Liveaboard Diving in Lizard Island

What To Expect On A Lizard Island Liveaboard

Often used by Australian liveaboard cruises to start or end their itinerary, Lizard Island is a tiny tropical paradise, with picture-perfect white sandy beaches leading to fringing reefs teaming with colorful coral and marine life. This will allow guests to complete the other leg of the journey to/from Cairns aboard a low-level reef flight, from which the views of the reef are unparalleled. As the name suggests, the Lizard Island National Park is located on the island and is situated to the very north of the Great Barrier Reef - a perfect spot to relax at the end of a memorable liveaboard dive trip or become inspired at the very start. The waters surrounding the island have superb diving and snorkeling, and many famous sites, such as Cod Hole, are within easy reach.

The island was first stumbled upon by Captain James Cook on the 12th of August 1770, who named it after the famous Goanna - a large Australian lizard that roams freely all over the national park. Located approximately 230 kilometers from Cairns and 1600 kilometers from the Queensland state capital, Brisbane, Lizard Island gives the traveler a sense of remoteness in very few places across the globe. A great way to experience the crystal clear waters around the island is as part of a liveaboard diving cruise.

What You Can See

Although the stunning scenery and secluded picturesque powdery beaches on Lizard Island are worth the trip themselves, it's what lies beneath the surrounding waters that is the star attraction here. Snorkeling and diving are possible from a liveaboard in the fringing reefs surrounding the island, with easy access to nine beautiful sites. There's a wide spectrum of reef life, including chilled-out turtles, sleek reef sharks, and dazzling coral. Very few tourists make it to Lizard Island, so the snorkeling and diving spots are quiet, allowing you to admire your surroundings in peace.

The rarely visited sites of Bank's Bank, The Plateau, and North Direction Island are within easy reach of Lizard Island. A little further out is the world-famous Cod Hole, which will certainly be on your itinerary if you visit Lizard Island on a liveaboard diving cruise. There's no site quite like this on the planet where you can swim next to the friendly and sociable human-size giant Potato Cod that has given this great spot its name.

How To Get To Lizard Island

Access to this stunning speck of granite and sand is limited, meaning that only a handful of tourists can travel here. It's possible to fly directly from Cairns, but this is a pricey option, as journeys can be upwards of $500! The alternative and best way to get to Lizard Island is as part of an Australian liveaboard cruise lasting a few days and nights, which gives you ample opportunity to relax in style while sailing through and jumping in amongst the best of what the Great Barrier Reef offers. Many liveaboard operators also include a scenic flight to or from Lizard Island. has several comfortable and luxury liveaboard dive boats, setting sail from Cairns in the north of Queensland. Regular daily flights arrive here from large Australian cities such as Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne; however, you'll likely be able to fly into Cairns directly from overseas, as it has a well-equipped international airport. The airport is close to town and has various accommodations from where most liveaboard operators will arrange to pick you up.

Lizard Island Diving Reviews

  • 9.4 Superb
  • 12 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jessica S
  • United States United States

We didn't dive it, but we hiked it and it was beautiful. The flight back to Cairns from Lizard Island was a wonderful addition to the trip.

Diving Lizard Island in March on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Sarah S
  • United States United States

Lizard island is such a cool stop on this trip! The lookout is fun and the scenic flight home for anyone doing the 4 day trip is a really fun way to end the trip!

Diving Lizard Island in October on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Christopher C
  • United States United States

We hiked a lottle on Lizard Island and the SOF crew brought brunch for us. We saw one of the large wild lizards, so that was a plus too.

Diving Lizard Island in May on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Wade W
  • United States United States

Nature Walk was to die for

Diving Lizard Island in July on the Spoilsport

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jennifer V
  • Canada Canada

No diving, but the guided hike to the airport with James was very nice and scenic. The 2nd breakfast by Giovanni was a nice touch.

Diving Lizard Island in February on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Santiago J
  • Argentina Argentina

Es una isla tranquila para el regreso

Diving Lizard Island in March on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Gary V
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

No diving or snorkeling or swimming at Lizard Island on account of a crocodile sighting.

Diving Lizard Island in December on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Pieter S
  • South Africa South Africa

Dived the snake pit,amazing coral ledge,poor visibility.

Diving Lizard Island in March on the Spirit of Freedom

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Joshua N
  • Australia Australia

Excellent guide with detailed explanation about history and environment

Diving Lizard Island in July on the Spirit of Freedom