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 here, Lizard Island is a tiny tropical paradise, with picture perfect white sandy beaches leading to fringing reefs teaming with colourful coral and marine life. This will give guests an opportunity 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.  The Lizard Island National Park is, as the name suggests, 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 snorkelling, 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 which roams freely all over the national park. Located approximately 230 kilometres from Cairns, and 1600 kilometres from the Queensland state capital Brisbane, Lizard Island gives the traveller a sense of remoteness found 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 in the surrounding waters that is the star attraction here. Snorkelling and diving is possible from a liveaboard in the fringing reefs surrounding the island, where there's 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 all the way to Lizard Island, and as a result the snorkelling and diving spots are quiet, allowing you to admire your surroundings in peace.

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

How To Get To Lizard Island

Access to this stunning speck of granite and sand is limited meaning that only handful of tourists are able to 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, whilst sailing through and jumping in amongst the best of what the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. Many liveaboard operators include a scenic flight to or from Lizard Island aswell. 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 it's extremely likely you'll be able to fly into Cairns directly from overseas, as it has a well equipped international airport. The airport is close to town which has a wide variety of accommodation, from where most liveaboard operators will arrange to pick you up.

Lizard Island Diving Reviews

  • 9.4 Superb
  • 7 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

  • 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

Origin: US