Luxury resort Lizard Island has announced its Reef Expedition experiences will return in 2019, offering guests access to hard-to-reach snorkeling areas around the island and the Great Barrier Reef, running from 20 to 24 June and 21 to 25 November.

The four-night Reef Expedition program features a raft of extraordinary adventures of the World Heritage-listed reef, with the Lizard Island luxury lodge – along with all-inclusive gourmet dining, fine wines and special extras – as a base.

Guests are invited to dive right in to the action, with included guided snorkel trips around the inner reef, a full day’s snorkeling or diving in the outer reef and guided tours above and below the water with Lizard Island’s naturalist Beth Bull. A four kilometre hike to Cook’s Look follows Captain Cook’s original trail and delivers panoramic views of the island and reef from the summit.

With expedition numbers limited to just 12 guests, the experience of the reef on Expedition is a personal one. Lizard Island is the only resort located on the 1013-hectare National Park, offering the rare privilege of stepping off the beach to snorkel, taking in the wonders of Giant Clam gardens and schools of tropical fish including Simon the resident Groper, manta rays, turtles and coral.

As a personal tour of Australian Museum Lizard Island Research Station is another highlight on the itinerary. A world-leading supplier of on-reef facilities for coral reef research and education, the Research Station provides a fascinating insight into the reef and the challenges in its conservation. Private sunset drinks with the station’s directors, Dr Anne Hoggart AM and Dr Lyle Vail AM offer a first-hand understanding of the research into the reef’s incredible ecology and a chance to get involved.

Reef Society Founder Wendy Morris – a pioneer in reef-based ecotourism operations – said she was delighted to be leading the Reef Expedition again this year. “The Reef Expeditions always bring together a small group of like-minded people who are interested in the incredible beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and who are keen to conserve it,” Morris said.

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