The beautiful Lizard Island reef called the Clam Garden really is a garden.
In the 1980s an infection killed most of the giant clams there. Surviving clams would have repopulated the area, but slowly. So to give the clams a head start, biologists grew baby clams in tanks and "planted" them on this reef. The clams there today are once again big, beautiful and abundant.
Located off Lizard Island, on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, Cobia Hole is a pinnacle of rocks covered with marine organism including sponges, soft coral, coralliamorpharians, feather stars, sea stars, sea squirts, shrimps, crabs and gobies. Look for sea whips, gorgonian fans and stinging hydroids. Hovering bream can often be seen, as well as circling pelagic barracuda or trevally. Large turtles, toadfish and estuary cod. Explore the sea grasses and algae on the nearby sand.
4km 3-4 hours return
Located 93 km north of Cooktown and 27km from the coast these 6 islands are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Public moorings are provided for private boats and there is an airstrip for small aircraft.
Palfrey Island is part of the Lizard Island Group and south of Lizard Island proper, being 270 km north of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. There is an automated lighthouse structure situated on this island.
Within its complex environs of reefs, including PalfreyIsland and South Island is some of the most exciting continental island diving in northern Australia. A boat is required to get to the best places and these include Mrs Watson's Beach ( offshore), Granite Head, Mermaid Cove, North Point, South Island drop off and the Bird Island drop off.
Lizard Island, a high continental island, is surrounded by fringing reef. The reefs connect the neighboring islands: Palfrey Island, Seabird Island and South Island. The Lizard Island reef study was conducted on the north end, in Mermaid Cove. Coral patches and numerous scattered coral pinnacles fringe the entire cove.
Mrs Watson's Cottage
It was during this second try that one of the most famous stories of tragedy along Australia’s tropical seashore occurred.
In 1879 Captain Robert Watson with his wife Mary Watson, two servants and baby son, modified an abandoned cottage left on the island by the crew of the Julia Percy. While Mr. Watson was away fishing, aboriginals attacked his wife Mary, their infant and Chinese servants. One servant was killed, so Mary put herself, the surviving servant, and the baby in a sea-cumber cooking pot and floated away, later to die.
The bay where they lived is now called Watson’s Bay, and the remains of the cottage can be seen today.
South Bay Point
2.2km 1-2 hours return
Located in the heart of the Whitsundays, South Molle Island is the largest of the North, Mid and South Molle Island Group and the only one with a resort. Located eight kilometres north-east of Shute Harbour, South Molle is a picturesque, hilly continental island surrounded by fringing reefs.
Pidgin Point (East Face)
This IBA (~215 ha in total) consists of a string of 10 important seabird islands or island groups in the northern Great Barrier Reef, from Womer Cay opposite the tip of Cape York to the Sir Charles Hardy Islands opposite Cape Grenville. All islands which have a record of more than 1% of the world population of any seabird are listed in the IBA.
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