Great Barrier Reef Cruise
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Lizard Island

We moored in Watson’s Bay of the beautiful Lizard Island. After a 5am breakfast about 10 of us set off on a 3 hour trek to “Cook’s Look”, on the island’s peak. It was from here, the highest lookout on this part of the reef, that Captain Cook was able to navigate a safe passage back through the treacherous waters after repairing the H.M. Bark Endeavour near Cooktown in June 1770. The views from the lookout over the World Heritage-listed reef and surrounding tropical islands are magnificent. We then went snorkelling in the shallow waters just metres off the beach where there are many giant clams. We also had a good view of the clams from the glass bottomed boat.

Watson House ruins

In 1879, Captain Robert Watson with his 21 year old wife Mary Watson, two servants and baby son, modified an abandoned cottage left on the island by the crew of the Julia Percy. Captain Watson was a sea cucumber fisherman and during one of his absences Aborigines from the mainland killed one of the servants.


After the attack, accompanied by her child and the other Chinese servant, Mrs Watson attempted to flee to the mainland in an iron boiling tank used for boiling sea cucumber. The vessel floated away from the coast and all three died of thirst nine days later on the waterless Howick No 5 Island. Their bodies were found three months later along with Mrs Watson's diary which is now held in the State Library of Queensland.