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Lizard Island National Park

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The Lizard Island National Park is a group of several reef islands around the main one – Lizard Island.

The name comes from the explorer James Cook visiting in 1770 and climbing to the 359 meter high peak of the island. Along the way he noticed a profusion of lizards among the grasslands and shrub landscape. 

Lizard Island Resort in Queensland
SEA Group, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The island has a secluded and luxury tourist resort which is accessible by small plane from Cairns. The resort offers a private beach and reef tours and snorkeling.

It is also the location of a world-renowned tropical marine research facility, researching the reef.  The facility offers access to Australian and International researchers. 

Lizard Island Reef
Emily Cox, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lizard Island is a granite, volcanically formed island  covering around 10 square kilometers.  It is surrounded by three other smaller islands and the reef curtain.

Varanus panoptes (15848624016) 2

Varanus panoptes or the Argus monitor lizard, the most common lizard found on the island.

Stone ruin at Lizard Island (1996)
Heritage branch staff, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The ruins of “Mrs Watson’s Cottage” – a late 1800s attempt to establish a sea cucumber processing site on the island.