Your ultimate guide to Fitzroy Island

Your ultimate guide to Fitzroy Island

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/15/2023

Reading time: 6 mins

Fitzroy Island is a tropical paradise and the perfect spot for your weekend getaway.

Fitzroy Island is near Cairns, right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The island is unspoilt and has a beautiful lush rainforest, pristine beaches, and endless activities. It truly feels like a slice of heaven on earth, and we have put together your ultimate guide to this incredible location.

How to get to Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is about 30 kilometres from Cairns and the only way to get there is a ferry or boat. You can book a ferry from Cairns to Fitzroy Island and the trip is about 45 minutes. There are limited departure times, and you must check in about 30 minutes early at the Booking Centre.

The other option is using your own boat. You will need to pay to park your boat at the public mooring on Fitzroy Island.

Boat ride to Fitzroy Island

What to do on the water

If you’re a lover of water, Fitzroy Island offers a range of different water activities you can do on the island. You can hire most equipment and gear from the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub or the Activities Centre.

  • Scuba diving

Scuba diving is one of the best ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef and it allows you to get close to the marine life.

There are instructors to teach you how to dive before you head off to explore the colourful reefs for yourself. Of course, if you are already an experienced diver, you won’t need to do the lessons prior.

  • Snorkelling

Snorkelling is a fun activity you can do while on Fitzroy Island. You can go snorkelling at Nudey Beach or Welcome Bay, both gorgeous in their own right. The crystal-clear blue water is nice and warm all year round, and you might even spot sea turtles or clownfish.

Snorkelling on Fitzroy Island

  • Standup paddleboarding

Standup paddleboarding (or SUP for short) is a bit of a workout, but it can be a lot of fun. We recommend sticking close to the island as you start out, and only venturing further out once you’ve built up your confidence.

  • Glass-bottom boating

Glass-bottom boats allow you to stay dry all the while witnessing the colourful marine life below. The glass-bottom boat is great for families with small children or for people not wanting to get in the water. The boat leaves twice a day and heads out to see life underwater.

What to do off the water

While the water might be inviting, Fitzroy Island has a lot to offer on land too. From lush rainforests to open woodlands and beaches, you can easily spend a couple of days exploring on foot around the island.

  • Hiking

There are heaps of different hiking trails on Fitzroy Island that are for different fitness levels and lengths. There are trails anywhere from just five minutes to up to three hours!

Popular shorter trails include the Nudey Beach Track (one-kilometre return/45 minutes) and Boulder Lookout (300 metres return/30 minutes). One of the longer trails is the Summit Track (2.6 kilometres return/3 hours).

Hiking on Fitzroy island

  • Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre saves any injured turtles and helps them recover. The centre rescues, cares for, maintains, and feeds the turtles while they’re on the mend. You can check out the centre through a tour and it’s highly recommended to book.

Swimmin with a turtle

  • Go to the beach

The beaches on Fitzroy Island are some of the most beautiful in Australia. You can relax, have a picnic, read a book, or walk along the soft sand. The most popular beach on Fitzroy Island is Nudey Beach which was Australia’s most beautiful beach in 2018.

Beach on Fitzroy Island

Where to eat

There are a few places to eat on the island, but the options available are all delicious. Whether you’re after a restaurant for a fancy dinner or just want to eat some snacks accompanied by drinks, there’s something for everyone.

  • Foxy’s Bar & Cafe

Foxy’s is open for coffee in the morning with some beverages available. Lunch and dinner are also served with the best sunset view over the beach while you enjoy a drink. Foxy’s serves casual cafe-style food with a range of beverages.

This is also the perfect spot for entertainment, boasting a huge TV, pool tables, and even a dance floor.

Foxy's Bar on Fitzroy Island

  • Zephyr Restaurant

Zephyr serves Australian cuisine with a hint of international flavours. Zephyr is open for breakfast and dinner every day. Make sure you reserve a table as it can get busy, especially during holiday periods and weekends.

  • Resort Pool Bar

Enjoy a drink in the pool or on the deckchairs nearby. Resort Pool Bar is open daily with a happy hour. There is also pizza available to enjoy with your drinks.

Everyone is welcome, but to access the pool area you need to be a Resort guest. There is an outside seating area for all other guests to enjoy.

Where to stay

Whether you’re after a luxury holiday or a more adventurous stay, Fitzroy Island has you covered. From a camping ground to a luxury resort, choose the perfect accommodation while you’re on your tropical getaway.

  • Fitzroy Island Campground

It’s recommended you bring your own camping equipment, but you can hire gear if needed. The campground is near the beach and the jetty, making it the perfect location for a holiday. You’ll have access to the shower block (cold water) as well as various eating areas.

  • Fitzroy Island Resort

Fitzroy Island Resort includes many features for the whole family. There are pools, a children’s playroom, a sports and activities hub, 24-hour reception, and free Wi-Fi.

The resort has four room options you can pick from, from grand suites to family-friendly cabins. Each accommodation has air conditioning, tea and coffee facilities, a TV, and a bathroom with a shower. You will also have access to the shared guest laundry.

Fitzroy Island Resort

Fitzroy Island is one of Australia’s must-visit tropical paradises. The lush rainforest, the clear blue waters, and the beautiful beaches make it the perfect getaway. It truly is where the rainforest meets the reef, and you won’t regret making it your next holiday destination. You can spend a full day on Fitzroy Island, or have a small weekend escape to make the most of it.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.