Fitzroy Island is a magical island this island is a paradise of rainforest and beaches spreading its beauty within the calm sheltered waters of the great barrier reef this secluded island is less explored but worth a visit.
Fitzroy Island is about a 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns and is surrounded by the coral reef that is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Almost all the continental islands are protected by the Fitzroy Island National Park.
Enjoy resort facilities and rainforest walks with white coral beaches and breathtaking views. Fitzroy Island offers a variety of water sports as well as snorkeling, beginners and certified diving in diving schools.
Things You Can See in Fitzroy Island
The island covers an area of 339 hectares, of which 324 hectares are protected as Fitzroy Island National Park. The island is on the continental shelf and is visible from the mainland. It is the peak of a mountain range south of Cairns and south of Green Island.
Here is a list of 8 amazing things to do in Fitzroy Island.
1. Explore the Fitzroy Island National Park covered in Tropical Rainforest
Fitzroy Island National Park is a designated conserved area covering Fitzroy Island, in North Queensland, Queensland, Australia. Fitzroy Island also known as Koba or Gabar is a continental island which is located 22 kilometres east of Cairns on the mainland.
Fitzroy Island National Park is rugged with a diverse landscape of granite outcrops, open forests, rainforests, mangroves and coral beaches. Named by Lieutenant James Cook, Fitzroy Island has an interesting history as a quarantine station.
Explore the Secret Garden trail in the rainforest which is just 1 Km or walk to Nudey Beach which is not more than 1.2 kms where you can relax in the shade, swim and snorkel.
You can also challenge yourself for the boulder-strewn Summit that is 3.6 kms round trip which climbs through forest to the top of the island (269 meters), where granite slabs and windswept Casuarina trees frames the spectacular views of the island, surrounding cliffs and the mainland.
2. Camping on the Fitzroy Island
Enjoy a bit challenging and fun-filled camping experience at Fitzroy Island Resort. The Council Campground is right next to the beach and just a 5-minute walk from the jetty. It has approximately 20 tent sites, a basic cold-water shower, shaded and sunny grass campsites, and a pergola shelter for eating.
Fitzroy Island Resort manages the campsites on behalf of the Cairns Regional Council. Each tent can be a maximum of 3×3 meters with 2 adults and 2 children per pitch. Camping equipment is not supplied and campers are advised to supply all their equipment by themselves including tents, sleeping gear and camping stoves and whatever they need. If you are willing to hire the equipment from the resort, they might assist you with that.
Guests camping in resort’s camping ground can dine at Foxy’s Bar, Zephyr Restaurants. The pool bar, pool and main accommodation block are only for guests who have rooms booked at the Fitzroy Island resort.
3. Have Fun at the Dreamy Nudey Beach
Nudey beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia the beach feels very pristine, and even on a cloudy day, the view in the distance is truly magnificent.
Since it’s off the mainland, it doesn’t seem too crowded. By the way, as it’s name is Nudey beach this isn’t a nudist beach. Fitzroy island is a fragment or says part of the Great Barrier Reef. But what makes it more special is the white sand and sparkling turquoise water.
Nudey Beach has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. You will often share the beach with only a few other visitors. Nudey Beach is perfect for spreading out a towel and soaking up some of the year-round warm tropical weather.
You can even swim and snorkel among the colorful marine life that lives in the shallow coral reefs that line the beach just meters from the shore, making it the perfect place for kids learning to swim to see the entire Great Barrier Reef with safety and comfort.
Visit to this beach is a total package where you can do many activities with your loved ones by soaking up under the sun, swimming, diving and having a much-awaited vacation.
4. Glass Bottom Boat Tour
Glass bottom boat tours are a great way to see the reef from Cairns without having to get in the water. Cairns glass bottom boat tours are available on all Cairns reef tours and operate on Green Island, Fitzroy Island and the Outer Barrier Reef.
If you are not willing to go in the water but you can still have the pleasure to see the Great Barrier Reef on a glass-bottom boat tour.
If you are not much into water sports such as swimming, snorkeling or others it does not mean you can miss out on the wonders that the Great Barrier Reef has.
Several tour operators in Cairns offer glass-bottom boat rides, and some even offer semi-submersible submarines that allow you to view the ocean from a fully submerged location without getting your feet wet.
There are many Glass-bottom boat tour operators which offers half-day and full-day trips to Green Island, allowing you to combine ocean exploration with other fun activities on land and water.
5. Visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Six of the world’s seven sea turtle species are residents of the Great Barrier Reef. A number of them are seriously threatened by a diverse range of natural and human-induced factors. This rehabilitation facility is located in Cairns Far North Queensland, home to many of the sick and injured turtles.
The turtle rehabilitation centre supports the work of all organizations, individuals and agencies in their efforts to protect sea turtles and the habitats in which they live. They work closely with a number of these groups, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and EPA National Park Rangers who are responsible for bringing the turtles to the rehabilitation center.
Turtle rehabilitation center relies on generous donations from supporters and volunteers, without it the center could not continue to work much on this important work.
Here at the turtle rehabilitation center, they always look for new ways to work with other parties so that their collective efforts are not only focused but maximized for the overall benefit of sea turtle conservation.
6. Whale Watching Tour
Go and watch the spectacular migration of majestic humpback whales off the coast of Cairns and spend time on Australia’s finest white sand Nudey beach on scenic Fitzroy Island. From mid-July to late August, humpback whales leave the cold waters of Antarctica on vacation to frolic on the Great Barrier Reef to give birth. You can enjoy these natural sights on this Cairns adventure that includes a 90-minute whale-watching tour and optional 2 or 4-hour free time on Fitzroy Island.
7. Go Fish Feeding
If you visit Fitzroy Island with your kids, don’t forget to treat yourself to fish feeding on the jetty. Tourists can head to the jetty twice a day and watch the brightly colored fish swimming in the tropical waters as they are fed by resort staff. Once you’re done feeding the fish, you can either climb the nearby hills to get an aerial view of the island or head out on one of its hiking trails or spend your time exploring around.
8. Adventures in Fitzroy Island
There are multiple adventures to look forward to while visiting Fitzroy Island.
8.1. Take the Scenic Route for Hiking
During the warmer summer months, it’s best to hike early in the morning before the day warms up. In winter it can be nice to trek in the afternoon but always make sure you have good walking shoes, plenty of water, and sunscreen.
A self-guided history tour is a great option for those who want to connect with the islands’ past while learning some interesting facts and fun anecdotes along the way.
A. The Secret Garden Walking Trails
The Secret Garden Walk is a simple trail that winds through the intertwining flora of Fitzroy Island’s lush jungle.
It is a peaceful walk that allows people to immerse themselves in nature. You will hear a variety of bird calls from the distinctive Orange-footed Poultry Hens to the sharp calls of the Variety of Trillers and the sweet cooing of the Rose-billed Fruit Dove.
Watch the scurrying Bar Sided Skinks as they dive around your feet but don’t forget to catch a flash of color as the Green Triangle Butterflies fly overhead. At the end of the track is a large platform that you can use to relax and enjoy the uniquely balanced ecosystem around you.
B. Nudey Beach Walking Tracks
The route to Nudey Beach is known for its stark contrasting beauty from the plush vivid green of the rainforest to the giant granite boulders and stunning blue waters beyond.
As you walk along the beautiful trail, be sure to cast your eyes out into the wild for some of the more distinctive inhabitants of the rainforest. These include the unmistakable Cluster Figs, along with fascinating White Starfish Orchids and vibrant Bird Nest epiphytes.
Keep a sharp eye on the ground around you as Echidnas have been seen slowly shuffling along the path; as well as some other charismatic jungle creatures. This walk crosses three small bridges and culminates with the first exotic view of the world-famous Nudey Beach below.
C. Lighthouse Road Trail
Although the lighthouse tower is not open for the public, but you can walk around the site and see the lighthouse and some of the old cottages, you can even see a unique light from 1942 that is on display in the lighthouse office.
The Lighthouse Walk is a 3.6 km round trip on a steep concrete road that starts at the northeast point at Welcome Bay. There are many great viewing platforms along the way and the breathtaking views from the top which is worth the walk.
A leisurely yet adventurous walk towards the lighthouse is one of the best things to do on Fitzroy Island for all fitness enthusiasts. This steep forest road takes you through the verdant rainforest and offers its visitors breathtaking views of the ocean. Although the lighthouse is no longer active and uses automatic light on the island, its ground floor remains accessible to tourists.
8.2. Explore Amazing Places for Snorkeling
A. Welcome Bay
The reef on either side of the ferry dock at Welcome Bay offers some pretty decent snorkelling, especially for beginners. While the hard corals here are not very impressive, you may spot the occasional visits from the turtle.
The calm tropical waters that surround Fitzroy Island are perfect for snorkelling. There are several beaches where you can snorkel, including Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach, with hard and soft coral just meters from shore.
As you descend into the amazing underwater world, you will be greeted by an abundance of marine life including clownfish (like Nemo), wrasse, cod and many sea turtles. Fitzroy Island has its sea turtle rehabilitation center that you can visit while you’re on the island.
These fringing reefs that surround Fitzroy Island are all part of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, so the colors and diversity of the corals are world-class.
The Year-round average daily temperatures range from about 30 degrees Celsius in summer to 19 degrees and the water temperature is always a warm tropical 24 degrees in winter to a maximum of 30 degrees in summer. This creates some of the best snorkeling conditions in the world. No wetsuit is required.
B. White Rock
White Rock is the name of a conspicuous, large white boulder located at the northern end of Welcome Bay. You may wonder why this particular formation is so white, the answer is quite weird as it is said that it’s covered in bird droppings.
But it’s not the stone itself that draws the crowd. The coral surrounding White Rock is a well-known area for turtle sightings. You will also find several healthy deer coral formations and “trees” planted by the Reef Restoration Foundation.
C. Shark Fin Rock
This is located around the north of Welcome Bay. You can swim around the rocks from the point, or walk and enter the water from the rocks.
The name comes from the shape of the rock on the shore, you won’t find any great whites lurking here (probably). The Shark Fin Rock’s snorkelling area possesses a much better reef and coral in comparison to Welcome Bay. This is a place frequented by glass reef and snorkel boat tours.
8.3. Scuba Diving
If you want to try scuba diving but aren’t quite ready to commit to a certification course, Discover Scuba Diving is for you. This PADI-certified program is a great introduction to what it takes to explore the underwater world.
Fitzroy Island’s impressive dive sites include Welcome Bay and the Eastern Wall, with sites and stories for divers of all skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner, an avid photographer trying to get that perfect shot of a bare branch or turtle, or even someone who’s newly certified, the fringing reef around Fitzroy Island has something magical to offer.
FISH is your one-stop sports and activity hire center on Fitzroy Island offering PADI-accredited diving and a range of water activities including guided snorkeling and glass bottom boat trips. FISH also offers rental equipment for snorkeling, stingrays, diving equipment and tank refills.
Accommodation on Fitzroy Island
Accommodation on Fitzroy Island may not have many options but whatever is available is covered with stunning natural surroundings. Carved from warm beams and natural stone, water features and mood lighting combine with simple architectural lines to create a relaxing, pristine experience. Accommodation options range from affordable 4.5-star hotel rooms to a more authentic experience for those who want to camp under the stars.
Fitzroy Island has a range of facilities linked to the resorts including restaurants, swimming pools, a swim-up bar, games rooms, a general store and a turtle rehabilitation center.
Stay at Fitzroy Island Resort
Opened in July 2010, Fitzroy Island Resort sits on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef in tropical North Queensland, just 45 minutes from the dunes by ferry. Fitzroy Island is the point where the rainforest meets the reef. The resort offers affordable studios, one and two-bedroom apartments and beach huts.
The Fitzroy Island resort offers you the best facilities you can look for, they are the best place for accommodation.
Fitzroy Island resort lets you witness the vibrant coral marine life and the tropical fish, resort guests are provided with many facilities so you can intimately discover the natural wonders this island holds.
Fitzroy island is a tropical paradise of rainforest where you can watch different types of forest birds and many more unique species, not only different species you will have lots of fun activities to do all day around, be it hiking or diving. If you are not among the adventurous type, then you can go for whale watching and turtle sanctuary to know about varied species of turtles. This island and its beauty will amaze you, experience Fitzroy Island by getting lost in the divine diversity.