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Flying is the only option for getting to Lizard Island. The fortnightly supply barge does not carry passengers.
The Lizard Island Resort charters two daily flights between Cairns and Lizard Island. The 260 km trip takes about one hour and the schedule is normally as follows:
- Departs Cairns at 11 am and 2 pm
- Departs Lizard Island at 12.25 pm and 3.25 pm
To book flights, contact Delaware North (operator of the Lizard Island Resort) by phone:
- 1800 837 204 (toll-free within Australia)
- +1 716 276 0104 (from other countries)
- 844 833 7862 (toll-free within the United States)
These are general reservations numbers for Delaware North resorts. Let them know immediately that you will be staying at the Research Station and require flights only.
The Resort's flights depart from the East Air terminal at General Aviation, Cairns Airport. General Aviation is on the opposite side of the runway to the domestic and international terminals, a 5 to 10 minute taxi ride away for which the cost is about $20. Allow at least 90 minutes between connecting flights in Cairns, and longer if you are connecting with an international flight.
You must check in for East Air flights at least 45 minutes before departure to allow for preparation of the flight manifest. Boarding may be denied if you are late checking in.
Baggage on flights to Lizard Island has been reduced to 25 kg per person - 20 kg checked plus 5 kg carry-on. Volume is also a limiting factor due to the small baggage pods on the light aircraft.
Please do not present at check-in with large, hard containers such as Nally bins. Containers that are larger in any dimension than a medium-sized suitcase (67 x 45 x 29 cm) will not fit into the baggage pods. Bulky equipment must be sent ahead by barge.
Transfers between airstrip and Research Station
On arrival at Lizard Island, you will be met and transferred to the Research Station by vehicle. Please advise the arrival time of your flight so we know when to expect you. We have no other way of knowing which flight you are on.
Everyone in Queensland is obliged by law to minimise the biosecurity risks of their activities. See here how you can do your part when you come to Lizard Island.
Groups of more than 9 people travelling together will generally need to charter their own flights. Please advise the Research Station of the company and the expected times of arrival and departure as soon as you know these details.
Several charter companies operate from Cairns. When obtaining quotes:
- Ensure that the quote includes the landing fee at Lizard Island, which is charged per aircraft per landing. Visitors to the Research Station are not exempt from the landing fee. Operators in Cairns do not uniformly include this fee in their quotes, so make sure it is specified.
- Find out the baggage allowance for the quoted aircraft. Either stick to that allowance or arrange for more capacity.
- Ensure that the charter company understands the need to check its aircraft for biosecurity risks before flying to the island.
Avagold Aviation can broker deals with charter companies on your behalf.