Lizard Island National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Qld

Visiting Lizard Island safely

    Several commercial operators travel to Lizard Island, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

    Several commercial operators travel to Lizard Island, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

    Fringing reefs around Lizard Island, Queensland offer many snorkelling opportunities. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

    Fringing reefs around Lizard Island, Queensland offer many snorkelling opportunities. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

    Anchor Bay and resort, Lizard Island, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

    Anchor Bay and resort, Lizard Island, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Queensland.

    Getting there and getting around

    The six islands of Lizard Island National Park lie 33km off the coast of Cape Flattery, 93km north-east of Cooktown and 250km north-east of Cairns.

    There are no regular scheduled flights or vessels to and from Lizard Island, except as part of a resort package. All visitors to the island, except resort guests, will need to arrange their own transport by chartering commercial flights or vessels, or by making use of private aircraft or boats. Sheltered anchorages are available, although anchoring restrictions apply.

    • Commercial flights to Lizard Island leave from Cairns and Cooktown.
    • Private aircraft may only land on the island with permission from the resort.
    • Commercial charter vessels depart from Cairns, Port Douglas and Cooktown.

    Please note: Access to the Lizard Island Resort and its facilities are for resort guests only. Visitors are welcome at the resort's Marlin Bar, but it is not open every day.

    For more information see the tourism information links.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    No wheelchair-accessible facilities are provided in the national park.

    Staying safe

    To enjoy a safe visit to Lizard Island

    • Keep to the walking tracks at all times; take note of the safety signs at each trailhead.
    • Always carry water, wear hats, sunscreen and sturdy footwear, and walk in the cooler part of the day.
    • As you walk, rest often in the shade as heat exhaustion can affect all walkers.
    • Stay clear of cliffs and steep rock faces and take care on uneven, slippery track surfaces, especially when wet.
    • Take care when walking near the airstrip and always stay to the outside of the white cones along the runway.
    • Wear sunscreen and cover up when you are swimming or snorkelling—do not put yourself or others at risk and always snorkel with a buddy so help is at hand.
    • If you are an inexperienced snorkeller, practise in sandy areas, sheltered from the wind, where you can put your feet down if necessary.
    • Take care near boating traffic.
    • Be aware of wind, current direction and tides.
    • Avoid snorkelling at low tide as corals are exposed, making snorkelling difficult.
    • Avoid touching coral or other animals as they may inflict a painful sting or bite.
    • Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. If you do enter the water, a full-body lycra suit, or equivalent, may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first aid information.
    • Be aware that crocodiles can turn up anywhere in croc country, including tidal reaches of rivers, along beaches, on offshore islands and cays in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, and in freshwater lagoons, rivers and swamps. Crocodiles are dangerous and attacks can be fatal.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Before you visit

    Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! (PDF, 573.6KB) before your visit.

    Essentials to bring

    • Be self-sufficient in food, water and first-aid supplies.
    • Bring water containers and water treatment equipment.
    • Bring sunscreen, hat, suitable clothing and sturdy footwear.
    • Bring a screened tent or mosquito nets for protection from insects.
    • Carry rubbish bags to take your rubbish away with you—bins are not provided.

    Opening hours

    Lizard Island National Park is open 24 hours a day.

    Permits and fees

    Permits are required for commercial or organised events. Contact us for further information.

    Camping is permitted only at Watsons Bay on Lizard Island. Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.

    Pets

    Domestic animals are not permitted on Lizard Island National Park or on tidal lands adjacent to Lizard Island National Park within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Tidal areas include beaches, dunes, rocks and mangroves.

    Climate and weather

    Lizard Island has a tropical climate. The best time to visit is between May and October when rain is unlikely and temperatures are cooler. The islands’ vegetation does not provide much shade. During the wetter months, usually between December and April, maximum temperatures often rise above 30 ºC.

    For more information see the tourism information links.

    Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Fuel and supplies

    The nearest fuel and supplies are available at Cooktown, 93km south-west of Lizard Island. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Research

    Lizard Island is an important site for marine research. Avoid disturbing items of research equipment such as stakes or marker buoys as they are integral to scientific research carried out in the area.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.