Not only is snorkelling an exciting and enjoyable way to explore all the wondrous sea life beneath the ocean’s surface, it is also very affordable, when compared to activities such as scuba diving. And without a doubt, Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the most outstanding destinations for fabulous snorkelling anywhere in the world.
Not only is the Great Barrier Reef teeming with magnificent coral reefs and stunning animal life, its northern Australia location means its warm tropical waters make it even more of a joy to explore! Furthermore, the Great Barrier Reef is dotted with an array of gorgeous tropical islands, some of which are easily accessible from places such as Cairns (e.g. Fitzroy Island).
Fitzroy Island is an exquisite tropical island paradise located right in the heart of the wondrous Great Barrier Reef and is covered by 97% National Park. The island’s unique position on the Reef makes it a superb option when it comes to choosing an amazing snorkelling location. Let’s take a look in more detail now why Fitzroy Island is a great choice.
Easily Accessible and Affordable
Cairns is known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and the region’s many other amazing natural attractions, such as the infamous Daintree Rainforest. With both a domestic and international airport located a mere ten minutes from the heart of Cairns and the Cairns marina, you can’t beat this tropical location for its proximity to the reef. Getting to Fitzroy Island is as easy as taking the island’s Fitzroy Flyer boat from the Cairns marina to the island’s Welcome Bay. This journey takes just 45 minutes, end to end!
A return boat ride to Fitzroy Island will set you back just $82 per adult and $41 per child (infants ride free), and a family ticket is a mere $215 (prices accurate at 9/9/2020, subject to change). When compared to the cost of a day tour to the outer reef (often $200+ per person), Fitzroy Island is a very cost-effective choice for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. If you are seeking more information on getting to Fitzroy Island, please take a look here.
Fitzroy Island is undoubtedly one of the very best locations in Tropical Far North Queensland for snorkelling and exploring the stunning Great Barrier Reef. With gentle, calm ocean waters and the reef located just metres from the shore, you just can’t beat Fitzroy Island. Additionally, Fitzroy Island is home to Nudey Beach, ranked number one in Australia’s Top 101 Beaches Awards in 2018. Think gorgeous white coral sand, ancient giant boulders and exquisite aqua ocean, which together make Nudey Beach truly breathtaking, as well as the perfect launching pad for snorkelling the reef.
Snorkelling the surrounding warm waters of Fitzroy Island means you’ll have the chance to spot a wide array of hard and soft coral species, numerous different types of tropical fish (including the infamous Nemo!), giant clams and majestic sea turtles, just to name a few. In fact, Fitzroy Island is famous for turtle-spotting, so be certain to pay a visit if you are a turtle lover. Be sure to bring your own snorkelling gear (mask, snorkel and fins) to the island, and a stinger suit, if you wish (November through May).
Superb Tropical Weather
Thanks to being located in gorgeous Tropical Far North Queensland, Fitzroy Island’s weather is warm, balmy and relaxing all year round. Not only does this make it an irresistible place to visit, it also means that the ocean surrounding the island is a balmy 24 degrees Celsius on average in winter (yes, you read that correctly!), and up to 30 degrees Celsius in summer. This means there is no need for a wetsuit to keep you warm, making popping in and out of the water at your leisure a breeze.
Calm and Safe Waters
The ocean waters surrounding Fitzroy Island are not only home to the Great Barrier Reef, but are also calm and gentle, making the island one of the ultimate places for relaxed and easy snorkelling. If you have young children or are not an overly confident swimmer, Fitzroy Island is the perfect place to swim, snorkel and explore the reef, and you shall not be subject to especially deep water, as can be the case on outer reef tours.
Island Resort Accommodation
If you are wanting to visit Fitzroy Island for more than just the day, you can do so by booking yourself a stay at the island’s beautiful, exclusive resort, Fitzroy Island Resort. With a wide array of accommodation options available, from beach bungalows to resort apartments, there is bound to be a room type that suits your taste and needs.