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Dive Review of Lizard Island Resort in
Australia/Lizard Island, Great Barrier R

Lizard Island Resort: "Avoid Lizard Island Resort as a Diving Destination", Jan, 2016,

by Richard Bruch, NC, US ( 2 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 8957 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments We planned in advance, communicated our dive preferences via email. Basically severe underwater damage due to two cyclones and the resort had to be rebuilt, opening in 2015. Great lodging but generally poor staff. The dive operation has a strict dive schedule alternating days between one dive "inside the reef site" and two dive "outside the reef" sites. Also there is a strict no diving 24 hour period before departing the island.
Our experience: Arrived via plane on Tuesday, went to the dive shop that afternoon to show our certification cards and complete the dive medical paperwork. The dive shop staffer questioned why we came to do this a day before diving. Another staffer picked up our dive equipment at our lodging, stuffing 4 divers equipment into two bins and breaking a BCD. At Tuesday's dinner, we were advised that 3 out of 4 of us failed the South Pacific Underwater Medical Society (SPUMS) dive medical clearance utilized in Queensland, Australia. Two of us are physicians and would not be diving if not fit to do so. We scurried, emailed the SPUMS medical forms to our U.S. based physician, and obtained clearance from him.
Wednesday: MacGillivray reef, "inside the reef" dive site. On the boat, crew assembled the damaged non-functional dive equipment, with inflator hose pieces remaining in the bin. Severe coral damage and a few reef fish. Thursday: On the boat, were advised that current too severe to go to our requested Cod Hole site. Noname Reef: dive led by the usual boat captain who had not "been in the water in a while". We finned against the current for 30 minutes of a 35 minute dive. Dynamite Reef: a much better 55 minute dive led by the same boat captain. When we surfaced, the boat was far away, difficult to alert and we got sunburned awaiting the boat. Friday: Not until we were on the boat would staff disclose the dive site, it was the same MacGillivray reef. Why? One snorkeler was aboard and this is the only "inside the reef" site that accommodates snorkeling. Saturday we happily snorkeled at Turtle reef and Clam Gardens. These were much better snorkeling sites than MacGillivray Reef. Sunday, we left the island by plane. Arrived Tuesday, departed Sunday after completing the maximum allowed 4 dives!
DAN advised us that SPUMS has the world's strictest fitness to dive criteria. Please have your own physician complete the SPUMS medical clearance form before diving in Queensland, Australia. The form can be obtained at this link: [ link]
The Lizard Island Resort suffered severe cyclone damage and reopened in 2015. Our strong opinion is that this resort should still be in the "soft opening" stage. Staff seemed more interested in their own experiences rather than in customer service. Very few outstanding staff. Our request to see the resort manager was not granted. Simply getting our dining order correct was a huge challenge that was routinely not achieved. As a high priced dive destination, it just is not worth the money.
Websites Lizard Island Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Extensive Fiji and French Polynesia diiving
Closest Airport Lizard Island Getting There Charter flight from Cairns, must schedule in advance and significant weight restrictions that affect divers.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Our maximum depth was less than 80 feet, these were follow the leader dives.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Not set up for underwater photographers
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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