It’s time to change up your algorithm and disconnect from the daily grind with a holiday at Lizard Island Resort, the ultimate luxury wellness destination.
The sun is high in the sky and the sea is showing its true colours as I look down over Lizard Island Resort from the window of the Cessna 402 that swoops down to the runway. It’s mid-morning and a honeyed light has been applied, as if by a paintbrush, to the landscape where an impressive sweep of turquoise sea meets an arc of white sand hemmed by a curtain of green.
Discover the only luxury resort actually located on the Great Barrier Reef.
The resort attracts everyone from A-listers such as Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos to honeymooners and Australian travellers working through their bucket lists. Today I’m joined on the scenic flight by a bronzed couple from Bondi. A group of friends from Melbourne. A family from Tennessee and an investment banker from the UK. We’ve all propelled ourselves here, to the only luxe resort on the Great Barrier Reef for a reason: to switch off, relax and recharge at the only luxury resort actually located on the Great Barrier Reef.
One thing for certain: a holiday on Lizard Island leaves an indelible impact that lingers long after you’ve left.
Unplug with access to private beaches.
About Lizard Island Resort
The all-inclusive Lizard Island Resort is set in the natural arc of Anchor Bay, just a short, one-hour private scenic flight from Cairns. To be surrounded by a sea awash with a pigment that looks Photoshopped instantly invites visitors to enmesh themselves in the landscape and indulge in a bit of self-reflection. The loudest noise you’re likely to hear on Lizard Island, known as Dyiigurra to the Dingaal Aboriginal people, is the sound of the green tree frogs which dominate the soundscape at night.
Relax among the palm trees. (Image: Adam Gibson)
First opened in the 1970s, it’s been consistently reimagined and updated and is now represented by the exclusive Luxury Lodges of Australia. There are just 40 rooms and villas at the low-impact resort, which have timber floors and open onto private verandahs where you can sink into day beds and get stuck into a good book. Some villas have plunge pools, and all have access to the island’s secluded beaches. What also sets the island resort apart is the standard of service, which is friendly and thoughtful, and the special experiences that can be tailored to suit your interests. It all feels very site-specific and built for the environment.
Stay in one of just 40 rooms and villas. (Image: Adam Gibson)
Rejuvenating at Essentia Day Spa
Leaning into Wellness on Lizard Island is made easy thanks to a carefully curated package designed to nourish the mind, body and soul. The Wellness package at Lizard Island Resort includes a one-hour spa treatment at the Essentia Day Spa, which is surrounded by tropical foliage and is a sanctuary of calm to retreat to.
Book The Wellness package for a one-hour spa treatment.
The spa rituals here range from a Revival package including body scrub, full body massage and foot restoration massage to a Nurture treatment that includes a cooling mask, cool stone massage, hydrating cucumber body souffle and relaxing scalp massage. There’s also an option for Renewal, which includes an aromatherapy massage, customised hydration facial and foot restoration massage. Browse through the Spa Menu and you’ll find additional rejuvenation rituals dubbed Balance, Dreaming and Radiance. All treatments use the pure, organic Australian-made range of iKOU products.
Be massaged with the Australian-made range of iKOU products.
Exploring the Great Barrier Reef
While there’s no need to sign up for an intense schedule on Lizard Island, the island seems to have an almost magnetic pull for guests who enjoy a bit of rigorous activity. Australia’s northernmost island beach resort also captures the hearts of visitors with its roster of activities that tread lightly on the environment and soothe the soul.
Dive into the Great Barrier Reef.
For those seeking to get back to basics, the island staff invite guests to explore meditation by listening to a series of guided meditative walks and podcasts. The places recommended to guests who want to connect with nature include Chinaman’s Ridge at sunset, Cook’s Look at sunrise, and The Rock peninsula. Trawler Beach is another spot making for a meditative escape. There are also experienced guides who can take guests on a guided nature walk, or hike to Cook’s Look to see the never-ending horizons. Keep an eye out for monitor lizards, which lend their name to the island’s eponymous resort.
Walk to Cook’s Look for the sunrise.
The fact you can walk out of your room and snorkel out to the Great Barrier Reef straight from the sand is one of the most attractive and luxurious aspects of a stay on Lizard Island. The World Heritage-listed Island has about 400 types of coral, 1500 species of fish and thousands of types of molluscs. It’s the tropics, so the water will be warm when you head out past the rocky granite cliffs to a sheltered cove to snorkel with green sea turtles.
Swim with sea turtles.
Food for thought
The wining and dining options are also stellar: the mini bar is restocked daily and the room rate includes gourmet meals, selected Australian wines, beers, spirits and Champagne. An early morning hike calls for a hearty breakfast buffet (or choose the a la carte option).
Refuel at Salt Water Restaurant.
The menus at Salt Water Restaurant at Lizard Island Resort change daily according to what’s in season and the chefs look to the land and sea to serve a menu inflected with Australian, Mediterranean and Asian flavours. The breezy restaurant is the place to be for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From here, you can listen to the whisper of the sea, the sound of which seems to grow and expand and contract. Pop over to Driftwood Bar where a few drinks with new friends becomes part of the transformative journey.
Enjoy incredible views with your meals.