Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island rescues injured turtles, returning them to health and returning them to the Great Barrier Reef.

Here you will find a team of passionate people doing a fantastic job.


If you’re wondering why turtles need rehabilitation, you’re not alone.  The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is an excellent place for visitors to learn about CTRC.  This organisation’s history and the assistance they give injured and sick turtles.

As a non-profit run entirely by volunteers, the CTRC on Fitzroy Island is committed to rehabilitating injured and sick turtles.

Six of the world’s seven marine Turtle species live on the Great Barrier Reef.  A wide range of natural and, more importantly, human-induced factors endanger these species.

Visits to the Turtle Rehabilitation Center can be scheduled in advance using the information below.

Every day at 1:00 p.m., 30-minute lectures begin.  A tour guide and a maximum of 15 people are on board.

An adult ticket will set you back $12; a child under 13 is $7.50.  An adult must accompany children under the age of 12.

Make your bookings in advance.  To make a reservation click on the link.

Get in touch with Jennie Gilbert and the volunteers doing this fantastic job of saving turtles’.


It is CTRC’s goal to support the efforts of all organisations, individuals, and agencies working to protect sea turtles.   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for transporting the turtles and EPA National Park Rangers.

If it weren’t for donors and volunteers, CTRC would not be able to continue its critical job.

Many companies support this wonderful organisation and find out how they can help.

Bookings are best made in advance as numbers are limited to 15.

While you are on Fitzroy Island, meeting some of the turtles is a highlight.

If you want to help, get in touch with the centre, and they will be happy to let you know their details.

What Makes the Turtle Rehab Team So Enthusiastic?

The Center’s staff often donates their time and resources to ensure that sick and injured turtles can be reintroduced to the wild safely once they have recovered.

Motivated team members’ participation may be simple or complex, but it all boils down to a love for one of the ocean’s most adorable creatures: the marine Turtle.

Turtle tracks made by last night’s guests could have been detected on the same shorelines in Far North Queensland 150 million years earlier.

Away from civilisation and our unquenchable appetite for more, it demonstrates many of nature’s wonders, safeguarded by its remoteness.

Local environmental variables influence the evolution of species populations in a positive direction.  Our current Turtle species are proof of their ability to survive and prosper when the world around them changes and alters their biodiversity.  Small and gradual changes are expected, giving species more time to adapt to new environments and increasing their survival chances.  However, man’s ability to speed up transition is genuinely remarkable, and sadly this change often fails to consider the rate at which nature can adapt and cope with it.

What does this signify, then, from the perspective of the Turtle?

The chances of surviving 30 years in a rapidly changing ocean environment are slimmer and slimmer.

As a result of increased and destructive fishing practices, many turtles are killed each year.  Turtles can be trapped and drowned by marine trash that humans have created, or worse, they can suffer a painful and lingering death if they eat it.

And there’s the issue of global warming, which will reduce the number of male turtles produced from existing nesting areas and even eliminate many of them.

What is it about turtles that makes us so enamoured?

With every healthy Turtle that leaves our care, we give hope to the Turtle breeding population through their treatment and rehabilitation.  Other organisations and the turtles they help can benefit from the lessons we learn and the lessons we can pass on to them.

Next, head to the Great Barrier Reef to see some of our wonderful Turtle friends.