Lizard Day Trips

Jul 17th, 2005, 12:32 PM
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Lizard Day Trips

Will be in Australia in mid-October and was thinking about taking a one-day trip to Lizard on Daintree Air to snorkle and for exploring the Island. Has anyone done this trip? Is it worth the cost, which is about $500AUS. Am on a very tight schedule, with but two days to explore the GBR, so I'm looking to get the most from what little time I have. Other ideas are welcome!

Wherenow is offline  
Jul 17th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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I was about to post the same question! but we'll be there in january - is it risky to try to book this trip at that time of year?
bobbieharv is offline  
Jul 17th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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I was under the impression that the box jelly is close to the mainland not at Lizard at that time of the year. Is that what you're making reference to?

Hum...another question looking for answers!
Wherenow is offline  
Jul 17th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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You might try Search this Forum for Lizard Island. There have been quite a few previous posts about Lizard Island day trips.
Louise is offline  
Jul 17th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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I have searched the forum. my question is about the weather in january - might the trip be cancelled due to torrential rain? and/or is the water too murky at this time of year?
bobbieharv is offline  
Jul 17th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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My husband and I went to Lizard Island with Greg from Daintree Air last September. We loved it. It is well worth the splurge.

Here is a excerpt from our trip report that I posted here on Fodors when we returned:

>>The next day we got up early, had a great breakfast at the hotel and then were picked up by Daintree Air for our day at Lizard Island. What a day it was!! Thre were 6 of us traveling with Greg that day. Another American couple and 2 gentlemen from New Zeland. I got to ride in the co-pilot seat on the trip over, because according to Greg, "You look just so darn happy to be here." Believe me, I was!! We flew over the shoreline on the way up to Lizard Island. Our landing was smooth, which I understand was no small feat due to the windy conditions. We hiked to the blue lagoon area and snorkeled in the mangroves. We saw a black tip shark, rays, and octopi and several sea turtles. We had a great lunch then hiked back to Watson's Bay to snorkel over the reef. On the hike we saw several of the lizards from which the island gets it's name. I had no idea that they were so huge!! They had to be 3ft long! At the reef we saw color, color, color!!!!! We were able to see many huge giant clams, starfish, vibrant coral, clownfish (I swear I saw Nemo!!) and about a zillion other fish all colors you can't even imagine. Greg is a fantastic guide. He knows the reef like no one else. He guided me to a particular sea anemone, swished the water around it a bit and about 6 clownfish swam right out of the anemone. Amazing!!! On the way back we flew over the reef and were able to get a birds eye view. Our day at Lizard was THE highlight of a highlight filled trip!!<<

I felt that the trip was well worth the cost, a great day of snoreling, a fantastic picnic lunch provided and the unbelievable views of both the rainforest and the reef from the air. I wouldn't hesitate to go again, and am sure that when we return to Australia we probably will!!

dkw is offline  
Jul 17th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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On the contrary bobbieharv, January has some magnificent reef days, often the best time of year for snorkelling. There's a slight chance of a cyclone, but January is usually too early. Rest assured if the weather is bad, Greg will make the decision and cancel. However, its highly unlikely. Do book with him well in advance, the plane is only a 10-seater.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jul 18th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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thank you so much. the people on this board are so helpful!
bobbieharv is offline  
Jul 18th, 2005, 11:12 AM
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I just went to Lizard Island on the daytrip last week!
Since you're so tight for time I do think it's a perfect way to see the best of what the GBR has... *perfect* beaches, truly amazing snorkeling, the aerial views of the reef, rainforest mountains, beaches, coastline, etc.

As for summer weather...
From listening to Greg, it sounded like he thought it was a bad that the region had become a year-round destination. That the locals just knew not to go into the water during certain times but now tourists come and expect beaches, swimming and snorkeling. He said that if the wind was coming from a certain direction you'd be almost guarenteed of having sharks in Watson's Bay. Not harmless reef sharks, bad sharks.
He said that they (Daintree Air) would never have taken reservations during the summer since there was just too much risk of horrible and dangerous weather, but now they are essentially pressured to since the Cairns area has continued to build up it's tourism.
pb_and_j is offline  
Jul 18th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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We were actually there ( the great barrier reef ) during March this year.

My husband and I conducted exhaustive research to locate the best reef and the best operator to take to the reef keeping in mind we may encounter nasty weather at that time of the year.

We had at first wanted to do the day tour with daintree air to Lizard Island as we had read so many exciting stories about them here and on other web sites however we were concerned about flying in bad weather so we opted to go out on a boat from Port Douglas where we were staying.

The boat ( calypso) was very good, extremely well organized, fabulous lunch and friendly staff. The day was a little bleak with some light rain and low cloud nevertheless the snorkeling was fun and we had a lovely day with absolutely no complaints.

We arrived back in Port Douglas around five that afternoon looking forward to a relaxing day at the resort the next day. During dinner my husband suggested we ring daintree just to ask about weather. ( we will never be back here he said ) Five minutes later we were booked to Lizard Island with Greg Letondeur and daintree air.

His enthusiasm and knowledge during the call sold us.
He told us the weather forecast was not that good for the following day although after speaking with him we decided to go for it anyway.
As things turned out the weather was not that good but it did not bother any of us at all.

During the flight we experienced breathtaking views of Port Douglas, the Daintree River, Cape Tribulation, too many rivers to mention, aboriginal sites and townships, huge sand dunes not far out of Lizard, Cooks Town the out back and on it went. The flight to Lizard alone was well worth what we paid for the entire day.

Once on Lizard we walked to two different reefs which were both full of color and marine life. We watched 3 octopus cleaning broken shells from a hole in the reef.
Turtles were swimming just a few feet from where we were having lunch.
The coral we swam over was by far superior to any thing we have ever seen anywhere else. The clams were actually five to 6 feet across. Greg took us all to a place where we watched hundreds of clown fish going about their daily duty which was the highlight of the snorkeling for our kids. It was just like swimming in a huge fish tank.
We had not ever seen such color on coral reefs.

We did not see any one else on the Island, Lunch was served under the trees including hot bread and a bottle of white wine to top it all off. The kids played in the shallow water for hours while we relaxed on the beach and swam through the reefs. The sun was out during the flight back to Cairns via the outer barrier reef which again was simply amazing. We were shown the reef where Captain Cook ran aground, numerous Islands and sand bars. The colors of the reefs from above must be seen to be believed. We can not recommend this tour enough.
The whole day is very special. You can contact them on

johstonfamilyby5 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2005, 06:58 PM
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Used Daintree Air on 7/05/05. Great time. Had a nice guide . Snorkeling is tops. swam withn a sea turtle. The giant clams were unbeleivable. The view from the plane would not be available from a boat. Bite the bullet and spend the 500AU
amrdia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 10:57 AM
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We are thinking of staying on Lizard Island the lst week of February. Has anyone been there that time of year? We are concerned that the weather is "a steam bath" and that the water is infested with jelly fish. Any comments? And thank you for any help. The resort is breathtakingly expensive and we don't want to have a bad experience.
bdoctor is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 07:18 PM
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Box jelly fish are found on coastal waters, Lizard, being a island a fair way off-shore is pretty well out of their reach.

February is wet season, whatever that may mean. There were more sunny, calm days with perfect reef conditions last February than there are now, which is supposedly dry season. It is cyclone season, there's a slight possibility of one but these days, they're usually later in March or even april. It will be hot and humid, but does that matter when in the water?
pat_woolford is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 03:47 AM
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Hi , We are looking at this day tour to Lizard Island in late January.

The lady we talked with at daintree air told us we would have a very good chance of really good weather but she also told us there is a chance we may strike it wet.

Has any one been out there at this time of the year.

parkersby5 is offline  
Jul 28th, 2006, 11:01 PM
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parkersby, The person at Daintree Air gave you the only honest answer she possibly could, these days who knows what the climate will be. In so called dry months of June and July its been raining cats and dogs in Northern Queensland, rather sad when the southern part of state is gripped in drought.

But you asked if anyone has been to Lizard Island in January, I've been in Lizard Island waters then and it was one of the best reef experiences have ever had. Glass-like water surface, 100% underwater visibility, amazing ocean colours, with the odd giant marlin spearing out of water and nose diving back into sea. If it rains it'll be in the form of heavy tropical downpours with brilliant sunshine in between. But January is high summer in Australia, so expect weather to be hot.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jul 31st, 2006, 04:25 AM
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Thanks Pat.
Marlin spearing out of the ocean, Wow !!! Do you think we could expect to see that.

We are leaning towards the day up at Lizard Island with daintreeair.

I actually phoned them this morning, Christine was telling us about hump back whales breaching out of the water off the reef the last few days.

Sounds like an exciting part of the world to call home.

From what we were told daintree air did tours into Lizard Island nearly every day last January.

parkersby5 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2006, 10:26 PM
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Hi parkesby, can't guarantee the marlin, but its sure a great sight to see. The yearly marlin fishing championships are held off Lizard Island, but towards the end of the year.

Yes, there's been humpbacks and spotted around northern part of GBR lately,including the huge albino humpback, Migaloo, but by January they'll be way down south again.

Have a great trip though.
pat_woolford is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2006, 03:48 AM
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I see my old optimistic posts on here from last year! I guess we were there on just the wrong days last January - our Daintree air trip was cancelled twice due to a monsoon offshore. But Greg did book us on a Calypso trip out to the reef for one of the days, and we drove up to the Tablelands the other day. Be prepared though - the weather can be really bad at that time of year.
bobbieharv is offline  

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