Things to Do on Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island, located off the coast of Cairns in Australia, offers visitors a range of activities and experiences.
Here are some of the best things to do on Fitzroy Island:
- A fringing coral Reef surrounds snorkelling, and Diving Fitzroy Island, and the waters are teeming with marine life. Snorkelling and diving are some of the best ways to explore the Reef and see a variety of colourful fish, turtles, and other sea creatures.
- Nudey Beach: This beautiful, secluded beach is a must-visit on Fitzroy Island. It’s a short hike from the resort, and the beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.
- Turtle Rehabilitation Centre: Fitzroy Island is home to a Turtle rehabilitation centre open to visitors. The centre cares for sick and injured turtles and works to rehabilitate them for release back into the wild.
- Summit Trail Hike: The Summit Trail is a challenging but rewarding hike that takes you to the highest point on the island, offering stunning views of the surrounding ocean and Cairns.
- Glass Bottom Boat tour: If you don’t want to snorkel or dive, a glass-bottom boat tour is a great way to see the Reef and its marine life above the water.
- Kayaking: Rent a kayak and explore the island’s beautiful coastline, including secluded coves and hidden beaches.
- Beachcombing: Fitzroy Island has several beautiful beaches, and beachcombing is popular. You might find seashells, sea glass, and other treasures on shore.
- Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Rent a stand-up paddleboard and explore the calm waters around the island.
- Relaxing: With its stunning scenery and tranquil atmosphere, Fitzroy Island is the perfect place to unwind and relax. Enjoy the tropical sun and sea breezes while lounging on the beach.
Getting to Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island is close and accessible to Cairns’s lively and modern city. Yet, it retains a rugged but appealingly unspoiled character thanks to its imposing and iconic peaks climbing abruptly from the sea.
Predominantly a national park and 30km east of Cairns, the island’s geography features coral beaches, giant boulders, a haze of nature walking tracks and pristine waters for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.
The 340-ha area is a nature lover’s delight, with relatively easily negotiated rocky treks up and around the richly forested peaks, the Lighthouse trek and Secret Garden walk being the most popular. Accessible by high-speed ferry from the Marlin Wharf in Cairns, visitors can book full-day and half-day excursions or stay longer at the resort or camping ground.
Fitzroy Island Top 10 Attractions
Swimming and snorkelling activities on Fitzroy Island take in the crystal clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef location and the fringe reefs they wash over. But visitors who want more can take a 3-hour return sea kayaking route from the resort to Little Fitzroy Island. Kayaks and paddle boards are available for hire on the island, offering PADI-certified diving.
Nudey Beach is an easy walk from Welcome Bay jetty along paths through rainforest and woodlands for classic tropical island sun and sand relaxation. It’s white coral idyll and pristine waters make it the most popular spot for swimming and snorkelling. Awarded as Australia’s best beach, and, despite its name, clothing is mandatory. Discover more about Nudey Beach.
The unspoiled character of Fitzroy Island makes it a magnet for nature lovers willing to discover its many rugged and rich natural features and incredible views. These are best encountered along five main walking tracks, ranging from gentle to challenging through the destination’s rich and diverse flora and fauna. They are mainly at the opposite end of the island to Nudey Beach, and the most physically demanding and rewarding are the 3-hour Summit Trek and 2-hour Lighthouse Trek.
Fitzroy Island Lighthouse
The lighthouse is no longer a guiding beacon for the region’s mariners, but its rich heritage links back to 1923 when a carbide gaslight was raised on Little Fitzroy Island to warn ships about surrounding reefs. A lighthouse was built on the main island in 1943 on the current site and operated through to 1992 and is now a visitor centre.
Fringing reefs surround Fitzroy Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a national island park of which 324ha (97%) are protected. Captain James Cook named Fitzroy Island after the Prime Minister of England of the time. Fitzroy Island is home to the Gunganji people and has been for thousands of years. It was also a penal colony, quarantine base, artillery placement, mission and pearling base. Discover more about Fitzroy Island’s exciting history.
Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
All visitors to Fitzroy Island should discover the fantastic work the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre does to recover sick and injured turtles. Find out more about the team of people helping turtles.
Fitzroy Island National Park
Fitzroy Island is almost a national park and a treasure trove of marine activity and tropical birdlife. There is lush rainforest and open woodlands of eucalyptus and mangroves throughout Fitzroy Island. Along the way, keep an eye out for Red flying foxes, blue Ulysses butterflies, yellow-spotted monitor lizards,
Camping on the Great Barrier Reef
With the tropical climate between 24 and 31 degrees most of the year, camping is a viable option on Fitzroy Island. Camping grounds feature showers, toilets, BBQ facilities and picnic tables. Campers will need to bring their food and drinking water. Visitors can purchase Barbecue packs from the Fitzroy Island general store. Bring your own is advisable. Bookings are essential through Fitzroy Camping Grounds.
Summit Trek and Lighthouse Trek
The steeper of the two main walks on the island is the Summit Trek. This walk (2.6km return) starts near Welcome Bay jetty. The track ascends sharply up the boulder lookout trail through woodland to the peak. The Lighthouse Trek (3.6km return) climbs more gradually to the old lighthouse through the rainforest and passes a lookout spot. The ocean views along the way are fantastic and well worth the effort of the walk.
Glass-bottom Boat tour
Next, hop onboard a glass-bottom boat tour and experience a top-down view of fringing coral reefs, marine animals, and clownfish. Visitors can experience the stunning coral Reef without getting in the water.
Next, discover ways to get to Fitzroy Island.