Lizard Island - More From Cooks Look

Mike and Liz Downing
Fri 9 Aug 2013 11:15

Lizard Island is very much the jewel in the crown of Australia's east coast cruising. It's well into the tropics and actually tropical! It's just like the anchorages we visited across the Pacific, and hoped we would find dotted along the east coast, but didn't. It has lovely turquoise water that's so clear you can see the bottom clearly in 20 to 30ft and can watch the fish swim past - the first anchorage that we've found in Australia where the water is so clear.  From here on the anchorages are closer to the coast, so probably back to being murky and swimming is out of the question with crocodiles around. So we took the opportunity to get the scuba gear out and clean the bottom. It only needed a sponge to clean off a light film of slime and now looks as good as it did when re-launched at the end of April.

We've had clear blue skies every day so far and fantastic sunsets. You can still walk round in T-shirts after dark. And if that wasn't enough, the fringing reefs around the island are great for snorkelling, and the outer Ribbon reefs of the GBR are only 10 miles or so away, for more snorkelling and diving if only we had the time. We would love to stay here 2 or 3 weeks rather than the 3 days we've allocated. We're already quite late and can't afford the time to stay longer. (One complaint - the temperature of the water needs to be turned up! You do need a 5mm wetsuit or thicker to enjoy spending long periods in the water.)

The walk up to Cook's Lookout was quite a climb and included a scramble over bare rocks at times, making coming down quite a bit more difficult than going up! We did see a couple of lizards (goannas) about 2ft long in the bush just off the track (which is where the Island's name comes from). The internet signal is a bit hit and miss here, but we think it's likely to get worse as we're heading for quite remote anchorages. So here are just a few pictures from the top at Cooks Look. More pictures from the Island when we get good Internet

The cairn at the top. They keep a visitors book here, in a plastic container in a wooden box, which
we signed and checked out the names of friends who had visited earlier in the year.
The view that Cook would have seen. Looking out to the horizon the line of the outer reefs is
clearly visible, as are 3 gaps. He went for the one to the left, which is now charted as Cook's
The compass dial at the top showing places and distances - London 14900km (9,312 miles), but
that's in a straight line!
Looking the other way towards the mainland and the reefs on that side. There is a very up-market
resort on the Island which has it's own airstrip (in the foreground). Apart from the resort, there
is no habitation, so there's no shop or any means of provisioning. If you want something, you have
to bring it with you!
The lagoon to the left has stunning colours.
Looking down on the anchorage, where the coral patches are clearly visible. The boat at the back
- Aurora B of course, but we're only in 20ft at high tide!