Fitzroy Island is a beautiful tropical island getaway close to Cairns in North Queensland. With picturesque beaches, great water sports and a spacious resort, it is a favourite getaway with both locals and tourists.
We’ve spent many weekends on Fitzroy Island and can’t rave about it highly enough. Only a short 30 kilometre ferry ride from Cairns it’s a beautiful island with a very relaxed fun atmosphere.
And there’s also plenty to do when you’re there. Here’s our rundown of things to do on Fitzroy Island.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]1. meet the local sea creatures[/headline]
Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Doug Gamble, the owner of Fitzroy Island Resort, generously donated the land for this centre to be built and visitors can book a tour to visit the patients and learn more about the plight of sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef.
We love visiting this centre and were lucky enough to help feed the turtles the last time we visited, but this isn’t always available to the public. Tours cost $7.70 for adults and $4.40 for kids and the money goes towards helping the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre.
Twice a day tourists can head down to the jetty (pier) and watch the fish swim to the surface as staff from the resort feed the fish at a designated area on the jetty.
If you have young kids this is always a fun activity for families. Fish feeding is at 11.30am and 4.00pm.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]2. walking tracks[/headline]
Since Fitzroy is an island rather than a coral cay, it has hills to climb with great views of the surrounding area. So if you’ve got the time, exploring some of the island’s walking trails should definitely be on your list of things to do on Fitzroy Island.
These are the trails we would recommend:
Walk to the Lighthouse
This is a 3.6 kilometre return walk that requires a degree of fitness, some sturdy shoes and plenty of water.
It is a very steep path and winds through rainforest and around the island giving breathtaking views of the ocean.
It is worth the steep climb once you reach the lighthouse at the top and feel the sense of achievement.
The lighthouse is no longer active and the channel uses an automated light on Little Fitzroy Island. However, you can have a look inside as the ground floor is open to the public.
The Summit Track
This track leads further on from the lighthouse road and is yet another winding track that takes you to the summit of the island. The views are spectacular but this walk is only advised for fit walkers.
Nudey Beach is about a 20-minute walk from the resort and it involves a bit of rock hopping so don’t attempt it with a pram or wheelchair.
It is one of the most photographed beaches in Queensland and, unlike the beach in front of the Fitzroy Island Resort which is all washed up coral, Nudey Beach is made up of pure white sand and crystal clear water.
This is a great place to swim and snorkel but hire stinger suits from the resort during stinger season (October-May).
Don’t let the name Nudey Beach fool you, swimsuits are definitely required!
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]3. water activities[/headline]
Snorkelling & Swimming
Fitzroy Island is part of the Great Barrier Reef so swimming and snorkelling should definitely be on your agenda. Snorkelling gear can be hired for $15 per day, which includes mask, snorkel and fins.
There is a hut on the beach hiring equipment for a range of water sports including kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.
We took out a few double kayaks when the water was still fairly calm and paddled under the pier and around the beach area.
It was great fun and the perfect way to spend a few hours.
There is also an ocean trampoline just off the beach in front of the resort.
The resort offers introductory diving as well as scuba diving tours for accredited divers. You can hire all the equipment on the island. For more information about diving tours contact the resort directly.
[headline size=”small” align=”left”]4. day tours[/headline]
If you still run out of things to do on Fitzroy Island, there are many day tours available too. These include:
- Glass Bottom Boat Tours depart daily at 10am, 1.30pm and 3pm (if 1.30pm tour is booked out), and are a great way for those tourists who want to see the reef without getting wet.
- Photography Tours are a fantastic way to see the island and the perfect backdrop for keen photographers. Calypso Productions run a Reef & Rainforest Photography Tour at Fitzroy Island costing $265 for the day and includes transfers to and from Fitzroy Island, lunch and use of an underwater camera.
- Guided Eco Walks run on Tuesdays and Sundays, otherwise visitors to Fitzroy Island can go on their own self-guided walks. Maps are available from the resort reception.
- Night Coral Viewing Tours give tourists a chance to see life on the reef after the sun goes down and can be booked at the Resort Dive Centre.