Did you know that Australia has 8,222 islands? That’s a lot of of paradise! Whitsunday Island, Magnetic Island and Fraser Island are all listed on every backpacker’s to do list – and we can see why! But if you’re planning to venture along the East Coast backpacker trail, why not add an extra ‘off the beaten track’ island to your bucket list? Fitzroy Island.
Where is Fitzroy Island?
Fitzroy Island is located 29km south east of Cairns. Covered in tropical rainforest and situated upon the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Fitzroy Island tends to be a local’s secret and a great place to get away from the tourist centre of Cairns.
How do I get to Fitzroy Island?
Fitzroy Island is reachable by a short and affordable 30 or 45 minute ferry ride from Cairns Marina. We recommend Raging Thunder but there are other Fitzroy Island ferry trips available.
Fitzroy Island Ferry options
- Raging Thunder – 45 minutes
- Sunlover Reef Cruises – 45 minutes
- Fitzroy Island Fast Cat – 45 minutes
- Thunderbolt (Raging Thunder) – 30 minutes on their high speed reef boat
What can I do on Fitzroy Island?
Upon arrival to the island with Raging Thunder, you’ll find a Beach Hut offering all sorts of water sports and activities including free use of their trampoline in the ocean! You could easily spend the day on the island simply laying on the beach absorbing the tropical sun however, there are endless activities to partake in and there really is something for everyone. Everything from Snorkelling, Kayaking, Paddle Skis, Glass Bottom Boats and Paddle Boarding. Raging Thunder offers a number of packages containing different variations of the activities named above.
Things To Do On Fitzroy Island
Let’s just get it out of the way. Some people are more than happy to spend the day on the beach with a few dips in the sea to cool off. It’s not for everyone, but it is a great way to unwind after a week in an office!
If you’re going to have a dip in the sea then you really should take some snorkel gear with you. There’s plenty of marine life and coral to see all around Fitzroy Island.
The island boasts a number of walking trails through the national park and a short rainforest trek to Nudey Beach is well worth your while.
- Secret Garden Track – 45 minutes
- Nudey Beach Track – 45 minutes
- Lighthouse Track – 1.5 hours
- Summit Circuit – 2.5 hours
4. Have some cocktails on the beach
Foxy’s Bar & Grill offers beach front beers, wine, cocktails (what ever tickles your fancy) and food. Foxy’s can be found on the way to Nudey Beach, so it’s a great place to stop for a quick refreshment! For the backpacker on a budget you can also BYO booze and food in an esky – you can’t get any more Aussie than that!
If you go on a kayak tour you’ll be able to get to places that are not easily accessed otherwise. Take your snorkel gear with you to explore the underwater world on Little Fitzroy Island or in Shark Fin Bay (named after a rock).
6. Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddle boards can be hired in one hour blocks from the Raging Thunder beach hut. I suppose you’ll get a better tan than if you’re sat in a kayak?
7. Scuba Diving
Like any good island paradise scuba diving is an option here. If you’ve never scuba dived before then it’s something you should do at least once in your life, and it really is a beautiful place to do it.
8. Paddle Ski’s
I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t really know what paddle skis are, but you can hire them on Fitzroy Island!
9. Glass Bottom Boat Tour
If you’re unable to get into the water, or just hate being in the ocean, you won’t miss out on seeing the incredible marine life if you go on a glass bottom boat tour!
10. Jump on a trampoline in the ocean
Get in touch with your inner child by having heaps of fun on the Ocean Trampoline. Yep… definitely nothing beats jumping into the crystal clear ocean from the trampoline.
11. Visit the turtle rehab centre
Run by volunteers the turtle rehab centre does amazing work. Drop in and drop off a small donation so that these amazing creatures are well looked after.
Still haven’t added this touch of paradise to your Bucket List? Ange, one of our staff members, went on a Raging Thunder trip to Fitzroy Island and absolutely loved it…
Fitzroy Island with Raging Thunder
Despite being in Cairns for well over 2 years now it is really easy to get stuck in the daily grind of life and not actually get out and explore everything that Cairns has to offer. But as I have learnt, sometimes you must set time aside to make sure you make the most of the area you live in. So, recently I cleared my busy schedule as it was time to explore Fitzroy Island with Raging Thunder.
The ferry ride
We started the day by jumping on the Raging Thunder Fitzroy Ferry to head over to the island. I used the 45 minute journey to simply take in the breathtaking scenery along the coastline and from this alone I knew I was in for a magical day. When we stepped off the ferry at Fitzroy Island I could hear the ocean calling me and within a minute we found ourselves running to the ocean front to immerse ourselves in the crystal clear waters of The Great Barrier Reef. I was in paradise!
Swimming with a Turtle
After our little swim in the ocean we headed down to the beach hut to hire a kayak and snorkelling gear so that we could set off around the corner to one of the little coves that surround the island. Seeing everything from Nemo in his anemone, to a blue spotted lagoon ray and every other fish and type of coral in between was just breathtaking; although my favourite snorkelling memory was spending about half an hour or so swimming alongside a giant sea turtle.
After all the snorkelling we were famished so we packed up our stuff and kayaked back to the main beach. With lunch you have a few options. Firstly you can take your own packed lunch or if that just sounds like far too much effort Raging Thunder can actually provide it as part of your package. This option was great for us as it meant that we could spend more time enjoying ourselves. We were soon able to sit back with full tummies and a cold glass of wine in hand, listening to waves lapping on the white sands.
After lunch, it was back into the water for us. We were able to get in touch with our inner child by having heaps of fun on the Ocean Trampoline. Yep… definitely nothing beats jumping into the crystal clear ocean on the trampoline. After lots of jumping and some more snorkelling we headed back to the beach for some final chill out time. With stunning views and a cheeky cocktail from the resort bar I was devastated to be leaving.
After finishing our drinks and collecting our stuff, we very reluctantly headed back down to the jetty to board the boat back to the mainland. Although I was devastated to be leaving, as the sun set over the mountains in Cairns I realised that I was leaving one paradise for another.
Book your Raging Thunder Fitzroy Island trip.