Best Private Islands: Australia's Lizard Island

The lizards are big; the clams are giant; the staff smiles are huge. During your stay on 4-square-mile Lizard Island off northeastern Australia, the helpful staff members will do everything short of carrying you on the three-hour hike to Cook's Look. Leaving the Azure Spa to go snorkeling in the Giant Clam Gardens, but left your mask behind? "I'll take care of it for you," says Noel, the deckhand and guide. Here the 40 villas have no locks, and the Great Barrier Reef has no end to its wonders. If you do get lonely on this island national park, visit the only other development here, the Lizard Island Research Station. Find out about the scientists' efforts to study and protect coral reefs. Or if you want to be even more alone, pick up a fresh meal and enjoy a dinghy ride to Palfrey Island. The staff will do the work; your job is to do, well, whatever you want. See photos. To find out more information and book your stay, visit For more private islands, click here. View Larger Map