Fitzroy Island in tropical North Queensland is a true tropical paradise, with crystal clear waters, coral reefs teeming with marine life and lush rainforest.
We’ve put together a complete guide to Fitzroy Island below to help you plan your trip. Whilst it is a small island, it is packed full of tonnes of activities and is a must do whilst in North Queensland.
How to get to Fitzroy Island
To get to Fitzroy Island you will need to catch the Fitzroy Flyer ferry from the Marina in Cairns. The trip takes 45 minutes one way and an adult ticket will cost $82 return. Tickets can be purchased online or from the booking centre at 2/1 Spence Street, Cairns.
The ferry has both morning and afternoon departures, and you can check the latest times on the Fitzroy Island website.
Where to stay
Fitzroy Island can be enjoyed on a day trip, or overnight options are available.
The island has a 20 site campground that is located near the jetty, right in front of the beach. The ground has a shower block and BBQ facilities, and you will need to supply your own equipment. A site costs $37 per night for up to 4 people.
The other option available is the Fitzroy Island Resort. Although the resort has some mixed reviews, we really enjoyed both of our stays there. The rooms are simple and clean, and the resort has a beautiful pool overlooking the ocean. A basic room starts at around $160.
We stayed for two nights which gave us plenty of time to explore the island and relax a little bit as well.
When to visit
Fitzroy island is a year round destination, however the winter months of June-August are the best time to visit, with warm sunny days and little rain. The summer months of December to February are usually more humid, have a higher chance of rain, and carry the risk of jelly fish in the ocean.
Where to eat
The Island has three dining options. Take into account that all of the options are at island prices, so we recommended bringing some snacks and breakfast to save money. The rooms all have a kettle and a fridge.
- The Pool Bar– Cocktails and casual meals such as burgers and salads. The food here was fresh and reasonably priced.
- Foxy’s bar– The menu here is mostly burgers. We found the food quite bland and expensive so recommend eating at the Pool Bar rather than here.
- Zephyr– The island’s nicest restaurant. Here you can get a proper restaurant meal which we enjoyed.
What to do on Fitzroy Island
Go on a hike
There are multiple walking trails that run through the Fitzroy Island National Park. Our favourite two were:
This steep hike rewards you with the most incredible 360 degree views of the island and the Great Barrier Reef. Allow around 2-3 hours for the return trip, and aim to go early in the morning to avoid the hot sun. We left at around 10am and still struggled in the sun at this time, so definitely try to go earlier than this.
Nudey Beach walk
Wind your way through the lush rainforest and down to Nudey beach, voted the most beautiful beach in Australia! The beach has stunning turquoise water, giant granite boulders and a vibrant rainforest backdrop. It’s definitely one of our favourite beaches ever, and is 100% worth the 20 minute trek there.
Fitzroy Island offers incredible snorkelling right off of the beach. Masks and fins can be hired from the Dive centre on the Island, as well as stinger suits which should be worn in the summer months.
The best snorkeling spots are at Welcome Bay, and at the rocks around Nudey Beach. Turtle sighting are very common in Welcome Bay, and many tropical fish can also we spotted.
Try stand up paddle boarding or kayaking
Stand up paddle boards and kayaks can be hired from the Dive Centre. The calm waters of Welcome Bay make it the perfect spot to try your hand at these activities, and they’re a fun way to explore the area.
Visit some rescued sea turtles
The island has a dedicated Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, giving you the perfect chance to see these beautiful creatures up close and learn more about their conservation. Tours run everyday at 1pm, except for Wednesday which is the turtle’s rest day. Tickets cost $11.50 per adult, and tours run for 45 minutes.
- Remember that it’s stinger season from November to May, so ensure that you hire a stinger suit when swimming.
- Bring plenty of snacks with you to the island to cut the costs of buying food on the island.
- Get up early! The sun gets hot very quickly, so start your day early to avoid the worst of the days heat.