Have a few days (or months) in Cairns and looking for things to do? Consider heading over to Fitzroy Island! It’s only a 45min ride aboard the Fitzroy Flyer from Cairns. I was lucky enough to volunteer at the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the island once a week during my 5 months in Cairns so I’m quite familiar with what Fitz has to offer. There are so many activities to do on Fitzroy compared to the nearby Green Island! Here are 10 things to do on Fitzroy Island!
1. Go snorkeling with turtles!
For the best snorkeling, don’t go to Nudey Beach. Instead when you get off the dock, turn left and walk down the long beach towards the bird poop covered, White Rock. Here you’ll see better coral formations (once you swim over all the dead coral near shore), tons of fish (even a nemo if you’re lucky) squid, octopus, sharks, rays AND TURTLES. I never NOT saw Green sea turtles, there are so many around here feeding on all the algae.
$20 for mask, snorkel and fins rental and $10 for a stinger suit rental (during Nov – May)
2. Visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre
Don’t want to go into the water or are very interested in turtles? Check the Turtle Rehab Centre out, it’s amazing! (I may be biased). You’ll get to see turtles up close and learn a lot of interesting facts from a passionate marine biologist like myself. Turtles are brought here from all around Far North Queensland. Some have missing fins from being caught in nets, others come in starving from having plastic in their gut. Hearing their stories is inspiring and I hope you’ll find it eye opening! Sign up for a tour at the General Store or Hotel Reception.
3. Go scuba diving!
The island has it’s own PADI Dive Centre. Whether you’re certified or have never gone diving in your life, they can cater to your skill level! The shop is right by the beach, so it’s a quick and easy beach entry once you’re all geared up.
4. Rent a paddle board
Feeling up for an adventure? Rent a paddle board and paddle over to Nudey Beach!
$25 per hour for paddle board rental
5. Rent a kayak
If you’re not confident enough to stand, you can rent a kayak instead. You can choose between a single or a double kayak. You’re pretty much guaranteed a sea turtle sighting as it comes up for air near your kayak. Paddle around the island and see if you can find a secret beach!
$25 per hour for single, $30 for double kayak rental
You down for working up a sweat? Try hiking the steep trail up to the Lighthouse and the Summit for stellar views! Give yourself about 3 hours return for The Summit Track. If you’re not feeling a challenge in the hot weather, take the trail to Nudey Beach. Just walk past Foxy’s Bar for 15-20min for incredibly bright blue water and sandier beaches than the coral covered ones by the main jetty. There’s also the Secret Garden Track that starts right by Foxy’s. This is a super chill and easy walk giving you a taste of the surrounding rain forest.
7. Go on a coral viewing boat tour
If you want to see coral but don’t want to get into the water, no worries! Just hop on this Glass Bottom Boat tour. Offered a couple times a day, you can sign up at the Dive Centre. The first boat tour in the morning includes a snorkel, while the second trip in the afternoon is just coral viewing from the boat.
8. Watch the fish feeding
Everyday at 11:30am and 4pm there is a fish feeding off the main jetty. Although the view from above is exciting, your best vantage point is IN the water right next to the fish frenzy!
9. Grab a drink at Foxy’s
Ready to relax? Grab a drink or some food at Foxy’s with ocean views right in front of you.
10. Go camping
If one day is not enough for you and you don’t want to pay for a room in the resort, there is a small campground right by the beach! Amenities include toilets, showers, and BBQs. There is also a coral viewing boat tour that heads out in the evening, or you could even go for a night dive!