If you are looking for a tropical island family holiday destination that gives you the opportunity to mix relaxation with play, you can’t beat Fitzroy Island! Located just 45 minutes off the coast of Cairns (via Fast Cat from the Cairns Marina), Fitzroy Island in Tropical Far North Queensland is the ultimate tropical island destination for an unforgettable holiday the whole family will enjoy, thanks to its incredible tropical climate, stunning natural beauty and accessibility from the mainland. Not to mention, its prime positioning in the heart of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef!
Fitzroy Island has a multitude of fabulous activities on offer for kids and families to enjoy. Think snorkelling the wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef right from the shore of the island, exploring Fitzroy Island’s exquisite rainforest and coastal woodland vegetation by means of walking and hiking trails, exploring the surrounding reef environment via means of a glass bottom boat tour, bouncing up and down with glee on the island’s very own giant ocean trampoline, participating in a tour of the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, as well as sea kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. Let’s take a look now at these awesome activities in further detail!
Snorkelling from the Safety of the Shore
With Fitzroy Island sitting right among the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef, it is the perfect place for children and families to don a mask, snorkel and fins and enjoy some snorkelling in the calm ocean waters that surround the island. Snorkelling from the shore is a great option for kids who aren’t overly confident swimmers or are afraid of deep water (which may be the case upon visiting the outer reef). With the safety of the shore mere metres from them, kids have the opportunity to slowly build up their confidence as they witness the incredible underwater beauty, coral and sea life that surrounds them. And who knows, perhaps they’ll have the opportunity to spot a majestic sea turtle or even Nemo!
Walking and Hiking Trails
Approximately 97% of Fitzroy Island is classed as National Park. The island is covered in stunning rainforest and coastal woodland vegetation, just waiting to be explored! Fitzroy Island has on offer numerous different walking and hiking tracks, with something to suit little ones (think 5-minute easy walking trails), all the way up to suitably fit and strong teens (such as the 3-hour hike to the summit). The island’s trails are a brilliant opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the island as a family, including its unique wildlife, all while enjoying the fresh air and incidental exercise.
Glass Bottom Boat Tours
Glass Bottom Boat Tours are a fantastic option for families with very young children (or kids who aren’t particularly confident swimming/snorkelling) to explore the exquisite underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef that surrounds Fitzroy Island. With the option to travel at two different times per day, a Glass Bottom Boat Tour is a fun, relaxing and informative way to explore the sheltered waters of Fitzroy Island. The kids will have the chance to spot sea turtles, tropical fish and different types of coral.
Giant Ocean Trampoline
Situated a mere 25 metres from the shore of Fitzroy Island you shall find the giant ocean trampoline, which is tons of fun for kids and adults, too! The giant ocean trampoline is a much-loved activity by little visitors to the island and is the perfect option to meet other kids staying on Fitzroy Island.
Sea Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding
No stay at Fitzroy Island is complete without giving the fun activities of sea kayaking and stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding a shot! Complete with glass viewing panels, not only are sea kayaking and SUP boarding awesome ways to explore the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef from the comfort of your craft, they also offer a great dose of incidental exercise. All relevant equipment can be hired from the island’s Dive and Adventure Centre.
If you have older children and are looking for something a little more adventurous, Fitzroy Island offer 3-hour guided sea kayaking tours, whereby you can explore untouched locations around the island via kayak and snorkelling, all under the expert instruction of an experienced guide. All relevant sea kayak and snorkelling gear hire as well as a packed lunch is included as part of this awesome experience (please note: age restrictions apply).
Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Fitzroy Island is fortunate to be home to the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, run by a truly dedicated and passionate team of volunteers, who work tirelessly to rehabilitate and care for injured or sick sea turtles, with the goal of release back into their ocean home upon recovery. At 1pm each day, the Centre offers 45-minute tours, allowing kids and their families to see the turtle residents up close and to learn all about these magnificent creatures and the vital work of the centre in caring for sea turtles.
In addition to the six above activities for kids on Fitzroy Island, children on the island also have the opportunity to splash about in the resort pool, pay a visit to the game room, and if they still have the energy, perhaps even the island’s movie theatre!