Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Lizard Island

Rates from (inc tax)$1,241.55

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD1,800.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Reef encounter


Rugged island Eden

Adventurous ocean-goers and love-struck couples will be drawn to Lizard Island hotel's secluded locale 17-miles off the Great Barrier Reef. Your only worries at this real life desert island will be which of its 24 ivory white beaches to bask on. 

Smith Extra

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A bottle of sparkling wine


Photos Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Need to know


40, including 18 suites and 15 villas.


11am, but flexible subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.


Double rooms from $1241.55 (AU$1,636), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of AU$6.50 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD1,800.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates includes three meals a day, non-alcoholic drinks, a selection of wine, beer, basic spirits and Champagne, in-room minibar, picnic hampers, and the use of motorised dinghies, stand-up paddle boards, clearview kayaks and sailing craft.


For a full-on pamper, Lizard Island’s Li’Tya-stocked Azure Spa specialises in body polishes, couple’s treatments and invigorating massages. There's no mobile phone coverage or reliable internet on the island so switch off and chill out.

At the hotel

Spa, gym, tennis court, library with books and games, TV lounge with free internet. In rooms: Bose sound system with CD player and iPod dock, free minibar.

Our favourite rooms

For privacy, book into one of the Beachfront Suites at the far end of the bay (numbers 23 to 26). These have expansive balconies offering glimpses through the trees to the tranquil turquoise waters of Anchor Bay and Sunset Beach, and a path straight from balcony to beach. Suites 17 and 18 have the best views and are suitable for families. In summer, stay in one of the Oceanview Villas – numbers 5 to 8 look out onto Sunset Beach, where the sun sinks spectacularly below the horizon in the summer months. Honeymooners and celebrities usually opt for the Pavilion – secluded, luxurious and boasting sweeping beach views, a wraparound sun-deck and a private plunge pool.


Surrounded by palms and with the sea as a backdrop, the hotel’s freshwater pool is lined with wooden decking and cosy cushioned loungers.

Packing tips

The hotel provides almost everything you’re likely to need, including snorkelling gear, wetsuits, beach towels and insect repellent. Do bring an underwater camera, however, to make the most of the unforgettable undersea panorama.


Two-night minimum stay, and an Environmental Management Charge of AU$6.50 a person, each day (capped at AU$19.50) will be charged. A surcharge applies for credit-card payments (1.5% for Visa and MasterCard, 3% for Amex).


Kids over 10 are welcome, but it's best to bring your little ones during the resort's Family Time dates (24 September–9 October 2016), when over-6s can stay.

Food and Drink

Photos Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Top Table

Tables 9 and 10 are the top spots for admiring the view by day, but once the sun goes down there’s no view to speak, so any table will do. Although the resort doesn’t do reservations, staff may make an exception if you've a proposal in mind.

Dress Code

Gucci sandals (the boardwalks eat heels), flowy sarongs, big sunglasses and even bigger hats.

Hotel restaurant

Osprey’s – named in honour of the birds nesting on the tiny island that are visible from the restaurant – serves Modern Australian dishes with a seafood bias and a barbecue every Friday. It’s set in an open semi-circular building, with lacquered hardwood flooring, comfy wicker chairs, chunky granite tables and gasp-inducing views.

Hotel bar

Guests sip champagne and swap stories at the restaurant's L-shaped marble bar. Cocktail nights are held every Thursday in the gazebo.

Last orders

Osprey’s cooks its last dishes at around 9.30pm, and the bar closes at midnight.

Room service

Not available as the resort is so spread out, but request a free picnic hamper if you fancy a beach outing.


Photos Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef – Australia
Lizard Island
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef


Cairns Airport ( services international and domestic carriers, with regular flights from major Australian cities, as well as direct flights from Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Auckland. From Cairns you will have to take a one-hour transfer flight to Lizard Island; these are operated by East Air, and return flights are AU$670 a person. The terminal is a 15-minute drive from Cairns Airport's domestic and international terminals, a free shared shuttle is available for resort guests. Daily scheduled flights depart Cairns for Lizard Island at 11am and 2pm; and flights depart Lizard Island for Cairns at 12.30pm and 3.25pm.


Queensland Rail (; 13 16 17) offers two Tilt trains and three Sunlander departures from Brisbane to Cairns weekly. You will then need to fly from Cairns to Lizard Island.


This unspoilt tropical island paradise is thankfully a non-auto atoll.

Worth getting out of bed for

You’re at the northernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef, so there are a plethora of water-based diversions on offer – wetsuits and snorkelling gear, catamarans, glass-bottom paddle skis and motorised dinghies are all provided free. You can also book half- or full-day dive trips on the resort’s boat around dozens of top scuba sites, including the famed Cod Hole, where you can hand-feed colossal potato cod. Back on land, while away an afternoon on the tennis court or arrange a private beach picnic.

Local restaurants

Osprey's is the only dining option on the island – there's nothing by way of civilisation except the resort and the research station. Not that that's a bad thing, given that all meals are included and the five-course tasting menu will fulfil all fine-dining requirements.


Photos Lizard Island – Great Barrier Reef – Australia

Anonymous review

This review of Lizard Island in Great Barrier Reef is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection Australia/New Zealand.

Pigs can fly. And when they jet to Lizard Island they can swim, snorkel, sail and scuba dive, too. They can even charter private dinghies to secluded beaches and frolic on the sand. For this little piggy, Lizard Island promised one long trough (for two) – a rare opportunity to swine and dine and snuffle out truffles in paradise. ‘Take my trotter,’ I told my love. ‘We’ll live high on the hog 24/7 until they drag us squealing wee-wee-wee all the way home.’

Mrs Smith and I fly to Lizard Island from Cairns at the northern tip of Queensland. It’s a 240-kilometre, hour-long flight and our four-seat plane is soon dwarfed by the duelling big blues of ocean and sky. Below is the only patch of the planet where two World Heritage-listed locations – the Great Barrier Reef and ancient Daintree Rainforest – kiss. It’s here Lizard Island looms into view. From a distance, its thousand-hectare sprawl is as Captain Cook discovered it in 1770, but closer inspection reveals the jewels that make it so exotic and exclusive a getaway.

Lizard Island resort sounds like a love shack built by God and Godzilla, yet a short bus trip from the airstrip reminds us of its Marine National Park status. There are no manicured gardens or sprinkler-strewn golf courses here. Instead wild scrub and rocky mountain ranges dominate an interior hemmed from a turquoise sea by powdery white sand and a nexus of 40 private villas, rooms and suites overlooking Sunset Beach and Anchor Bay. Our TV-free timber Anchor Bay Room is nestled amid a forest of trees with a day-bed and balcony bang on Watsons Beach. One quirk: it’s a share suite. Tiny cute geckos dot the walls and, in the days to come, we strike a deal: they keep the insects down; we let them share our digs and drink our wine.

The resort’s nucleus is the Lodge, home to a grand bar and restaurant whose decadent contents are totally free for the duration of our stay. And what marvellous liberties it affords us. Crude reminders of the real world – wallets, cash, credit cards, watches and mobiles – are stowed. Hell, there aren’t even keys to the suites or price lists for the minibar. On Lizard, you come, go and do exactly as you please. And what pleases us immediately after arrival is toasting our new home from the Osprey’s Restaurant by swilling several mojitos, pigging out on cuttlefish salad and rabbit ragu, and soaking up a panoramic view of the wide blue yonder that, like the food and booze, is absolutely priceless.

Alas, while gluttony is encouraged on Lizard, our plans to render inactivity an art form are diverted by the Beach Club. Here we’re kitted out with snorkelling gear and given our own motorised dinghy and a picnic basket laden with delicious treasures of the sea and soil. Soon we’re puttering across the Blue Lagoon to deserted Mermaid Beach. Donning masks and flippers, we gorge on the glories of the Great Barrier Reef: swarms of neon-bright fish grazing hectares of spectacular coral gardens and underwater canyons filled to the gills with enchantments like starfish, stingrays, squid, sea cucumbers and giant clams older than us and lit from within by flickers of electricity and mystery. It ignites our own passions and we clamber back to land and roll blissfully in the sand. Afterglow accompaniment? Fat prawns, fresh fruit and chilled champagne. Happy daze.

In the days that follow we’re tempted to explore Lizard Island’s other delights – the various walks, dives, fishing trips and yachting available to guests, the tour of the research station on the island’s south side and the ruins of a stone cottage of an ill-fated early settler – but the truth is we simply can’t be bothered, and here that’s respected. Instead, we while away mornings in a haze of lobster omelettes, breakfast beers and reef snorkelling. Afternoons are spent beachside with books, cocktails and covert dips between rocks and hard places. When tropical night falls, we wander to Osprey’s and mercilessly assail the bar while running riot through chef Mark Jensen’s ever-changing menu of gastronomic triumphs. Finally, with cheese platter and posh bottle of plonk in tow, we weave back to base and wink out on the day-bed, our soundtrack the trill of the birds and bugs in the trees and the lapping ocean beyond, and our cinema the reef of stars above.

Our final morn dawns with my finding a gecko in a glass of grenache. He’s dyed pink and pissed as, er, a newt. It’s a sign: the party is over. As he staggers into the bush, front desk rings to grant our request for a late check-out. (‘How late?’ they ask. ‘Christmas?’ Mrs Smith replies.) We can’t complain. Aside from an elbow-heavy masseuse and a siesta chainsawed by a ride-on mower, they’ve met our every whim and wish. Now, sipping one last cocktail, we try to tattoo on our mind’s eye the magic of a sacred place the Dingaal Aborigines know as Jiigurru. To them, this land mass is a stingray with Lizard Island as the body and adjoining rocky outcrops as the tail. Here, at the bar, it’s easy to believe it. To them and to us, Lizard Island will always be Dreamtime.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Lizard Island’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The Lizard Island Resort was a magical and memorable locale for our experience in the Great Barrier Reef. We anticipated the quiet luxury and unique remoteness of the resort, but absolutely fell in love with the unparalleled adventure offered by Lizard Island. While the hotel is nestled into a small portion of the island, they encourage and enable guests to explore the adjacent beaches – sandy areas with barely any footprints and meters away from coral treasures – in private dinghies packed with a 5-star lunch. A trip to see nature's gems felt romantic and exclusive. Stand up paddle boarding was so peaceful in the bay, and at one point in a two-person kayak, we saw about 30 silver fish jump in succession and synchronization right in front of us! What a delight! The cuisine was a highlight of the trip. All three meals of the day were packed with carefully curated dishes with fine and fresh ingredients. The staff team was fabulous and augmented our meals with suggestions and genuinely asked about our day's explorations. They were always ready to top off our wine glasses and let us linger in front of the panoramic view as much as desired. The villas felt as timeless as the landscape beyond. From the orientation of the room toward the beach, to the rain shower in the bathroom, to the soft luxurious towels - it was all a treat. We observed the strong rebuilding efforts on the island and appreciated the efforts to minimize the impacts on the guests. One note: We wished there were more of the cabanas by the main beach as the only two were often occupied during the day.


Stayed on 14 Dec 2015

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