Welcome to the ultimate guide to Fitzroy Island, your gateway to a tropical paradise. Nestled amidst the tranquil waters of the Great Barrier Reef, Fitzroy Island offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation, making it the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, and those simply in search of a tropical escape.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of Fitzroy Island, showcasing its breathtaking landscapes, abundant marine life, and a wide range of activities for all types of travellers. From snorkelling in crystal-clear waters to family-friendly adventures and adults-only indulgences, Fitzroy Island has something for everyone.
We’ll also provide you with essential tips, including the best times to visit and the packing essentials you’ll need for an unforgettable trip. Join us as we uncover the secrets of Fitzroy Island, a place where adventure meets relaxation, and where natural wonders await your discovery.
Your journey to this tropical paradise begins here!
Fitzroy Island is easily accessible from Cairns, North Queensland, offering multiple transportation options to reach this tropical paradise.
- Fitzroy Flyer: The Fitzroy Flyer is a popular option for visitors. This boat service offers a 45-minute ride from Cairns to the island and back, making it ideal for day trips to explore the Great Barrier Reef or longer stays at the island’s resort.
- Ferry Service: The Fitzroy Island Ferry is another popular choice for transportation. It departs daily from Cairns Marlin Marina and offers a comfortable and scenic 45-minute journey to the island.
- Travellers can customise their visit by choosing from three departure times from Cairns Marina: 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 1:30 PM.
- Return journeys from Fitzroy Island offer flexibility with 9:30 AM, 12:15 PM, and 5:00 PM departure times.
- Private Boats: Fitzroy Island is also accessible for private boat owners and yachts. You can enjoy the azure blue waters around the island, making it a popular spot for picnics, swimming, and snorkelling. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park provides public moorings on Fitzroy Island for boating convenience.
Fitzroy Island offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape, a family-friendly stay, or a secluded island hideaway, Fitzroy Island provides choices to make your stay comfortable and memorable.
Welcome Bay Suite
The Welcome Bay Suite at Fitzroy Island offers a comfortable and picturesque accommodation experience. These suites are located on the top floor, providing guests with unfiltered views across Welcome Bay, creating a tranquil atmosphere. With 71 square metres of space, they feature a large balcony and a separate bedroom and dining area, making them spacious and well-appointed. The suite includes a Queen-sized bed, ideal for a restful night’s sleep, and offers modern amenities such as a plasma TV, tea and coffee facilities, and air-conditioning.
Moreover, the separate bedroom and dining area add to the convenience and comfort of these suites, making them perfect for couples or small families. If you prefer to relax outdoors, the generous balcony allows you to enjoy the beautiful views and the island’s natural beauty. These suites provide an excellent option for a serene and enjoyable stay on Fitzroy Island.
The Two-Bedroom Suite at Fitzroy Island provides a comfortable and spacious stay for guests. These self-contained suites offer 97 square metres of space, making them ideal for families or groups. They include a variety of amenities, such as a fully equipped kitchen, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, a plasma TV, and an ensuite bathroom.
The suites consist of two bedrooms and a separate living area. One of the bedrooms features a Queen-sized bed, while the second bedroom has twin beds. This room configuration makes it suitable for families or small groups travelling together.
One of the notable features of these suites is the large balcony, providing an outdoor space to relax and enjoy the island’s beauty. With a generous amount of space, modern amenities, and the capacity to accommodate several guests, the Two-Bedroom Suites offer a comfortable and convenient option for those visiting Fitzroy Island.
The beach cabin accommodation at Fitzroy Island is a delightful option for a comfortable and relaxing stay. These cabins are perfectly situated right on the beach, allowing guests direct access to the sandy shores and the stunning Welcome Bay.
The cabins feature two bedrooms, making them suitable for families or groups of friends, with a Queen-sized bed in one bedroom and twin beds in a separate bedroom. Moreover, guests can enjoy the beautiful views across Welcome Bay from the generous balcony that adds to the serene and picturesque atmosphere.
To ensure a pleasant indoor climate, the cabins are air-conditioned and equipped with ceiling fans. Modern amenities, including a plasma TV and tea and coffee facilities, are also provided, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable stay.
Fitzroy Island’s Resort Studio provides an affordable and comfortable option for guests. These rooms are designed for two guests and offer a basic but cozy setting. The room can feature either a Queen bed or two Single beds, making it suitable for couples or friends.
While these rooms offer limited rainforest views, they provide excellent value for money and are ideal for those seeking a budget-friendly option. The resort studio rooms are spacious, ensuring guests have a comfortable stay. The view from the room faces the famous Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful National Park bushland of Fitzroy Island.
The Island Suite at Fitzroy Island offers a modern and spacious one-bedroom suite for guests. These suites are thoughtfully designed to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. With 71 square metres of space, the Island Suite provides ample room for relaxation. The separate bedroom features a Queen-sized bed for a restful night’s sleep, and there’s also a separate dining area for your meals.
Additionally, the suite boasts a generous balcony, allowing you to take in the beautiful surroundings and views. For your convenience, there’s a kitchenette for light meal preparation, and the suite is equipped with air-conditioning and ceiling fans. You’ll find a plasma TV for entertainment, and there’s an ensuite bathroom with amenities.
The Penthouse at Fitzroy Island offers a luxurious and spacious retreat ideal for families or groups of friends. With four bedrooms, including a master bedroom with a King bed, ensuite bathroom, and balcony access providing stunning views over Welcome Bay, it can comfortably accommodate up to 8 guests. The additional bedrooms feature Queen beds, and one offers the flexibility of a King or Twin bed configuration.
Moreover, the Penthouse includes separate living, dining, and kitchen areas for ample space to relax and socialize. The fully equipped kitchen features modern amenities, including a Nespresso machine. For added convenience, there’s a laundry area.
You can enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty of Fitzroy Island from the large balcony. Located on the 3rd floor with lift access, the Penthouse has a minimum two-night stay requirement and is available in both three and four-bedroom options, providing flexibility to suit your group’s needs. It promises a modern and spacious living experience with all the amenities necessary for a comfortable and enjoyable stay on Fitzroy Island.
The Butterfly Bungalows at Fitzroy Island provide a secluded island retreat surrounded by rainforest and just moments from the beach. These 3-star bungalows offer self-contained accommodations separate from the main resort.
Five of the bungalows can accommodate a maximum of four guests and include bunk beds for up to two guests. One bungalow features a queen bed and is suitable for a maximum of two guests.
Inside the bungalows, you’ll find a small food preparation area equipped with a mini bar fridge, microwave, kettle, and toaster. Each bungalow also has a covered outdoor deck area with tables and chairs, a large Esky (cool box), and a Weber BBQ. Basic cooking items, plates, cutlery, and BBQ utensils are provided.
Please note that rooms are serviced every 3 days, and additional towels are available upon request. The consumption of BYO alcohol and the lighting of fires are not permitted, and quiet hours begin at 10 p.m. each night.
Fitzroy Island offers a diverse array of water activities for visitors to enjoy in its pristine tropical surroundings. Here’s an overview of the water adventures you can experience on this breathtaking island:
Fitzroy Island is a snorkeller’s paradise, with opportunities to explore stunning coral reefs and vibrant marine life. You can embark on guided snorkel tours in the calm, sheltered waters of Welcome Bay or explore the incredible snorkel sites surrounding the island. The proximity of the reefs to the shore makes it accessible for snorkelers of all levels, including beginners. Expect to encounter colourful fish and intricate coral formations during your underwater exploration.
This thrilling water activity offers both exercise and a chance to explore the nearby wonders of the Great Barrier Reef, just metres from Fitzroy Island’s shores. As you master paddleboarding, you can get up close and personal with the reef’s marine life, from colourful fish to majestic sea turtles, in the calm, sheltered waters surrounding the island. It’s an accessible and exciting way to experience the aquatic marvels of the Great Barrier Reef.
For those seeking adventure and a different perspective of the island, renting a kayak is a fantastic option. Paddle along the island’s beautiful coastline, where you’ll discover hidden coves, serene beaches, and breathtaking vistas. Kayaking allows you to explore at your own pace and immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty. You can rent kayaks on the island, making it a convenient activity for visitors.
Glass Bottom Boat Tours
Glass bottom boat tours on Fitzroy Island provide a unique and exciting way to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef without the need for snorkelling or diving. These tours depart twice daily from the island and offer visitors an opportunity to get up close and personal with the rich marine life and coral formations in the sheltered waters surrounding Fitzroy Island. The glass bottom boats have transparent viewing panels on their hulls, allowing passengers to observe the underwater world with ease.
During these tours, you can witness vibrant soft coral, colourful fish, and even wild sea turtles in their natural habitat. The experience is both informative and visually captivating, making it suitable for all ages, including families and individuals who may not be comfortable with traditional snorkelling or diving.
Fitzroy Island offers a range of land activities that allow visitors to connect with its natural beauty and unique landscapes. Here are some of the exciting land activities you can enjoy during your visit:
Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Fitzroy Island is home to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, a non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating sick and injured turtles. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the centre’s work, see the turtles, and gain insight into the efforts to protect these fascinating marine creatures.
Exploring the National Park
Exploring Fitzroy Island’s National Park is a fantastic way to connect with nature. This island has preserved about 97% of its land as a National Park, so there’s plenty to discover. It’s a perfect opportunity for hikers, nature lovers, or anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
Here are some of the notable trails you can explore:
- Nudey Beach Track: This is a relatively easy and short trail, perfect for beginners and families. It leads to Nudey Beach, which is renowned for its coral reefs and marine life. It’s an excellent spot for snorkelling and relaxation.
- Secret Garden Track: For those seeking a slightly more challenging adventure, the Secret Garden Track is a great choice. It takes you through dense rainforest, allowing you to discover the island’s lush flora and perhaps spot some wildlife.
- Summit Track: If you’re up for a more demanding hike, the Summit Track is the way to go. This trail takes you to the island’s highest point, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding ocean and mainland. It’s a rewarding experience for hikers with moderate fitness levels.
- Lighthouse Road: This is a pleasant walk that takes you to the historic Fitzroy Island Lighthouse. It’s not a very long trail and offers a chance to learn about the island’s history.
Beachcombing on Fitzroy Island invites you to slow down, unwind, and connect with the natural rhythms of the island. As you stroll along the pristine shores, the soft sand underfoot and the gentle sound of the waves create a soothing ambience.
The real magic of beachcombing lies in the treasures you might discover. Fitzroy Island’s beaches are home to an array of seashells, both common and unique. These shells come in various shapes, sizes, and colours, making each find a small but exciting adventure. You might stumble upon intricate coral fragments, smoothed by the sea’s touch, or even the occasional piece of sea glass, polished to a jewel-like quality.
Fitzroy Island offers a range of captivating wildlife encounters, allowing visitors to connect with the island’s diverse ecosystems.
Fitzroy Island offers a bird watcher’s dream with its lush rainforests and pristine shores. In the rainforest, you’ll be serenaded by the melodious calls of tropical birds, including rainbow lorikeets and boat-billed herons. Along the coast, you can observe wading birds like sandpipers and soaring seabirds like ospreys. The island’s unique location within the Great Barrier Reef allows for a diverse range of bird species, making bird watching a delightful experience for nature enthusiasts.
Marine Life Viewing
Fitzroy Island’s surrounding waters are home to a plethora of marine creatures. Keep a watchful eye for the playful antics of dolphins as they glide through the crystal-clear waters, often putting on a delightful show for onlookers.
As you venture into the depths, you’ll be immersed in a vibrant world of colourful fish, where schools of tropical species create a mesmerizing underwater spectacle. To witness this underwater beauty up close, both snorkelling and glass-bottom boat tours provide excellent opportunities.
Butterfly Bungalow Experience
If you’ve booked a Butterfly Bungalow to stay in, a truly unique and tranquil encounter with nature awaits. Nestled within Fitzroy Island’s lush landscape, your bungalow offers the perfect vantage point to embrace the island’s natural beauty.
The rich diversity of flora on Fitzroy Island acts as a magnet for exquisite butterflies, which grace the surroundings with their delicate wings. From the comfort of your bungalow, you can savour moments of awe as you observe these elegant creatures in their natural habitat. It’s an experience that seamlessly blends luxury and nature, allowing you to connect with the island’s vibrant ecosystem without leaving the serenity of your accommodation.
Relaxation and Wellness
Fitzroy Island is a haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse themselves in nature’s embrace. Here are some of the ways to unwind and pamper yourself on this island paradise:
Embrace the tranquillity of the island by indulging in a beach picnic on one of its picturesque sandy shores. The pristine beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely outdoor meal. Bask in the gentle embrace of the sun’s rays, savour the fresh sea breeze, and relish a delightful picnic surrounded by nature’s beauty.
As the day transitions into twilight, Fitzroy Island offers breathtaking sunsets that are not to be missed. Whether you choose to witness this daily spectacle from the beach or the comfort of your accommodation, it’s a moment of pure serenity. Let the symphony of the waves and the vibrant colours of the sunset soothe your soul as you take in the natural beauty of the island.
Fitzroy Island offers a range of enjoyable activities for families with children. Here are some kid-friendly activities that will make your family’s visit to the island a memorable experience:
Fitzroy Island’s calm tropical waters provide an excellent setting for family-friendly snorkelling adventures. Children can safely explore the underwater world, discovering vibrant marine life and colourful corals just metres from the shore. It’s an opportunity for young adventurers to connect with the natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef.
Take short nature walks with your kids to immerse yourselves in the island’s rich flora and fauna. Fitzroy Island is home to diverse ecosystems, and these walks offer a chance for children to learn about the unique plants and animals that call the island home. Guided by the sounds of nature, these walks create lasting memories of exploration and discovery.
Fitzroy Island’s pristine beaches are a paradise for kids. Let them indulge in building sandcastles, collecting seashells, and playing along the sandy shores. The soft, white sand and gentle waves provide a safe and enjoyable environment for children to have fun and create their beach adventures.
Fitzroy Island offers a range of serene and romantic experiences for adults looking to unwind and reconnect with nature. Here are some adults-only activities that provide a tranquil escape:
Indulge in the ultimate relaxation by sipping cocktails while gazing upon the mesmerizing sunset. Fitzroy Island’s pristine beaches provide an idyllic backdrop for this romantic experience. The changing colours of the sky, the gentle sound of waves, and your favourite cocktail make for a magical evening.
Night Sky Gazing
Experience the wonders of the pristine night sky on Fitzroy Island. Join stargazing sessions to marvel at the celestial beauty above. Away from city lights, the island provides an ideal backdrop for observing stars, constellations, and even meteor showers, making it a truly magical experience.
Adult Beach Time
Find secluded beaches on the island where you can relish quiet and romantic moments. These pristine shores offer privacy and serenity, making them perfect for unwinding, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the company of your loved one. The sound of the ocean and the soft, white sand create an atmosphere of pure tranquillity.
Planning Your Visit to Fitzroy Island
When preparing for your visit to Fitzroy Island, it’s important to consider various factors to make the most of your experience. Here are some tips and recommendations for planning your trip:
- Day Trips: If you’re planning a day trip to Fitzroy Island, consider taking the ferry from Cairns, which offers regular services. Plan your activities in advance, as a day can be quite packed with adventures like snorkelling and hiking. Check the ferry schedules to ensure a convenient return trip.
- Multi-Day Stays: For a more immersive experience, opt for a multi-day stay. Fitzroy Island Resort offers comfortable accommodations. Pre-book activities like snorkelling and glass-bottom boat tours to secure your spots. Explore hiking trails and take your time to enjoy the serene beaches.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Fitzroy Island is during the dry season, which typically spans from May to October. During this period, temperatures are mild, and rainfall is lower, providing pleasant weather for outdoor activities.
- Clothing: Pack light and comfortable clothing suitable for tropical weather. Don’t forget swimwear for snorkelling and beach activities.
- Sun Protection: Bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and rash guards for sun protection. The Australian sun can be intense, especially during the day.
- Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or sandals are essential, especially if you plan to explore hiking trails.
- Insect Repellent: Consider bringing insect repellent, as tropical locations can have mosquitoes.
- Basic Necessities: Remember to carry any personal items you might need during your visit, such as identification, cash, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
Create Lasting Memories on Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island beckons with its pristine beauty, abundant marine life, and activities that cater to all ages and interests. It’s a destination that leaves visitors with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the natural wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Embrace the island’s offerings and let its natural splendour captivate your heart.
So, plan your visit to Fitzroy Island, where the azure waters and lush rainforest await, offering a truly magical escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.