Secluded Island of Australia Tour: Lizard Island, Cairns & More

A 10 day trip to Australia 
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Indulge while in near seclusion to find beaches gilded with rainforest and iridescent waters that hide coral jungles during your custom tailored tour of the islands on the Great Barrier Reef. Opulent white sand decorates the beaches and kangaroos bounce across the plains as clownfish hide in vibrant anemones and monitor lizards lounge on granite rocks to soak up the sun. Your journey will celebrate the picturesque scenery and unforgettable luxury found on the remote islands that dot Australia’s east coast. From snorkeling excursions to sailing expeditions, calm seas to memorable wildlife, you will treasure your immersive trip to this tropical splendor. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Lizard Island 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1-2: Cairns – Arrive in Stunning Cairns, Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns is a peaceful city nestled between the shimmering waters of the Coral Sea and the rustling jade canopy of the rainforest that blankets the Great Dividing Range. Locals linger along the grass that lines the esplanade and bask in the tropical sunlight. Large sculptures of exotic fish fly above the swimming lagoon that overlooks the idyllic shores as the scent of coconut sweeps across the coastline and sailboats glide over the sapphire hues of the water.

Your flight will land at Cairns Airport, and your private transfer will greet you upon your arrival and escort you to a luxurious hotel that offers pristine views to the graceful coast. The air fills with the fragrance of lush rainforest, hyacinth, and ocean and the remainder of the day is yours to explore the pleasures of the city. Flying foxes dangle in the trees that line the walkways, nibble on mangoes or rest in the shade. In the mountains, the Barron Falls thunder down the rugged precipice between the magnificent greenery as the hidden edges of the city reveal wondrous wetlands in which kingfishers perch and egrets graze. Mangrove trees abound around the serene boardwalk over the calm, reflective tributary.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer

Day 3-4: Cairns – Explore the Soft Sands and Gorgeous Waters of Green Island

In the morning, the sunlight will flicker against the mirror outline of the Flecker Botanic Gardens. The lush interior features elements of the rainforest and the saltwater creeks and then give way to an abundance of birdlife, from honeyeaters to cockatoos. Bamboo trees soar into the sky beneath the shading fronds of coconut palms. After breakfast, you will make your way to the marina to board a catamaran bound for Green Island National Park. The brisk sea air carries hints of sweetness amidst the soft briny aroma. The mist spouting from the water is refreshing as it hits your cheeks. Your boat will dock at the end of the long jetty that connects to the white sands of Green Island as verdant rainforest grows out of the heart of the coral cay.

Over a period of 6,000 years, the diluted coral has crumbled in the crystal clear water and added the powdery texture and white hues to the shoreline. The island encompasses 30 acres, with fringing reefs that cast silhouettes in the lustrous water. As you walk along the jetty, you will be able to see the reef systems below. Offshore, you may spot a hawksbill turtle that may peek its head above the surface water. Upon reaching the shoreline, you can stroll along the rainforest walk to touch your fingers to the waxy leaves of the encompassing trees. You can listen for the terns and pheasant coucals and find geckos blending into the leaves while the butterflies flutter around the underbrush. 

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Cairns – Visit the Secluded Landscape of Fitzroy Island on a Half-Day Tour

Less than 15 miles off of the Queensland coast stands Fitzroy Island, which features granite outcrops and marvelous woodlands. Mangrove trees grow along the island edges, and coral beaches provide powdery white sand upon which the water gently laps. After breakfast, you will once again board a luxury catamaran and head for the open ocean. The sea breeze carries a refreshing aroma as it washes over the boat and you will wake to find the scent of coffee drifting out of the boat’s galley. The island encompasses nearly one and a half square miles and reaches an elevation of 1,230 feet above sea level along its summit. The clear waters offer views of the fringing reef formations from the sand.

Granite boulders frame the pristine beaches, and lush rainforest provides shade like natural beach umbrellas. You can make your way to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, which was opened in 2013. The world-class facility offers a space for sea turtles to recuperate in clean water and large tanks, and turtles often stay in the center between six months to two years before being deemed healthy. Hawksbill and Green turtles leisurely swim around the warm seawater tanks and peek their head up to eat the gathering sea grass caretakers float atop the water.  

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Lizard Island – Enjoy a Scenic Flight to Lizard Island for a Leisurely Day

In the morning, the tropical aromas of coconut and pineapple will blend into the sea breeze. Nearby plantations are flanked by rainforest trees and offer the perfect setting for the exotic fruits to thrive, along with rambutan, passion fruit, and decadent coffee. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to the Cairns Airport. You will board a plane bound for the secluded shores of Lizard Island and once in the air, you can see the reef bodies from above as well as the spectacular indigo hues of the water and the sapphire spots that mark the coral.

The scenic flight will take less than an hour before you land in Lizard Island National Park, which encompasses more than 2,500 acres. 24 opulent beaches encircle the coastline, and yellow-spotted monitor lizards move across the tall grasses. Woodlands drape across the slopes with acacia and eucalyptus trees. Your private transfer will meet you at the airstrip and escort you to a spectacular resort hotel that overlooks the serene waters that splash at the shore. You can relax on your private deck and listen to the water’s tranquil movement while a sea-eagle circles overhead and you spot a monitor lizard lounging on a granite boulder near the water, soaking up the sunlight.   

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, breakfast

Day 7: Lizard Island – Relish Island Charm and Beauty at your Preferred Pace

Lizard Island is nearly four square miles and reaches a height of more than 1,175 feet above sea level. In the morning, the aroma of fresh coconut lingers in the air as the gentle waves continue to brush against the shoreline. Lizard tracks linger in the sand as white-tailed tropicbirds soar through the temperate sky with their slender central tail feather dangling in tow like a fluttering ribbon. After breakfast, the day is yours to indulge in the beauty and charm of Lizard Island at your leisure. Take to the water on a paddleboard to enjoy the serene quality of the Coral Sea or don a snorkel and fins to view the vibrant life along the beachside reefs.

For a thorough exploration of the island and a glimpse into its captivating history, you can make your way to the Lizard Island Research Station. The Australian Museum operates the facilities to provide research and educational studies of the coral reefs. More than 1,000 publications have been produced by international researchers that have visited the Lizard Island station since its inception in the early 1970s. A trail will lead you to the edges of the facility nestled in the trees above the coastline as speedboats and dinghies abound alongside the structures. Palm trees sway and eucalyptus provide a herbaceous scent while the resident researchers will eagerly welcome you to the grounds and happily offer real insight into the vast information of the Great Barrier Reef.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Lizard Island – Discover the Great Barrier Reef with a Full Day Tour and Depart Home

The sunlight will wash over the ruins of Watsons Cottage, a historical home on Lizard Island erected in the 1880s. The remaining stone walls rise out of the tall tufts of grass in view of the sapphire water and textured mountain ridges. After breakfast, you will board a luxury catamaran and make your way off the island for a day spent along the Outer Reef, a stunning portion of the Great Barrier Reef that edges the open Pacific Ocean. The shallow waters are graced with pockets of coral silhouettes that fade to deeper, cobalt waters. You will have learned at the research center that the Great Barrier Reef encompasses nearly 133,000 square miles and stretches from Cape York Peninsula in Australia’s north to Bundaberg in the south, and seeing it with your own eyes will be extraordinary.

Once in the water, the familiar warmth will embrace you with tiny salt crystals clinging to your shoulders. The coral shines brighter and grows larger without the confines of fringing islands or shallow waters. Elkhorn coral spreads upwards from the seafloor like an acacia tree, reaching a diameter of 12 feet. Blue coral catches the sunlight and glint against the pebbled and sandy floor. Soft carnation coral shimmers with colors and ruffles similar to its namesake flower as parrotfish shine with pastel hues causing the marvelous rainbow colors of the coral to muddle. The parrotfish can grow longer than four feet and have a parrot-like beak used for grasping at algae.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,495
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.