Welcome To Fitzroy Island Fitzroy Island Map

Fitzroy Island is located twenty-nine kilometres south-east of Cairns, with transfers taking only 45 minutes by high speed ferry. Day tours leave the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal daily at 8:30am, and depart Fitzroy Island at 4:30pm. Fitzroy Island Campgrounds are now open for those wanting to stay overnight.

Fitzroy Island is a continental island, connected to the mainland over 10,000 years ago. When the Ice Age ended the rising waters from the melting ice caps flooded the valley between Fitzroy and the other mountain peaks. This left it an isolated island.

Fitzroy Island is surrounded by fringing reef, which is the home to a variety of tropical fish and coral life. Fringing reef is a type of coral reef located only in the tropics, which is found directly off the shoreline growing in a thin strip. Fitzroy Island and its surrounding reef make up part of the Great Barrier Reef, a protected World Heritage Site, and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

One of the most unspoiled islands on the Great Barrier Reef, the majority of Fitzroy Island is a National Island Park. The continental island is 339 hectares in size, with 324 hectares of protected National Park. This includes mangroves, open woodland, tropical pristine rainforest and coral beaches best experienced by the walking trails around the island, birdlife, coral reef and tropical marine life including green sea turtles.
Some of the activities you can participate in while visiting Fitzroy Island include walking and hiking trails, snorkelling, swimming, sea kayaking, ocean trampoline, viewing the reef by glass bottom boat and simply relaxing to take it all in.

Fitzroy Island FerryVisiting Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is accessible by private boat or by Raging Thunder’s high speed ferry that departs daily from the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal. The 45 minute ferry transfer departs the Cairns terminal at 8:30am and leaves Fitzroy Island at 4:30pm daily. Booking in advance is recommended and can be made online, or by calling Raging Thunder direct on (07) 4030 7990. Confirming your reservation 24 hours prior to departure is advised.

History of Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island BeachFor thousands of years, the Aboriginal people on Fitzroy Island, the Gunganji people, have gathered food, using the area as fishing and hunting grounds. Captain James Cook named the Island in 1770. In 1876 Fitzroy Island become a quarantine station for Chinese people heading to the Palmer River goldfields, and in the early 1900’s was the site of an Aboriginal mission where fruit and vegetables were grown. Fitzroy Island has also been used as a pearling base and in World War II, an Artillery gun base.

Over the last 80 years, Little Fitzroy Island has been the location of several lighthouses. The first in 1923 was a carbide gaslight used during the war. The current lighthouse built in 1970, contains historical information on display to visitors. It was the last staffed purpose-built lighthouse in Australia, and possibly the world. The current lighthouse on Little Fitzroy Island is automated, and a popular hiking destination for tourists, with spectacular 360 degree views of the island.

For information on the Fitzroy Island, see the tourism information links below.

Things to do at Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island Walking TrackWalking trails

Fitzroy Island National Park offers some amazing walking opportunities for visitors. Walking is one of the best ways to explore and experience the different rainforest flora and fauna on the Island.
There are five main walking trails in Fitzroy Island National Park that range from 30 minutes to 3 hours, each at varying fitness levels.

Secret Garden Track - 1km return (45 minutes)
The track takes you for a pleasant walk from the western edge of the jetty through tropical rainforest around huge granite boulders. Interpretive signs and a viewing platform overlooking the creek valley provide informative facts on the surrounding rainforest plants and animals.

Nudey Beach track – 1.2 km return (45 minutes)
A relatively easy walk from the western edge of the jetty through tropical rainforest and coast woodlands leading to the beautiful white coral beach. Nudey Beach is the most popular place for swimming and snorkelling on the Island.

Boulder Lookout - 300m return (30 minutes)
Heading east from the back of the jetty, you will find the boulder lookout trail. This short steep climb through the rainforest with its many steps is also the first section of the summit track. The Boulder lookout offers panoramic views towards Cape Grafton and Cairns. The walk returns along the same track back to the jetty.

Lighthouse Road - 3.6km return (2 hours)
The lighthouse road trail is a very steep concrete road that leads from the north-eastern end of Welcome Bay climbing through rainforest towards the lighthouse. You will come across a lookout during your ascent with offers views of the Northern side of the island on a clear day.

The base of the lighthouse (open when a ranger is on duty), contains an informative display of the maritime history of Fitzroy Island and how the lighthouse was used during the World War II. From the lighthouse you will discover spectacular 360 degree views of Fitzroy Island and the surrounding ocean, which make the difficult walk worth the effort.

Summit Track - 2.6km return to resort (3 hours)
The Summit Track is recommended only for fit walkers as it is very steep. From behind the jetty, the track starts up the boulder lookout trail, and then continues to ascend steeply through open woodland to the summit of the island (269m). Views of the Island, the Coral Sea and the mountain ranges are the perfect spot to relax and take in the scenery. The trail then winds down amongst the boulders to join the lighthouse road.

Due to the redevelopment of the Fitzroy Island Resort, the track from behind the jetty to the Summit track is closed, including the Boulder Lookout Track from 1 Jan – 30 June 2010. The Summit can still be accessed via the Lighthouse Road Trail, but walkers will have to return the same way they came, once reaching the Summit.

Fitzroy Island SnorkellingSnorkelling and Water activities

Snorkelling and swimming are accessible at Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach. Water activities in other areas of the island are not recommended due to the danger of strong currents. Snorkelling offers the perfect opportunity to explore the beautiful colours of the fringing reef and the marine life which include Nemo the clown fish and green sea turtles.


Fitzroy Island has safe anchorage facilities for private boats, providing eight A class public moorings. Monohulls with a maximum length of 10m and multihulls with a maximum length of 9m can use the A class moorings.
To protect the marine park, it is important to only anchor on sand and avoid shallow beach access to the island. This prevents coral damage caused by anchors and chains dragging across the reef. Disposal of garbage in the marine park is prohibited.
If you plan on travelling to Fitzroy Island by private boat, visit the Fitzroy Island Government Parks Website for more information.


Fishing in the waters around Fitzroy Island National Park is strictly regulated and subject to zoning and boundary conditions to protect the World Heritage Site. For detailed maps and information about bag and size limits before fishing, visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.

Fitzroy Island Infographic

Fitzroy Island mapWildlife on Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island National Park is home to a diversity of animal life on the island and in the surrounding waters. Colourful hard and soft corals and a variety of marine animals can be found amongst the fringing reef just metres from the beach.

On the Island, you could come across many of the unique species found in this tropical region. Bird life on the Island includes emerald doves, sulphur-crested cockatoos, orange-footed scrub fowls, ospreys, buff-breasted paradise kingfishers and pied imperial-pigeons.

The brightly coloured blue Ulysses butterfly only found in Far North Queensland and red flying foxes frequent the area. The largest predator on the island is the 1.2m long yellow-spotted monitor which is often seen around the jetty area. If staying overnight you might be lucky to spot the dusky leaf-nosed insect-eating bat feeding near the lights.

Camping at Fitzroy Island

If you wish to stay longer at Fitzroy Island, you can camp overnight at Fitzroy Island Campgrounds from $29/night. The campgrounds include showers, toilets and BBQ facilities, as well as picnic tables. You will need to supply your own drinking water and food. As sites are limited, bookings are essential. For more information and to reserve your stay, visit Fitzroy Camping Grounds.

Fitzroy Island Resort

Fitzroy Island FerryFitzroy Island Resort opened it's doors in July 2010 and is nestled on the fringing Great Barrier Reef of Tropical North Queensland just 45 minutes from cairns by ferry. Fitzroy island is literally where the rainforest meets the reef. This brand new resort offers afordable studios, One & Two Bedroom Apartments and Beach Cabins.

Fitzroy Island is a tropical paradise of rainforest and beaches within the calm sheltered waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Australia.

Just 45 minutes from Cairns by boat, Fitzroy Island Resort is an accessible, affordable 4.5 star tropical paradise nestled between rainforest and beaches of the calm sheltered waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Fitzroy Island Resort offers a range of exquisite accommodation (99 rooms) including Ocean Suites, Resort Studios & Beach cabins. The resort facilities include a contemporary restaurant, large pool with a pool bar, lap pool and swim up bar, internet cafe, games room, indoor movie theatre & resort mini supermarket.

Fitzroy Island FerryFitzroy Island Resort offers guests the opportunity to intimately discover the magic of the Great Barrier Reef Australia. The turquoise ocean waters offer a tantalizing invitation to explore their mysterious depths which are alive with vibrant corals and marine life. The emeralds of the ancient tropical rainforest are remarkable, home to a prolific endemic population of forest birds, butterflies and the startling white sulphur-crested cockatoos.

Fitzroy Island will create memories to last a lifetime. Pure tropical island magic…

Fitzroy Island FerryResort Studio Rooms overlook the rainforest and each feature one King/Queen bed or two King Singles.

Fitzroy Island FerryBeachfront Cabins are just a stones throw from water's edge with large balcony, the two bedroom features one King and two King Singles sleeping a maximum of 4 guests.

Fitzroy Island FerryOne Bedroom Ocean Suites feature large queen-size master bedrooms, a spacious lounge area, ensuite bathroom with shower, kitchenette, lounge and dining area and private balcony, which are ideally located parallel to the beachfront. Just a cluster of tropical palms shade your view of the magnificent ocean. Sleeps up to 4 guests.

Fitzroy Island FerryTwo Bedroom Ocean Suites are a combination of both the Resort Studio and the Ocean Suites to provide for a two bedroom apartment which is great for families or friends wishing to share accommodation, sleeps up to 6 guests. These rooms are joined via a common external doorway, they are adjacent but not interconnecting and not suitable for young unsupervised children

The resort pool features a magnificent swim up bar. Relax in the sunshine with your favourite wine, beer or cocktail, or sample some bubbles in the spa.

There’s so much to do on Fitzroy Island from a stroll through the National Park walking tracks, discovering breathtaking views of the island to snorkelling the fringing coral reefs. Nudey Beach is a 15-20 minute walk through the beautiful national park and is the only sand beach found on Fitzroy Island. It is one of the most photographed and recognisable beaches in Australia.

Fitzroy Island FerryResort Features:

This idyllic tropical island is within easy reach of Cairns in North Queensland, whether you are looking to catch a ride over on the ferry, or take your own boat.

Fitzroy Island FerryFerries from Cairns
A 35 minute ferry ride will get you from Cairns to Fitzroy Island and back daily, perfect for day trips to visit the Great Barrier Reef. Of course the ferry will also get you there and back again when you’re heading to the Island for a longer holiday too.

Take your own Boat
Visiting the Island in your own yacht or boat gives you even more freedom to take things at your own pace, with the 15 nautical mile trip from Cairns offering a safe passage along scenic coastline. At Fitzroy Island you’ll find secure moorings in naturally sheltered waters for private vessels.

Getting to Cairns

The tropical North Queensland city of Cairns is accessible from virtually anywhere in Australia by air.

The Cairns International Airport services international and domestic airlines as well as general aviation and a number of helicopter operators. With its close proximity to South East Asia, it is little wonder that Cairns has the fifth busiest airport in Australia, with many international visitors choosing to make it their first port-of-call.

Domestic flights travel to Cairns from all over the country including all capital cities, regional Far North Queensland and tourist destinations such as Uluru (Ayers Rock).


For bookings and up to date info on specials contact Cairns
+61 7 40402100 or
click here to visit the Fitzroy Island Resort page

Fitzroy Island swimming

Climate and weather

The weather in Cairns for most of the year is ideal for visiting the region. Clear skies, gentle winds and warm weather make your stay in Far North Queensland enjoyable. Unlike other places, there are two seasons in North Queensland, the ‘wet’ and the ‘dry’ season.

The wet season the lasts from November to April, brings heavy rainfall with some months having over 400 mm of rain and high humidity due to the tropical surroundings. The dry season that lasts from May to October is therefore the most popular time of the year for visitors to the region. The humidity is more still high but bearable and rain is usually just light showers. The average temperature throughout the year is between 19 to just over 30 degrees Celsius.

For more information see the tourism information links below.


Other Info

What to bring for day at Fitzroy Island

For more info on other tropical islands on the Great Barrier Reef visit:
Great Barrier Reef

Visit Lizard Island for comprehensive info on Lizard Island


2013 - 2014 Special Offer

Fitzroy Island Package