Alternatives to Lizard?

Apr 28th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Alternatives to Lizard?

Thanks to everyone for such great posts... they've been so helpful as we try to plan our honeymoon for the first couple of weeks of Sept. We are flying from the US to Sydney, staying in Sydney for 5 days, and then flying to Cairns where we can stay in that area for about 10 days before flying back to the states by way of Sydney.

My question for you all is which resorts/islands would you recommend as alternatives for Lizard? We are still going to try to stay there, if only for 3 days just to experience all that we've heard about that place but what resorts offer the same type of benefits (secluded beaches, incredible scuba and snorkeling off the beach, great food, great pool, great rooms) at a bit lower price? I know that Lizard is worth every penny but we have to save some If you have recommendations for 2nd best within an hour of Cairns, we'd LOVE to check them out. thank you SO much!
sept_honeymoon is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 04:12 PM
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Hi sept-honeymoon - do you mean one hour's flying or driving time from Cairns?
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 04:34 PM
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Hi Pat -- either is fine, although we prefer not to drive ourselves. thanks a ton!
sept_honeymoon is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 08:14 PM
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I've always wanted to go to Lizard Island but it's always been out of my league cost-wise, at least if I want to have any money left over to enjoy other places in Australia. Possible alternatives near Cairns are Green Island (went there in 1984, 5 nights), Dunk Island (went there in 1994 on a day trip) and Bedarra Island. The latter is very exclusive but not as good for snorkeling (being a continental island close to shore). Same for Dunk, a cheaper alternative. Green is a reef island, but is unfortunately open to daytrippers and the reef there has suffered in recent years, according to some.

Arguably the best alternative resort to Lizard for snorkeling and diving is Heron Island, though it is a long way south of Cairns. Not as exclusive but very nice nonetheless. It's a tiny coral cay like its cousin Green Island to the far north. But no daytrippers! Been to Heron on several occassions and would go back in a heartbeat.

Of course there are also the various islands in the Whitsundays, but none of these are reef islands. Hayman is the most up market of the lot. Kind of a prestigious city hotel plopped on an island..not my cup of tea. The only Whitsunday Island I've been to is Brampton Island (5 nights, 2002). The rooms/meals were fine, though by no means the total lap of luxury. Snorkeling was so-so. However the walks, views and secluded beaches on Brampton were absolutely magnificent.

Decisions, decisions.....
RalphR is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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sept-honeymoon - check out Orpheus Island - it's a continental island with some excellent fringing reef and lovely sandy beaches. Nearby Hinchinbrook is a magnificent, rain-forest clad mountainous island and is the largest off the Queensland coast with loads of wildlife.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 09:49 PM
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RALPH: yes, decisions, decisions is JUST what we're grappling with! Heron did look nice but we're flying into Cairns and I'm not sure if we can change our flights at this point. Definitely look into though.

PAT: Orpheus looked almost as nice as Lizard (almost...) but I was confused by some of the pictures on their website. Excuse my naiveté but in some of the pictures, they showed some lovely ocean sunsets but in others, the beaches were quite shaded. Does the resort span both sides of the island? I'd want to be sure the beach didn't lose its sun exposure too early in the day.

Great, great advice!!

sept_honeymoon is offline  
Apr 29th, 2004, 11:18 PM
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Hi sept-honeymoon - sorry, I can't remember which way the resort faces but I do remember plenty of sun for most of the day. From the way the shadows are falling and the light I'd say those shady pictures were taken late in the afternoon. It's a few years since I've been there - the food was amazing.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 04:18 AM
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Hi September, For what it's worth , I spent a day at Lizard Island last July.

We took a day tour to the Island out of Cairns by plane.

The guys who flew us to Lizard were telling us about Islands and reefs we had never heard of.

Send them an email and Ill bet they know a hundred Islands where you could spend your honeymoon.

Not sure on the email but the web was

If it exists they will know about it.

ffej is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 05:25 AM
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Hi ffeg - sure, there are many islands dotted around the reef, but september-honeymoon was looking for one with a resort, as an alternative to Lizard.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 11:03 AM
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Faced the same dilemma as you and stayed (10/02) at Orpheus instead and loved it. Great food and diving. And you have your choice of many beaches that you can commute to in your own little motorboat accompanied by your gourmet picnic basket and beach umbrella. (oysters and lobster for LUNCH??)
PinotNoir is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Here is a site that gives you a bit of an idea of locations etc of "some" of the resort islands, with information about each of them.
lizF is offline  
Apr 30th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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I was looking at Orpheus v. Lizard for a while too, but as far as I could tell the price isn't that different.

Lizard for 5 nights: AUD8950 (including airfare from Cairns)

Orpheus for 5 nights: AUD8258 (including airfare from Cairns)

Orpheus is cheaper if you fly from Townsville, but then you have to get down to Townsville as well.

The food at Orpheus does sound fantastic though...
ozwild is offline  

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