Dreaming of sand between your toes while you watch the gentle waves greet the shore? Do you long to bask under the warmth of the sun in your swimsuit? Fitzroy Island is a tropical paradise located off the coast of Cairns in Far North Queensland and is the best location for a quick getaway with the entire family.
Bringing kids along on trips can become a blessing or a curse; you want them to create fun memories of their youth but you run the risk of hearing nonstop complaints about being “bored” or “too tired”. The last thing you want is a child with a pout on his face or a teenager who would rather spend his time in the hotel room.
Enter Fitzroy Island, the perfect destination for wholesome family activities that will leave everyone begging for more.
Fun Activities for the Whole Family
Just because the kids are tagging along doesn’t mean that activities should just be suited for them. There are a number of fun things to do with the entire family when you reach Fitzroy Island. Mum and Dad need to have some fun too, don’t you agree?
Fitzroy Island is home to the Great Barrier Reef, a world-renowned snorkelling site popular for its wide array of corals and marine wildlife. It was selected as a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is dubbed as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.
Snorkelling can be nerve-wracking for kids and adults alike, especially when it’s their first time. Corals are mainly found quite far from the coast and would require the use of a boat and diving into deep waters for you to be able to admire their beauty. Thankfully the corals off the coast of Fitzroy Island is not too far – in fact, there is direct access right off the beach. There’s no need to venture far, and it will be perfect for beginners to gain more confidence.
Glass Bottomed Boat Tours
Not a fan of swimming or snorkelling? We hear you. Around the island there are tours that feature boats that have glass bottoms, allowing passengers to take an intimate look into the ocean without getting wet!
Fitzroy Island has fair weather on most days, making glass bottom tours possible to operate twice a day. Take your time to view the beautiful corals and get a chance to see a sea turtle! Children get especially excited when they see aquatic animals in the flesh.
Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Turtles are becoming endangered creatures and this aquatic animal calls Fitzroy Island home. It’s no wonder then that the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is located on the island. A tourist attraction and non-profit organisation rolled into one, the centre holds 45-minute tours starting at 1 PM in the afternoon everyday.
This is a volunteer operated non-profit organisation that aims to promote the centre’s advocacy – the preservation of the endangered sea turtle and its habitat. The tour talks about the centre’s history and also shows visitors what volunteers do. Sea turtles in the centre are sick and injured; they are nursed back to health by knowledgeable volunteers and then eventually released into the wild.
With the centre open to the public daily, it will help adults and children alike learn more about sea turtles; the challenges they face in the wild; and gain insight about conserving their natural habitat.
Sea Kayaking & Stand Up Paddle Boards
The Dive and Adventure Centre, located on the island, has kayaks and paddleboards that the entire family can rent. Just because you’re surrounded by water doesn’t mean you have to be IN the water — nothing wrong with a fun-filled afternoon with the fam on Fitzroy Island’s calm blue seas!
There are single and double sea kayaks that kids will love to try and will help them gain more confidence when they’re in the ocean. For a more challenging activity, give SUP board a try. Trying to balance while you paddle can be tricky but nonetheless exciting!
Giant Ocean Trampoline
Kids and trampoline go together like peanut butter and jelly – and you’ll find yourself some time to rest and relax while the little ones hurry off to try the island’s giant trampoline. Upon arrival the trampoline is usually the first thing your playful kiddos see and they can’t wait to give it a go. It’s situated just 25 metres off the shore so it is within safe distance.
Watch them jump it out and release their energy while you lay back and watch the sun set over the horizon.
Fitzroy Island isn’t all sun, sand, and sea. It’s 97% National Park, making it an awesome location for a leisurely walk on one of its many trails. There are 5-minute walks that you and your young children can enjoy. For more experienced or older guests, there are island walking trails that last for 30 minutes to 3 hours.
One trail will lead you to the island’s lighthouse in less than an hour. Time your walk and catch the magnificent sunset.
Important Things to Remember Before You Go
Just like any other trip, it is important to learn more about your destination. You might be missing out on information that could make or break your vacation with the kids.
- As you know, the Great Barrier Reef is not far off the coast of the island. Because of this, the main beach is mainly tiny corals and not a lot of sand. You should bring appropriate footwear.
- You don’t have to stay at a hotel when you visit the island. Rough it out and spend the night in the wilderness. That’s right — you can camp at Fitzroy Island. Make sure to contact the National Parks for more information.
- Make a list of everything you may need. This will help you from spending unnecessarily on items you already have.
- Always check the schedule of tours to make sure of its availability.
- The island has a complex called the Day Facilities and is open to all visitors. Here you can find a souvenir shop, restaurant, bar, and cafe.
Visit Fitzroy Island Today
Whether it’s a sojourn over the weekend or a day trip, Fitzroy Island has everything you and your kids are looking for (and more). There is never a dull moment whenever you visit Fitzroy Island.