North of Cairns, the snorkeling off Lizard Island is truly exceptional. There are several lagoons to explore with plenty of coral heads. It is so healthy that there is a marine research station operated by the Australian Museum on the island. The water clarity ranges from 25-50m in the winter to 18m in the summer. The water temperature ranges from 22c in the winter to 30c in the summer. The best snorkeling in Lizard Island is usually found on the leeward side of the island. While snorkeling Lizard Island, you may encounter sea turtles, stingrays, anemone fish, batfish, barracuda, lionfish, goatfish, giant clams, sea snakes and reef sharks among the hundreds of coral species. Keep in mind that there are small jellyfish in the local waters known as Blue Bottles, especially in the summer.
Over the past coupe years, there has been a marked rise in encounters with estuarine saltwater crocodiles off Lizard Island. There are warning signs posted on the island regarding these crocodile attacks. Make sure to inquire before snorkeling in the waters, and avoid snorkeling in murky water, at night or near mangroves.
Lizard Island is located 240km north of Cairns and about 27km off the coast of north Queensland. There are regular flights from Cairns Airport to Lizard Island (60 minutes) operated by East Air departing from the general aviation East Air Terminal. East Air will help you transfer from the main terminal to the general aviation terminal.
Overall, Lizard Island is the 37th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 37 snorkeling dives in Queensland.