Lizard Island is one of the most beautiful islands you will find on the Great Barrier Reef in Far North Queensland. One of the more picturesque and isolated areas of Lizard Island can be found on the south side of the island known as the Blue Lagoon and next to that Coconut Beach. The resort is located on the north side of the island so this is an ideal area to escape to in order to get away from most resort guests weather you’re an employee or a guest of the island.
Almost every time you will be lucky enough to have the whole beach to yourself, one of the luxuries of living on an isolated tropical island. On the occasional windy day you will find some of my resort colleagues down here mastering their windsurfing skills, this side of the island typically gets the brunt of the wind 11 months out of 12 during the year. Don’t let the wind turn you off venturing down to this side of the island as the area is a great place to be adventurous along the coastline and if you’re a resort guest someone will even drive you down to the end of the airstrip.
As the name suggests, Blue Lagoon is named so because of the crystal clear waters that surround the area and the two additional small islands located close by give it a sense of being closed off. There are many reefs to explore in this section of the island for those keen to get the snorkelling gear out, but it’s not the most popular but is a spectacular area making it great if you’re looking for that isolated feeling.
From the beach walking in an easterly direction you have the option of trying to find an unofficial hidden track which is not advertised to the resort staying guests, or take the more adventurous fun and longer way around the waters edge. Walking through the mangroves you soon come across the rocky shoreline and navigating this reveals additional coves and small beaches with slightly rougher waters.
Eventually there is a point where you can go no further, this is when you reach a point called Lizard Head. Lizard Head is a long narrow stretch of land that stretches out to the ocean that separates the beaches of Blue Lagoon and the straight stretch of beach called Coconut Beach. Getting to the top of Lizard Head is an experience in itself with a tough steep climb up to the summit, finding the track is the first challenge and then as you approach the steep climb you come to realise that it was probably not a good idea to wear thongs again.
The climb to the Lizard Head summit is just about vertical, getting up to the top was the easy part but then coming down later is usually the harder part especially when you’re wearing trusty thongs as footwear. Once the top is finally reached you can walk just about all the way out to the end of Lizard Head and from here you can have fabulous views of the surrounding area and Coconut Beach.
Another fun exercise is finding your way down to Coconut Beach. The rocky slope down Lizard Head is steeper than the assent and for assistance in getting down the other side some ropes have been strategically placed so climbers can abseil their way down the rock face.
Coconut Beach is an awesome sight, the long stretch of straight beach is protected by its own reef and protected by the protruding Lizard Head. Unfortunately a lot of rubbish and foreign objects that get pushed out to sea end up here. Some of the strange objects found include shipping pallets, all sorts of balls, general rubbish, fishing rods, compute monitors and even a rope that was buried so deep into the sand that I never found out what was at the other end.
Climbing back up the ropes from Coconut Beach back to the top of Lizard Head you can now make your way back down the steep climb and then it’s just a short stroll back to Mangrove Beach and Blue Lagoon. On my first visit to the area I decided I would try and see if I could find a way to climb back up to Cook’s Look from this point, it seemed so close, but was so far. There is no walking track so it required a bit of bush bashing and looking at all the terrain around the island you would think it is a simple walk up the hill on the grass. Turns out that the grass is hiding all sorts of rocks and holes that cannot be seen until you walk over it, not to mention the odd large Lizard hiding under the scrub.
Eventually it became obvious that in order to achieve what I wanted to do I would need proper shoes on, I was also running out of water and was quite exhausted. It was time to go back to the beach and actually do what I planned to do… have a swim.
Depending on the time of year you can venture down here and notice that massive tides have taken out all of the water from the lagoon. Areas that were once a couple of metres under water and only accessible by swimming out to you are then able to take a leisurely stroll across. The nearby Research Station’s boats are no longer floating in the water and cannot go anywhere, quite an eerie sight.