Boats

The Lizard Island Research Station has a fleet of boats for use by its visitors.

Research dinghy

Lyle Vail & Anne Hoggett © Australian Museum

  • Twelve 5 metre dinghies with 30 hp motors: Jacque, Pip, Freya, Ellie, Lili, Louise, Sam, Sarah, Mimi, Primrose, Mary-Ida and L&M.
  • Two 6 metre centre-console boats, each with a 90 hp motor: Macquarie 1 and Macquarie 2.
  • A 6 metre catamaran with twin 90 hp motors: Kirsty K.

All boats are equipped with safety equipment as required by state regulations and outboard motors are replaced regularly to ensure reliability.

Each research team is usually allocated a dinghy for its sole use during the visit provided there is an appropriately licenced and competent driver in the team. Student groups are allocated one dinghy per 5 or 6 people and there must be an appropriate number of licenced adult drivers among the group. Use of a dinghy is included in the daily bench fee.

Macquarie 1 and Macquarie 2 are useful for student groups because each can take up to 12 snorkellers. They will be allocated to student groups only if the proposed drivers are adult supervisors who have extensive boating experience as well as an appropriate licence. There is no additional charge for use of these boats within the Lizard Island group by student groups.

Access to Macquarie 1 and Macquarie 2 by researchers may incur an additional cost depending on the proposed usage. These boats can be used away from the Lizard Island Group under limited circumstances. 

Kirsty K is used mainly for work away from the Lizard Island Group. Additional costs apply.

Research groups who wish to work away from the Lizard Island Group must have a team member who is licenced and who has a high level of relevant boating experience. LIRS staff are not available for this purpose. 

Use of Kirsty K, Macquarie 1 and Macquarie 2 must be booked well in advance.

None of the LIRS boats may be driven by station volunteers or by people who are not staying at LIRS.

Licencing and competence

A current recreational boating licence issued by any Australian state is required to drive any of the station's boats. A licence issued by a state other than Queensland is acceptable for up to 90 days only. Some overseas boat licences are also acceptable for short-term visits - LIRS can provide a list. 

Queensland Recreational Shipmasters' licences can be obtained in Cairns after completing a half-day or one-day course. The Research Station will provide information about these courses on request.

All boat users are provided with thorough orientation to LIRS boats including boat handling, the Station's boating regulations, safety gear and local boating conditions. They must demonstrate competence before being allowed to drive independently.


Dr Anne Hoggett , Director, Lizard Island Research Station
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Tags Lizard Island Research Station, Facilities,