Paradise Found: Lizard Island
Recently I was lucky enough to visit a place that could be easily described as heaven on earth. The beaches were pristine and sprinkled with white sand, the water was all kinds of shades of beautiful blues, the food was fresh and delicious and the mostly importantly, it was an island with no phone reception. Where is this place I hear you ask? Lizard Island!
Lizard Island the the type of place that you dream about and put as the screen saver on your work computer so you can stare at it. Located in the heart of a Barrier Reef the island is only accessible by boat of a very small plane. Being a Queenslander myself, I am naturally bias, but it is one of the best places I have ever been.
As you might have guessed, a place this heavily and hard to get to comes at a price, a pretty big one too. Even though I am (for the most part) a frugal traveller, it was money well spent because how many luxury, private, beautiful islands are there left in this world? I am not sure exactly, but they are all on my bucket list regardless. So start saving your pretty pennies, because it is an absolute must.
There are only 40 rooms on the island, we splashed out on an upgrade to stay in one of the beach cabanas because I was having one of those 'treat yoself' kinda days. However, I was nowhere near close enough to be able to afford one of the multiple room villas, but to be honest, the beach cabanas were so nice, I didn't get any room envy what so ever. The room was spacious, had a bed that felt like a fudge brownie and a day bed on the balcony where you can watch the waves lap on the lagoon during the day and star gaze at night.
Snorkelling here is mandatory! The Barrier Reef (what what is left of it) is home to some incredible sea life. You can either take a day trip (which you pay extra for) or just snorkel out the front of the lodge. I did both, and I have to say the lagoon accessed by the beach was the best, there is a clam garden in the coral and you get all the gear as part of the package.
Make sure you book one of the little dingy boats for a day (again, included in the package) so you can explore some of the beaches and have a private picnic on the sea. There isn't enough per guest so make sure you book.
The beach club at the end of the beach as lots of things for you to do including kayaks (some of which you can see through), standup paddle boards and snorkelling gear.
There are also plenty of hiking trails if you want to burn some of the many calories you will likely consume here. For the ambitious hikers, definitely tackle the Captain Cook walk early in the morning. The hill at the end of the main beach is also worth walking up, it is far less strenuous but has the best seats in the house to watch the sun set.
I high recommend doing absolutely nothing while you're here too. Watching the sunset, lazing on the beach, enjoying the day bed. You're in paradise, so kick your feet up.
As I mentioned before, Lizard Island ain't cheap, but all the food and drinks are included (with the exception of a few). We had 3 course meals twice a day which was indulgent but, you know, when in Rome.
There is also a public bar called the Marlin Bar where the staff on the island, guests and people coming in land from boats can drink and eat. It is super casual and a lot of fun and the pizzas smelt damn good too. It is only open a few nights a week so definitely get down there
Private charters and shared plane journeys can be booked directly with Lizard Island via there website. All flights leave from Cairns, Queensland which has direct flights to and from all major Australian cities.