Fitzroy Island is a 45 minute ferry ride (about 30kms) from Cairns in Queensland, and is surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, making it the perfect accessible base for snorkelling, diving and exploring the reef.
Idyllic white sandy beaches lead into the safe, sheltered waters, which are also ideal for swimming and water sports as well as yachting and boating.
Fitzroy enjoys a typical North Queensland tropical climate but with the added advantage of the cooling effects of the prevailing SE ocean breezes for the majority of the year. Temperatures range from 24 - 31 C (75 - 88 F) in summer and 19 - 25 C (66 - 77 F) in winter.
97 percent of the four square kilometre continental island is National Park, covered in tropical rainforest and freely accessible to Resort Guests and the public via an established network of walking tracks. The gentle, hilly terrain inland makes for great walking throughout the whole island, including to the two main beaches, the highest vantage point on the island and the historic lighthouse at the Eastern end.
Fitzroy Island has long been close to the heart of the Cairns and surrounding local community. This is hardly surprising given the close proximity of this pristine paradise and the safe, sheltered waters. The island has always been freely accessible to the public, with a number of ferry services travelling back and forth daily and local boaties and yachties making good use of the secure public moorings in private vessels. The island is less than an hour from the Cairns domestic and international airports.
Fitzroy Island is a large tropical island, with a rainforest covering and its own fringe coral reef system. It offers, in separate locations, accommodation ranging from affordable four star Resort, to Divers, to Backpackers, to Day Trippers, and Camping. The Dive & Activities Centre, the Pacific Islands Store (shop) and Foxy's Bar & Café are open to all-comers, and the island offers a unique combination of readily accessible rainforest and coral reef. Oh and the beaches are to die for.
The island has a very colourful and interesting History, starting with its original separation from the mainland (about 8000 years ago), at the end of the last Ice Age, and from then on with its continuing Aboriginal cultural links, mainly for visiting hunting trips and recreation. There were also links with England's Captain Cook and (much later) use of the island for a considerable time as a significant Chinese Quarantine Station (for the Queensland goldfields). Subsequently it was used as a Mission School and then, during World War Two, as a Coast Watch Station. The island has also been important as a significant Lighthouse Base, with the last permanent lighthouse structures on the main island still being an important community attraction. Since its closure the marine community has been serviced with an automatic lighthouse based on the adjacent Little Fitzroy Island. There has been both a Giant Clam farm at Welcome Bay and now a Tourist Resort and Day Visitor Centre.