Ordering Food

Details about ordering food and having it delivered by barge.

How to get food to Lizard Island

Food is ordered in Cairns and delivered to Lizard Island by barge every two weeks. You can bring small quantities with you as baggage from Cairns but you must stay within the baggage limit of 32 kg per person, which includes cabin baggage.

The following instructions apply only to people who are staying at Lizard Island Research Station. Because the barge is chartered by the Lizard Island Resort, other island visitors need permission from the Resort to send anything on the barge. 

Barge freight

Ordering hints

Space for refrigerator and freezer storage is limited and your ordering should take this into account.

  • Order only enough food to last for the period from your arrival to the day the next barge arrives. You should aim to have an almost-empty fridge and freezer by the time barge day comes around.
  • Limit bulky items that need refrigeration.
  • Think about how much bread you really need - almost everyone orders too much.

Timing of orders

The barge schedule normally loads in Cairns every second Wednesday and arrives at Lizard Island two days later. The schedule is shown below. 

Send orders to the suppliers within the period listed in the schedule below. Note that the latest time for submitting orders is 10 pm on the Friday before the barge loads. You can change an accepted order up to 10 pm on the Saturday before the barge loads. Coles Online does not open for orders until two weeks before the delivery date. 

Some visitors will need to send orders for two barges before they arrive at the Research Station.

Barge schedule

Orders to Coles before 10 pm on  But not before Barge loads in Cairns Barge arrives at Lizard Island
Fri 13 February Wed 4 February Wed 18 February Fri 20 February
Fri 27 February Wed 18 February Wed 4 March Fri 6 March
Fri 13 March Wed 4 March Wed 18 March Fri 20 March
Fri 27 March* Wed 18 March* Wed 1 April* Fri 3 April*
ri 10 April Wed 1 April Wed 15 April Fri 17 April
Fri 24 April Wed 15 April Wed 29 April Fri 1 May
Fri 8 May Wed 29 April Wed 13 May Fri 15 May
Fri 22 May Wed 13 May Wed 27 May Fri 29 May
Fri 5 June Wed 27 May Wed 10 June Fri 12 June
Fri 19 June Wed 10 June Wed 24 June Fri 26 June
Fri 3 July Wed 24 June Wed 8 July Fri 10 July
Fri 17 July Wed 8 July Wed 22 July Fri 24 July
Fri 31 July Wed 22 July Wed 5 August Fri 7 August
Fri 14 August Wed 5 August Wed 19 August Fri 21 August
Fri 28 August Wed 19 August Wed 2 September Fri 4 September
Fri 11 September Wed 2 September Wed 16 September Fri 18 September
Fri 25 September Wed 16 September Wed 30 September Fri 2 October
Fri 9 October Wed 30 September Wed 14 October Fri 16 October
Fri 23 October Wed 14 October Wed 28 October Fri 30 October
Fri 6 November Wed 28 October Wed 11 November Fri 13 November
Fri 20 November Wed 11 November Wed 25 November Fri 27 November
Fri 4 December Wed 25 November Wed 9 December Fri 11 December


The Easter public holidays will likely affect this barge run by a day or two. The actual dates will not be known until very close to the time.

The final barge for 2015 is scheduled for 25 December but that will not happen as it is the Christmas public holiday. There will probably be a barge earlier in the Christmas week but the actual dates will not be known until very close to the time. 

Supplier options

  • Groceries, including fresh fruit and vegetables - order directly through Coles Online.
  • Alcoholic drinks – order online from Dan Murphy’s.
  • Any type of supplies - order directly through the specialist shopping service, Cairns Link.  
  • Details on how to order are provided below.

Coles Online

Food must be ordered through Coles Online. There is a $20 fee for the service irrespective of the order value. Alcoholic drinks cannot be ordered online in Queensland by law. Reference to such supply on the site applies only to other states.

You will need to set up your own account and pay by credit card.

To start a new account, go to the Coles Online home page and choose option 1 "Tell us your location and get started". Start typing "Lizard Island" and "Lizard Island, 4875" should autofill. Enter it, then hit the "Check" button. Follow steps (a) to (f) below.

To put the correct address into your existing Coles account, log in then go to the home page by hitting the Coles logo. Your current delivery address is shown near top left. Use the nearby link to "Change address". On the window that pops up, choose "Change location". In the next pop-up, start typing "Lizard Island" and "Lizard Island, 4875" should autofill. Enter it, then hit the "Check" button. Follow steps (a) to (f) below.

a) You should see "Options for Lizard Island, 4875" and a list of buttons under "Remote delivery". Select "Deliver via Sea Swift" (not for Sea Swift Endeavour Bay or Kestrel Bay).

b) Now do your shopping and go to checkout.

c) The Delivery Details page pops up and the correct address should already be entered, i.e. "Remote delivery via Sea Swift, *** Tingira Street Portsmith". In the box under that, please enter "<Your name>, Lizard Island Research Station". This helps ensure that your food winds up at LIRS rather than at the resort or some other island.

d) In the How Can We Contact You section, enter your name and email address. Use the LIRS phone number (07 4060 3977) because they may not be able to contact you on your mobile at Lizard Island.

e) Enter the correct delivery date as in the schedule above and select the only available time option, 1 to 5 am. If you don’t get the option of 1 to 5 am, the address is NOT set up correctly and your order will not be delivered correctly, or at all. Follow the instructions above again and if you still can’t get the correct time option, contact LIRS for assistance.

f) Pay by credit card.

Cairns Link

Cairns Link is a small business that will do any shopping you require in Cairns. Cairns Link charges a service fee of $50 or 15% of the order value, whichever is greater. You must pay Cairns Link directly by credit card.

Cairns Link
PO Box 215H
Edge Hill, Qld. 4870
Phone: (07) 4053-7792

Dan Murphy’s

You can order wine, beer and spirits online. It is really important to follow the instructions below to ensure that your order makes it onto the pallet that will be delivered to Sea Swift at the correct time for the barge. Deadline for Dan Murphy’s orders is 5 pm Monday in the week that the barge arrives but it’s a good idea to do it earlier, at the same time as the Coles order.

  1. Set up your own account on the Dan Murphy’s site.
  2. Go shopping; while shopping, set your store as Earlville, Qld (postcode 4870)
  3. Go to Checkout
  4. Choose “Click & Collect” (NOT “Delivery”)
  5. Under Collection details, select “Someone else is collecting this order” then enter
    - First Name Cairns Best Freight
    - Last Name for <Your own first and last names>
    - Mobile number 0417761159 (which is the number for the courier)
    and agree that the person collecting it is over 18.
  6. Under Collection store, Earlville should already be entered. Then “Pick a date” and set it as the delivery date to Sea Swift as in the table above. Do not request that items are chilled at pickup.
  7. Set your billing address as Lizard Island Research Station, PMB 37, Cairns, 4870 – this is important as it is the only way that they know to send it to Lizard Island.
  8. Make the required agreements and pay by card.

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