the luxury lodge with Traveller … More »

Aug 30, 2021 | Writer Catherine Marshall illustrates the layered history of Lizard Island after a recent stay at … More »

Aug 30, 2021 | Writer Catherine Marshall illustrates the layered history of Lizard Island after a recent stay at the luxury lodge with Traveller Magazine. More »

Aug 10, 2021 | The Australian features 5 Luxury Lodges Of Australia for the best ways to experience our natural wonders. More »

Aug 10, 2021 | The Australian features 5 Luxury Lodges Of Australia for the best ways to experience our … More »

Aug 10, 2021 | The Australian features 5 Luxury Lodges Of Australia for the best ways to experience our natural wonders. More »

Sep 08, 2022 | Tourism has the potential to give back and support communities, which is why "regenerative tourism" is the phrase on everyone's … More »

Sep 08, 2022 | Tourism has the potential to give back and support communities, which is why "regenerative tourism" … More »

Sep 08, 2022 | Tourism has the potential to give back and support communities, which is why "regenerative tourism" is the phrase on everyone's lips. More »

Oct 11, 2021 | Business Events Australia lists Lizard Island as a place of invaluable learning experience providing CSR groups opportunities to give back. More »

Oct 11, 2021 | Business Events Australia lists Lizard Island as a place of invaluable learning experience providing CSR … More »

Oct 11, 2021 | Business Events Australia lists Lizard Island as a place of invaluable learning experience providing CSR groups opportunities to give back. More »

Oct 26, 2021 | Concrete Playground lists tropical paradises and Far North Queensland luxury lodges. More »

Oct 26, 2021 | Concrete Playground lists tropical paradises and Far North Queensland luxury lodges. More »

Oct 26, 2021 | Concrete Playground lists tropical paradises and Far North Queensland luxury lodges. More »

Feb 10, 2022 | 16 Luxury Lodges of Australia feature in the latest edition of QANTAS Travel Insider. More »

Feb 10, 2022 | 16 Luxury Lodges of Australia feature in the latest edition of QANTAS Travel Insider. More »

Feb 10, 2022 | 16 Luxury Lodges of Australia feature in the latest edition of QANTAS Travel Insider. More »

Aug 24, 2022 | Safari opportunities are abundant in the vast landscapes, incredible wildlife, remote accommodation with expert hosts and guides of the Luxury … More »

Aug 24, 2022 | Safari opportunities are abundant in the vast landscapes, incredible wildlife, remote accommodation with expert hosts … More »

Aug 24, 2022 | Safari opportunities are abundant in the vast landscapes, incredible wildlife, remote accommodation with expert hosts and guides of the Luxury Lodges of Australia. More »

Aug 18, 2021 | Here is your passport to 11 World Heritage Listed destinations in Australia... More »

Aug 18, 2021 | Here is your passport to 11 World Heritage Listed destinations in Australia... More »

Aug 18, 2021 | Here is your passport to 11 World Heritage Listed destinations in Australia... More »

Aug 19, 2021 | Travel Weekly reports the new executives taking the helm onsite at luxury lodge Lizard Island. More »

Aug 19, 2021 | Travel Weekly reports the new executives taking the helm onsite at luxury lodge Lizard Island. More »

Aug 19, 2021 | Travel Weekly reports the new executives taking the helm onsite at luxury lodge Lizard Island. More »

Aug 23, 2021 | These coastal honeymoon destinations offer stunning beach vistas and the option to do it all or do nothing at all... More »

Aug 23, 2021 | These coastal honeymoon destinations offer stunning beach vistas and the option to do it all … More »

Aug 23, 2021 | These coastal honeymoon destinations offer stunning beach vistas and the option to do it all or do nothing at all... More »

Aug 11, 2022 | Gourmet Traveller writer Joanna Hunkin highlights why a visit to Lizard Island is like watching a David Attenborough documentary. More »

Aug 11, 2022 | Gourmet Traveller writer Joanna Hunkin highlights why a visit to Lizard Island is like watching … More »

Aug 11, 2022 | Gourmet Traveller writer Joanna Hunkin highlights why a visit to Lizard Island is like watching a David Attenborough documentary. More »

Aug 02, 2021 | Luxury Lodges of Australia features in Qantas Magazine's Travel Insider with Tourism Australia's Signature Experiences. More »

Aug 02, 2021 | Luxury Lodges of Australia features in Qantas Magazine's Travel Insider with Tourism Australia's Signature Experiences. More »

Aug 02, 2021 | Luxury Lodges of Australia features in Qantas Magazine's Travel Insider with Tourism Australia's Signature Experiences. More »

Jan 17, 2023 | The Weekend Australian Travel + Luxury reports sole-use villas within lodges is the most significant trend. More »

Jan 17, 2023 | The Weekend Australian Travel + Luxury reports sole-use villas within lodges is the most significant … More »

Jan 17, 2023 | The Weekend Australian Travel + Luxury reports sole-use villas within lodges is the most significant trend. More »

Jan 26, 2023 | NZ Herald proposes key Australian luxury travel experiences for your 2023 wish list. More »

Jan 26, 2023 | NZ Herald proposes key Australian luxury travel experiences for your 2023 wish list. More »

Jan 26, 2023 | NZ Herald proposes key Australian luxury travel experiences for your 2023 wish list. More »

Jan 23, 2023 | Business Events Australia highlight Lizard Island, qualia and Southern Ocean Lodge as luxurious island destinations for incentive programs. More »

Jan 23, 2023 | Business Events Australia highlight Lizard Island, qualia and Southern Ocean Lodge as luxurious island destinations … More »

Jan 23, 2023 | Business Events Australia highlight Lizard Island, qualia and Southern Ocean Lodge as luxurious island destinations for incentive programs. More »

Jan 18, 2023 | The Hotel Conversation reports on the partnership between Lizard Island and conservation organisation Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. More »

Jan 18, 2023 | The Hotel Conversation reports on the partnership between Lizard Island and conservation organisation Citizens of … More »

Jan 18, 2023 | The Hotel Conversation reports on the partnership between Lizard Island and conservation organisation Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. More »

Mar 03, 2022 | With the much-anticipated reopening of Australia’s international borders, businesses can enjoy exclusive use of some of Australia’s luxury lodges and … More »

Mar 03, 2022 | With the much-anticipated reopening of Australia’s international borders, businesses can enjoy exclusive use of some … More »

Mar 03, 2022 | With the much-anticipated reopening of Australia’s international borders, businesses can enjoy exclusive use of some of Australia’s luxury lodges and have the place all to yourself. More »

Mar 01, 2022 | Each year on March 3rd, World Wildlife Day draws attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically … More »

Mar 01, 2022 | Each year on March 3rd, World Wildlife Day draws attention to the conservation status of … More »

Mar 01, 2022 | Each year on March 3rd, World Wildlife Day draws attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild flora and fauna. More »

Jun 24, 2022 | Travel & Luxury Magazine shares news of Lizard Island’s new spectacular and sought-after holiday rental, The House. More »

Jun 24, 2022 | Travel & Luxury Magazine shares news of Lizard Island’s new spectacular and sought-after holiday rental, … More »

Jun 24, 2022 | Travel & Luxury Magazine shares news of Lizard Island’s new spectacular and sought-after holiday rental, The House. More »

Jun 07, 2023 | Discover the intersection of scientific excellence and natural beauty at Lizard Island, located next door to a thriving research hub. More »

Jun 07, 2023 | Discover the intersection of scientific excellence and natural beauty at Lizard Island, located next door … More »

Jun 07, 2023 | Discover the intersection of scientific excellence and natural beauty at Lizard Island, located next door to a thriving research hub. More »

Jun 23, 2022 | The Australian uncovers The House, Lizard Island’s new opulent reef hideaway. More »

Jun 23, 2022 | The Australian uncovers The House, Lizard Island’s new opulent reef hideaway. More »

Jun 23, 2022 | The Australian uncovers The House, Lizard Island’s new opulent reef hideaway. More »

Nov 15, 2021 | Nature's calendar tells us that the 2021 Great Barrier Reef coral spawning is set to occur next week. More »

Nov 15, 2021 | Nature's calendar tells us that the 2021 Great Barrier Reef coral spawning is set to … More »

Nov 15, 2021 | Nature's calendar tells us that the 2021 Great Barrier Reef coral spawning is set to occur next week. More »

May 16, 2023 | Signature Luxury Travel showcases Queensland eco-stays: Luxury meets sustainability in unforgettable surroundings of Mt Mulligan Lodge and Lizard Island. More »

May 16, 2023 | Signature Luxury Travel showcases Queensland eco-stays: Luxury meets sustainability in unforgettable surroundings of Mt Mulligan … More »

May 16, 2023 | Signature Luxury Travel showcases Queensland eco-stays: Luxury meets sustainability in unforgettable surroundings of Mt Mulligan Lodge and Lizard Island. More »

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