21 Dec
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Discover the Enchantment of Fitzroy Island: Your Next Day Trip Destination

Nestled in the heart of the waters of Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, Fitzroy Island emerges as a jewel of natural beauty, offering an escapade into a world where vibrant coral reefs, lush rainforests, and serene beaches blend into an idyllic paradise.

Within shouting distance (well, almost) of Cairns in Queensland, this continental island invites adventurers, nature lovers, and those seeking a tranquil retreat to experience its unique charm.

Enveloped by crystal-clear waters and teeming with rich marine life, Fitzroy Island promises an unforgettable day trip for everyone. Whether you’re an avid snorkeller eager to explore the underwater wonders, a hiker looking to traverse through verdant trails, or someone who simply wishes to bask in the sun on pristine beaches, Fitzroy Island caters to all desires.

And with its easy accessibility from the mainland, Fitzroy Island is not just a destination but a vivid experience waiting to unfold. In this article, we’re going to take you through planning the ideal day trip to Fitzroy Island, with the aim of ensuring that every moment spent here becomes a cherished memory.

From the azure depths of the Reef to the tranquil shores lined with lush greenery, Fitzroy Island is a slice of paradise that promises to captivate your heart.

How do you get to Fitzroy Island?

Getting to Fitzroy Island isn’t too difficult – especially if you’re already in Cairns. Located just 29 kilometres off the coast of Cairns in Queensland, this tropical paradise is surprisingly accessible, making it an ideal destination for a day trip.

The easiest way to get here is by taking the Fitzroy Flyer – a ferry service that runs daily between Cairns and Fitzroy Island. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes, allowing you to soak in the stunning ocean views as you approach the island.

It’s advisable to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure a smooth start to your island adventure.

What to expect when you arrive on Fitzroy Island

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the sight of the island’s crystal-clear waters and lush greenery. The ferry docks at a jetty, conveniently located near the island’s main beach and walking paths, providing easy access to all that Fitzroy Island has to offer.

As you disembark from the ferry, you’ll immediately feel the island’s tranquil charm. The island is fairly small but still offers a variety of activities and experiences – essentially the island packs a punch. And speaking of packing, below we’ve got some travel tips for you.

Travel tips

  • What to Bring: Pack light but don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle. If you’re planning to snorkel or swim, bring your gear or be prepared to rent some on the island.
  • Staying Connected: While the star of the island is nature, making Fitzroy Island a great a place to disconnect, it’s good to know that mobile phone coverage is generally available.

Day trip activities on Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is a haven of activities, catering to every interest and age group. Whether you’re seeking underwater adventures, tranquil walks, or just a day of relaxation, the island offers an abundance of choices.


The Coral Reefs: Fitzroy Island is fringed by a stunning coral reef system, part of the Great Barrier Reef. Here, snorkellers and divers can immerse themselves in an underwater spectacle, surrounded by a diverse array of marine life.

Equipment Rentals: For those without their own gear, snorkelling equipment can be rented on the island. There are options available for all levels of experience. Tours for snorkelling is available, though there may be some dates where tours are not running, so make sure you check the schedule here and book ahead if possible.

Walking Trails

The Lighthouse and Summit Trails: These trails offer panoramic views of the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef. The walks vary in difficulty but promise rewarding vistas and encounters with the island’s unique flora and fauna.

Interpretive Signage: Along the trails, informative signs provide insights into the island’s ecosystem, making the hikes both educational and enjoyable.

Glass Bottom Boat Tours

A Unique Perspective: For those who prefer to stay dry, glass bottom boat tours offer a window into the vibrant marine life beneath the waves. Learn more about these adventures here.

Family-Friendly Adventure: These tours are perfect for families with young children or anyone who wants to marvel at the reef without getting wet.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Rental Options: Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are available for hire, allowing visitors to explore the island’s coastline and nearby coral systems.

Scenic Routes: Paddle along the island’s shores for a serene and picturesque experience. It also gives you a chance to explore those hard to reach places.

The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

Conservation Efforts: Learn about the island’s efforts in rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured sea turtles. A visit here is educational and offers a chance to contribute to conservation efforts.

As you plan your day on Fitzroy Island, remember that the true beauty of this place lies in its diverse offerings. Whether you choose to plunge into the deep blue waters or explore the lush green trails, each activity on the island is a step closer to understanding and appreciating this magnificent slice of paradise.

What dining options are available on Fitzroy Island?

Fitzroy Island not only captivates with its natural beauty but also delights the palate with a variety of dining options. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, the island caters to all tastes and preferences.

Zephyr Restaurant

Located at Fitzroy Island Resort, Zephyr offers a menu that combines fresh, local ingredients with international flavours. The restaurant boasts a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere, perfect for a memorable meal.

Enjoy your dining experience with stunning views of the Coral Sea, making it an ideal spot for a romantic lunch or a serene dinner.

Foxy’s Bar

For a more casual dining experience, Foxy’s Bar is a great choice. Situated on the beachfront, it offers a range of options, from light snacks to hearty meals and has its own tropical twist that is irresistible.

Often featuring live music and entertainment, Foxy’s Bar is perfect for unwinding and soaking in the island vibe.

There’s also a general store for picking up snacks or you can bring your own food and enjoy the sights on your schedule.

If you’re more into relaxation

While many of the activities we’ve mentioned so far are action-filled, Fitzroy Island is not just about adventure; it’s also a sanctuary for relaxation and tranquillity.

The island’s beaches offer pristine sands and crystal-clear waters, making them the perfect backdrop for a day of unwinding and soaking up the tropical sun.

Nudey Beach is an award-winning Australian beach that is a much-visit. This coral beach, known for its secluded setting, is ideal for sunbathing and swimming in serene waters. It’s accessible via a short, scenic walk through the rainforest, offering a peaceful retreat away from the main areas.

Or you can enjoy Welcome Bay, which you will spot as you arrive on the island. Welcome Bay, adjacent to the Fitzroy Island Resort, is perfect for those who prefer to stay close to the island’s amenities. With its calm waters, it’s also ideal for families with children.

The bay provides easy access to water sports like snorkelling and paddleboarding, allowing for a mix of relaxation and fun.

Just make sure that you bring sun protection – the Australian sun can be intense, so remember to apply sunscreen regularly and stay hydrated.

How to make the most of your Fitzroy Island day trip adventure

A visit to Fitzroy Island is a unique experience, and a few insider tips can help ensure your day trip is as enjoyable and seamless as possible. Here’s some advice to keep in mind as you plan your island adventure:

Pack smart and bring the essentials for a day trip

  • The tropical sun can be intense, so bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses for protection.
  • Wear sturdy shoes if you plan to explore the walking trails. Flip-flops or sandals are great for the beach.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle. You can refill it on the island to reduce plastic waste.

Take the weather into consideration

  • The weather in tropical north Queensland is pretty great all year round, however, it can change quickly especially during the wet season. So keep an eye on the forecast.
  • If you do visit during the wet season, remember it can be humid and you will most likely get wet so bring some spare clothes or wear quick to dry fabrics. But don’t let that put you off visiting.

Enjoy the island responsibly

  • Be mindful of your surroundings while snorkelling or swimming. Avoid touching the coral or disturbing marine life.
  • Keep the beaches and trails clean by disposing of trash properly.


By keeping these tips in mind, your visit to Fitzroy Island will be not only enjoyable but also respectful to the delicate ecosystem that makes this island so special. Remember, every small effort contributes to preserving the beauty and health of this tropical paradise.

A Day in Paradise Awaits

As our journey through the planning of your ideal day trip to Fitzroy Island comes to a close, it’s clear that this island is more than just a destination; it’s an experience that stays with you.

From the vibrant coral reefs and lush rainforests to the tranquil beaches and the commitment to conservation, Fitzroy Island offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and environmental awareness.

We invite you to experience Fitzroy Island for yourself. Whether you’re a local or a traveller from afar, the island is ready to welcome you with open arms.


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