Lizard Island / Mangrove Beach (Blue Lagoon)

Continent
Australia
Country
Australia
Next Big City
Cooktown
Next Town
Lizard Island
 
Type:
Ocean
Rider Ability:
Intermediate, Expert
Features:
Rooms, Camping, Toilet

Water

Type:
Shallow, Flat, Chop, Small wave, Medium wave
Hazards:
Reefs, Corals, Stones
Quality:
Crystal clear
Best Tide:
Coming tide, Falling tide

All kind of conditions, from flat to medium waves. Beautiful clear water. Waves on the outer reef. It works best on the lower tides, tending to be very choppy on the higher tides. You need to be careful not to ride over the darker coral areas once the tide falls below about 0.7m, as they will be very shallow. The coral is exposed at about 0.35m. The sandy area directly out from Mangrove Beach is the best spot at low tides, getting smoother the lower the water falls. There are wind waves breaking on the windward reef edge, and these can be fun to play in although there are not really any peeling waves worth riding on a surfboard. The reef at the lagoon entrance and the bommies off the middle of the windward edge occasionally throw up a wave that winds off a little bit. You need at least 0.8m of water to get into the waves, and at that point it will be about knee deep over the reef crest. Best waves seem to be at tides of about 1.0 to 1.4m but we are still exploring this aspect of riding the island.

Beach

Type:
Sand
Size:
Big
Hazards:
Stones
Beach Users:
None

Big, sandy beach with lots of space.

Wind

Best Months:
April, May, June, July, August, September, October
Wind Type:
Trade
Best Direction:
ESE, SE
Main Direction:
E, ESE, SE

Located in the northern trade wind belt it gets consistent SE winds most of the year, but especially April to September. There can be good SE winds during summer but you are more likely to get lighter northerlies at that time. It can be very windy here, with wind speeds of 20-35 knots common throughout winter, and gusts into the low 40?s on the really windy days. SSE winds are generally more gusty than SE or ESE winds at this spot.



How to get there

Transport
Boat
Access
Medium walk

The island can be reached by boat or plane. Get there from Cairns or Cooktown. But Cairns is the better place to take off from.

Extra information

Rules
None

It is a national park, so make sure to act responsible. Launch at Mangrove Beach, about half way along in the clean air-flow, and kite out into the lagoon area. Avoid the lee side of the nearby islands (South & Palfrey) as they have vicious turbulence in their wakes. Lizard is a very isolated spot with hundreds of kilometers of tiger shark infested water and reefs to leeward, so unless you have boat support, you are better off kiting to windward of the main island so that if you have a problem you will drift back onto the island rather than off into the shipping channel.

Nightlife

Only nightlife is a bar at the resort.