I am so pleased to introduce to you Australia’s (arguably) most lavish resort, Lizard Island. Located in the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island provides the ultimate Australian experience for guests. But I’d like to let Robyn Pontynen, general manager of Lizard Island, explain to you just how amazing and unique Lizard Island resort really is.

See below for our exclusive interview with Robyn (NOTE: All images throughout this post are owned by Lizard Resort):

1. How does the location of Lizard Island play a role in guest experiences?

Lizard Island’s spectacular location as the Great Barrier Reef’s northernmost island resort makes it a marine playground for snorkelers and divers. There are ten snorkeling and diving sites off Lizard Island, which are all reachable within 30 – 60-minute boat rides. The most revered is the world famous Cod Hole, featuring two large potato cods and a resident Maori Wrasse. Guests can also swim or snorkel straight off one of our 24 deserted beaches and experience giant jewel-colored clams, tropical fish,  spotted rays, and hard corals in every imaginable color and shape.  For those who like to stay above water, the island is considered one of the standout locations for marlin fishing and the hiking on the island also provides uninterrupted views of this spectacular region.

2. Lizard Island is known for its diverse wildlife (both on land and in the ocean). What activities are offered that enable guests to get up close to these exotic creatures?

In addition to the snorkeling and diving tours we offer at Lizard Island, we also offer glass bottom paddle skis and glass bottom boat tours for guests to view the amazing array of marine wildlife. Back on dry land, the Lizard Island Research Station runs in conjunction with the Australian Museum and conducts tours once a week for our guests. We also offer nature slide presentations and have a naturalist on site for walking tours of our flora and fauna. More than 40 species of land and sea birds can be seen on Lizard island. There are also about 11 species of lizards with the Gould’s sand monitor being the most conspicuous as they do their daily search for frogs and smaller lizards.

3. Tell us a little bit about the dining experiences and cuisines offered at Lizard Island.

We are very fortunate to have Executive Chef, Mark Jensen, who has won awards for his work  in Australia, London, and Paris, overseeing the amazing food and beverage offerings on Lizard Island. Three meals a day are served at Osprey’s, our casual but stylish restaurant, located beachside on the Island.

Mark changes the menus daily and our wait staff offers expert wine pairing to accompany each meal.

For additional variety, Mark’s team will also prepare gourmet hampers for guests to take and enjoy on one of Lizard’s secluded beaches. At night, for a more intimate private dining experience (sand under foot, stars up above), our guests can enjoy a personally constructed seven-course degustation menu on the beach.

On Lizard Island we draw upon some great culinary influences, including Thai, Japanese, Moroccan, French, and Italian. Mark loves to create dishes that are rich, yet light, and well suited for the tropical weather. He enjoys using an array of produce including sashimi of yellow fin tuna, Thai-style rock lobster, crispy Chinese coral trout, or flavorful Wagyu beef. Everyday is full of new creations ensuring that guests will never eat the same dish twice–unless of course they choose to!

4. What makes the Lizard Island resort unique and different from other coastal accommodations in Australia?

Lizard Island’s spectacular location  on the Great Barrier Reef and the luxury offering we provide to our guests is the perfect combination for a memorable Australian experience. The island’s secluded location means we don’t receive any day trippers and with only 40 suites, guests can expect personal service right from the time they arrive, making them feel like they are in someone’s home with the host designing a vacation just for them.

5. Is there anything else you would like to add?

We host a number of events throughout the year–a fantastic New Year’s Eve degustation meal will be offered by Mark Jensen and his team this year for those guests wanting to escape the northern winter. The Black Marlin Classic is also a favorite every year in October. Guests should check our website  for further information.

For more information about Lizard Island, check out their website at http://www.lizardisland.com.au/or click here to visit them on Facebook.