Trip Report - Part 3 Lizard Island

Aug 7th, 2003, 04:07 PM
  #1  
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Trip Report - Part 3 Lizard Island

This will be the third and final installment of my trip report. We ended our vacation with the 5 nights of Romance package at Lizard Island. From beginning to end here is our review of paradise!!!

PLANE RIDE: The plane is tiny! : ) It had room for less than 20 people. Our our trip over we had only 6 however on the way home it was a full ride.... so when they say you will not know about whether the luggage restrictions will be strictly or loosely enforced they mean it! Flying over the GBR is incredible - so amazing and so beautiful!!! I realized then why it was one of the natural wonders of the world.

As we get off the plane we step off onto a landing strip and immediately board a car/bus to take us over to the resort check-in. All luggage is cared for and when you arrive they quickly serve you Mango teaand little bruscettas with cucumber, salmon, and salami/pepperoni. They were excellent and were a great preview to the wonderful dining experiences to come!!!

ACCOMODATIONS: We were taken to our room and given a miniture tour along the way of the resort. When we arrived at our room we fell in love -- it was absolutly gorgeous! We stayed in Suite #39 - an Anchor Bay Suite. If you are deciding between Anchor Bay and Sunset Point - I recommend Anchor Bay and for honeymooners or more seclusion I HIGHLY recommend suites 39 or 40 which are set apart from the rest of the suites yet still only a short walk from the main lobby/dining area.

The view from this place was even better than our view of the Opera House in Sydney. The porches have a daybed on them and two chairs and our views were just incredible with palm trees, blue waters, and beautiful sunsets! We took a walk down to the beach by means of our private walkway/access path and immediately encounted the lizards for which the island is named. Cute little guys!! Right at the end of our path were two perfectly placed lounge chairs at the waters edge and the path was clearly marked private access only.

They had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in the room which we proceeded to enjoy with the sunset before dinner.

MEALS: Meals at Lizard are in a word: INCREDIBLE!!! Be sure on your first day to arrange the beachfront dining experience for once or if you are lucky twice during your stay. We ended our week with this and it was a highlight. Besides the regular extensive menu each day, the chef places an order for those doing the beachside dining experience and it is a SEAFOOD FEAST. Of course you can order off the menu and eat down there but the feast was incredibly delightful!!

DIVING: The next day we decided we would take the scuba full day trip out on their boat. However, there were 3.5 meter swells and I got scared off and decided I'd wait two days and go on the next trip out. What Lizard Island does, which I dind't know before going, was that every other day they go to the full day COD HOLE dive site. This is the best and they combine it with a stop at one other site changing it every other time they go out to Cod Hole. They also do a half day dive trip on the other days when they aren't going to Cod Hole. This is a one tank dive. Now when my husband and I go out to dive we DO NOT only ever do a one tank dive. . . and the time to get out to the reef did not warrent only one dive. This would have been our only real frustration with Lizard's dive operation. We would have very much liked more than two tanks for the full day as well!! Anyway, it was great diving and any diver will be happy with the experience when they get over the fact that they won't get in four dives in one day!!

ACTIVITIES: Lizard island staff run all kinds of activities and I recommend participating in them! They were good. Activities included things like guided snorkeling around the waters right off the beach which were cool (even for avid snorkelers) because the guide stops and knew where to find everything and we saw ten times more hanging with her. They also do walks to Blue Lagoon ( DEFINITELY DO THIS either with the walking tour or on your own). In fact, if you prefer you can ask the front desk to drop you over at the front of the path ( at the end of the airport runway) and go in your suit and bring a towel/blanket and go hang out over there. . . the breezes are great and its absolutely the most beautiful beach I have been to! Other activities while on Lizard that I recommend are the walk to Watson's Bay to hear the history and see this other beautiful spot. Finally, for those physically fit ( and I mean fit! ) you can climb to the top of Cooks Look -- we did this our last morning and it was incredible!!!! We got up at like 6- 6:30 and then got back down by like 9 ish ( it does take 3 hours round trip) and rewarded ourselves with a huge delicious breakfast which we never usually ate. They have a small continental bar we'd just grab something off of and go instead of sitting and eating a hot big breakfast.

PRIVATE BEACHES: Probably the best part of the honeymoon and Lizard Island is getting them to pack you a picnic lunch and jumping in a dinghy to cruise to a private beach. This was truly a highlight and we'd gear up with our food stash, snorkel gear, sunscreen,towels and off we went to have a wonderful afternoon on our own private little piece of paradise!!

SPA: As part of our package (5 nights of romance) we got a complimentary spa service. This was incredible and if you don't do the package definitely take time to get at least one service while there. They are renovating the gym/spa areas so they should be great when they are finished. I got the seaweed gisha girl wrap ( or something like that ) and it was the most amazing treatment I've ever gotten -- better than any facial or massage!!!


TIPS: when arranging travel to Lizard island note that there is basically one flight per day with MacAir I believe. You can charter a flight but usually this is more expensive depending on the situation. The flight leaves Cairns at 1 oclock or thereabouts each afternoon and you are at the resort one hour later. The flight home the same -- leave around 230 and arrive back in Cairns by 430ish.

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS: The luggage restriction is 16kg and it is not that bad. My husband and I each filled our own normal 22 inch carryons and then had a large duffel for carryon. This was perfect. For dive equipment bring the computer/regs in your pocket and stuff the snorkel/mask and accessories in the bag.


ATTIRE: I wore my swimsuit and cover up with flip/flops or sandels each day and my husband his suit with a t-shirt. I would wear shorts and a shirt for lunches if we ate in the restaurant although I believe swimsuit and coverup is exceptable. For dinner, my husband wore a pair of shorts and a collared polo shirt. He didn't need to wear pants and I am glad we left them behind. Myself, I wore capri's and a cute top or a sundress each night and this was perfectly acceptable.

DRINKS: The drinks are not included in Lizard Island and this was the only drawback. I would love to visit P&O's other resort Bederra since drinks are included. The wine selection is great and I highly recommend asking the bartender his recommendations and FOLLOWING it. . . the last night we had him pick the wine for our beachfront dining experience and the '94 Petaluma was incredible - so much so we got two bottles and ACTUALLY even did a little dealing on the side the last day to buy two off the bartender at cost to bring home!!!! Can't wait to crack them open!!!

TIPS: This is a good tip so listen up!! They won't tell you this!! If/When you tip each meal ( you pay for beverages: coke or wine or whatever ) you enter an amount and you need to know that it doesn't go the waiter for his service. This was odd to us as in the States your tip is always for one particular persons service. At Lizard, your tip is put into a pot for the ENTIRE resort to divide up amongst them. This includes housekeeping, grounds, waiters, bartenders, activity staff etc. What we did was tip a small amount each time we desired and at the end of the week handed certain individuals who provided us extraordinary service a cash tip directly.


IN CONCLUSION: Lizard Island is an incredible experience that is unlike anything I have ever or will probably ever experience again in my life. It was worth every penny we paid for it and the five days there were heaven!!! Many recommend the day trip with Daintree air and I have restrained from commenting for the most part so that I could give my own opinion on going to Lizard. Taking that trip CAN NOT compare to actually staying at the resort. . . you don't get the diving, the meals, the privacy ( you go with others! ) or the experience of luxury that is only provided to guests of the resort. Visitors ( by plane or boat ) are not allowed on the property and can only arrive at Blue Lagoon or Watson's Bay and there is so much more that makes up the experience. Personally, if you are considering going. . . try and find the money to do the 3 nights there at a minimum and I promise you will not be dissappointed.

I would be happy to answer any questions about the resort or meals or anything so just add to the post!!!

Thanks for listening -- hope these helped!
DawnF is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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An incredible, thorough report. Thanks so much, Dawn. Can you give me a few more details about the inside of the room and the seafood feast on the beach?

And regarding tipping at Lizard and in Sydney. I've read over and over again that the standard tip in Australia is 10 percent, not the 15-20 percent typical in the US. What did you do on your trip?
eve123 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 03:25 PM
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We were tipping randomly different amounts the whole time. . .

Seafood feast. . . I can't remember but you name it they had it!!! The cold entree(appetizer) course included prawns(like shrimp), oysters, white fish, and other things.

The hot main course had lobster( but called soemthing else - bugs i think? ) and more hot shrip, another fish - maybe red emporer -- TONS of food and all delicious!!!

Hope this helps.

As for the room -- the pictures on the website are right on but I have pics if you want me to send them to you just email me at dawnfuchs at yahoo dot com ( I write it out like that so I reduce spam ) and I'll send you a link to the pics - of which I have good ones of the room and patio and views. The rooms are incredible and open but the best part is the patio with the daybed and chairs which made for a perfect place to split a bottle before dinner!!! Very romantic!
DawnF is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 05:26 PM
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Dawn,

I was in Australia in September on a business trip with other travel agents; two of the agents went early and stayed at Lizard before joining us...naturally we wanted to hear all about their experience, and I had JUST gotten over my ENVY until I read your report!

Seriously, lovely report, with lots of details and good tips, thank you and hopefully one day I'll get there yet!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 11:40 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 54
I loved your trip report. My husband and I just returned from a similar trip and you inspired me to write my trip report, which I plan to do this week. We have only been home a week, so we are still recovering from the jet lag. thanks again for the thorough report.
elz1 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2003, 09:22 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Dawn,

Your reports have been great. You mentioned your equipment for diving. I am only a beginner and will get my open cert prior to visiting lizard. I will have wieghts, fins, snorkels but no registar, computer etc. Can we rent that equipment at Lizard?
cguest88 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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You can rent everything at Lizard.

We brought our fins, boots, snorkle, mask and thats it.

We rented the regulator, BC and computer.

It worked out well and I believe you can get a copy of their prices on the website on the Lizard Fact Sheet or you can do what we did which was to call/email before going to have an idea of the budget.

I must say that the diving was expensive - more than we would have liked to have paid given the "not full day" of diving -- but what are you going to do -- NOT DIVE!?! NO!

Have fun -- we were beginners too ( only dove in Bahamas once gettin our open water cert before doing the GBR. The dive staff was great and I recommend doing a half day trip to get your "feet wet" again before doing the full day Cod Hole trip - as that will be the highlight and you don't want to waste any air on feeling out of practice! : )

Any other questions - I am all ears!
DawnF is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 09:52 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Thanks for this great report! We are going to Lizard for 5 days in November, and I was looking for something like this to give me some additional details about the resort. We are diving there and I'm sure this will be one of the highlights of our 3 week trip. I may e-mail you to ask additional questions as the trip gets closer if that's okay?
NancyNC is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 10:03 AM
  #9  
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Feel free to email me with any questions or just add to the post ( I try and check frequently since I just recently did the three part review). I split up the trip reports since there area lot more people just interested in Lizard over the Sydney and Port Douglas/Cairns reports from the rest of my trip.

You can find the other reports if they interest you by clicking on my name and looking for them ( Part 1 and 2 )

Dawn
DawnF is offline  

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