HomeFood & BeverageLizard Island, Eden is an Australian island

Lizard Island, Eden is an Australian island

By the coast of Queenslandwhere latitude and longitude are 14.5° south and 145° east respectively while Great Barrier Reef unfold the turquoise palette in front Cooktown and Port Douglas – and beyond, to the Torres Strait – there is a miniature kingdom made of granite and coral: Lizard Island.

A large (so to speak) handful of square kilometers, it has a comic book name and dual identity. In fact, it combines the quintessence of ultra-luxury eco-friendly tourismno shortcuts or middle ground: the bare feet of the privileged guests of a 5 star plus resort or the Spartan c research station. Let’s start with the second, which has just celebrated half a century of activity – marine biology, botany and surroundings – oriented towards the preservation of a fragile and wonderful ecosystem (a national park since 1939). Strongly desired detachment ofAustralian Museum Research Institutemeets rotating scholars from around the world each year and is managed by Lyle Vale and Anne Hoggett: love struck in the field, ending in marriage – and an explorer son raised right here – have lived on the island for more than three decades.

Eric Williamson

To get to Lizard Island, you fly out of Cairns, a one-hour flight over the Coral Sea to the strip of flawless tarmac aligned with the tail of the race that the island’s shape—along with the myth, we’re getting there—implies. And the lizards? This is for lizard, sort of a local version of waran: there are several types, the most common is slang with yellow spots. It appears that the Aboriginal toponym – or rather (politically) correct to say that of the First Nation – of this emergent land and nearby Palfrey, South and Byrd was Dyiigurra: used since people came here to collect shells, hunt turtles and dugongs. And, less likely – but admittedly more impressive – to celebrate initiation practices or rites of passage into adulthood.

Let us shake off the primordial numbness of the Dreamtime – which refers to Gadigal, Dingaal and Ngurumungu – to dutifully report that it is James Cook to christen it with the name which has been included in sea charts and Google Maps since the (Australian) winter of 1770. If we find these four letters of the Albion surname almost everywhere on land and sea, the same certainly cannot be said for Robert Watson. Therefore, it is worth turning over these pages too – with a leap of a century forward, to the second half of the 19th century – to tell about another couple. A young captain, Mr. Watson occupies the remains of a structure possibly used by the crew of a ship – Julia Percya long time in service between Tasmania and Port Adelaide – and took it home for himself and his wife Mary and her offspring. Busy trading sea cucumbers (a great business at the time), he was often absent for weeks at a time. During one of his periods of absence, two of Watson’s associates – “Chinese servants” as the news reports (for the record) – were ambushed, Mary tried to resist as best she could, and then decided to escape to the mainland. Together with one of his sons, he ventures on a raft made of something like an iron tank, but desperate persistence is not enough, they survive for several days on an island without drinking water. The meager ruins of the villa remain as a memento of this event, an epic in chiaroscuro the two diaries that Mrs. Watson kept during the last months and days of her life.

Lizard Island Resort

Lizard Island Resort

Source: VanityFair

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