Fitzroy Island – 25 questions answered


fitzroy island

When searching for Fitzroy Island on Google we noticed there were a lot of suggested questions that were not answered well, if at all.  So using our local knowledge of Fitzroy we decided to write them down and answer them.

If you have any more questions then please ask us in the comments section at the bottom of the page.  Without further ado, here are the most common Fitzroy Island questions on Google, answered. 

What to do on Fitzroy island?

There is snorkelling, diving, hiking, drinking and so much more on this little island.  For a full answer to this question, please refer to this previous blog post we wrote about Fitzroy.

How to get to Fitzroy Island from cairns?

There are only a few ways to get to Fitzroy Island and all of them are going to cost you money.  There is the Raging Thunder ferry, the Fitzroy Island ferry and of course your own boat. The two ferry options are basically the same and costs the same. The only difference is the Raging Thunder ferry is a long day.

Does Fitzroy Island have crocodiles?

While it is possible for a crocodile to make its way out to Fitzroy, it is extremely rare.  Crocodiles prefer murky water for hunting and are overall, pretty lazy. Fitzroy would be quite a long swim for them into the unknown open ocean.   Crocodiles can’t use Google maps like us, which means that most of them have no idea that Fitzroy Island even exists.

How far is Fitzroy Island from cairns?

As the kookaburra flies, Fitzroy Island is 23.1km from Cairns.  The trip on the boat will take you along the Yarrabah coastline and around Cape Grafton.  The total trip length on the ferry is closer to 35km and will take about 45 mins.

Can you swim at Fitzroy Island?

Yes, you can.  You can swim at either of the beaches on Fitzroy Island quite safely as long as you are wearing a stinger suit.  Stinger suits are really important at Fitzroy to protect you against the Box Jellyfish and the Irukandji.

Is Fitzroy Island worth visiting?

That depends on your budget and the weather.  If the weather is rainy, then I wouldn’t bother.  Rainy days on Fitzroy ( I have had a few ) are a real drag.  Who wants to be on the beach in the rain anyway.  

Budget wise, the ferries are not cheap and if you need to buy food or drink on the island then you will need deeper pockets.  If your budget is tight then skip Fitzroy and head up the road to Four Mile Beach for a day instead.

Is Fitzroy Island on the great barrier reef?

Technically speaking, Fitzroy Island is included in The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  The island has some patches of coral, which are not like the David Attenborough documentaries.  The reef here is what’s known as ‘fringing reef’, meaning it grows on the edge of an island.  

Fringing reefs, like in The Whitsundays, are prone to getting covered in silt and dirt after rain, consequently, the underwater visibility of fringing reefs is normally significantly less than the outer barrier reef.

Can you stay on Fitzroy Island?

Yes, you can!  There are two options for overnight stays at Fitzroy Island.  The first option is the Resort, which is actually really nice and very well priced.  The second option is camping. Camping is obviously much cheaper but you need to remember that this is Far North Queensland and you can’t put a price on the value of an air-conditioned nights sleep.

Where is Fitzroy Island Queensland?

Just off the coast of Cairns.  All-access to the island departs from Cairns Marlin Marina, aka the Reef Fleet Terminal.

Are there stingers at Fitzroy Island?

You bet there are!  Fitzroy Island gets Box Jellyfish and Irukandji.  Both of these are really nasty if they get you and will most likely put you in hospital.  Stinger suits can be hired on the island for about the same price as a coffee and we cannot recommend them highly enough.

Can you fish off Fitzroy Island?

Yes, you can.  The jetty has no fishing signs on it and will be policed by security, so that is out of bounds.  Anywhere else is fine, though, please don’t fish at Fitzroy Island. Thousands of people go there to see the fish. You taking one breeding female could have a massive impact on the local fish population.

How big is Fitzroy Island?

The entire island is 339 hectares ( 838 acres ).  The majority of the island is national park an excluding the walking trails, there are only about 10 acres of land accessible to visitors. 

Is Fitzroy Island good for snorkelling?

Well, that depends on your idea of good snorkelling.  If you have been to the outer barrier reef, Thailand, the red sea, Carribean or anywhere in Indonesia, then I would have to say no.  The snorkelling at Fitzroy does not compare to any of these places.

If you have never been snorkelling before, then it is actually excellent.  The reason for this is that Fitzroy Island snorkelling is one of the very few places you can snorkel straight off the beach and see coral and fish.  Snorkelling at most of those other places requires jumping off a boat, which can be daunting for newbies.

Who owns Fitzroy Island?

Doug Gamble owns Fitzroy Island Resort, which is the commercially leased 12-acre area in Welcome Bay.  The rest of the island is a national park, therefore, it is owned by the Australian Government. Well, at least it is until they sell it to the Chinese like all our other assets.

When to visit Fitzroy Island?

You can visit Fitzroy Island all year round, though, with the risk of jellyfish much higher in summer, we recommend visiting in spring or autumn.  Winter on Fitzroy Island can be really cold, so if you plan on swimming then bring a thick wetsuit!

When is stinger season Fitzroy Island?

Stinger season at Fitzroy is technically our summer, so November till February.  This, however, does not mean that there are no stingers in the other months. Stings have been recorded in the area all year round.

Where to eat on Fitzroy Island?

There are two options.  Foxy’s and the hotel restaurant.  In order to eat at the restaurant, you need to be a hotel guest.  Foxy’s, however, is open to the public. The menu is small and the food is acceptable, though I would suggest taking your own lunch if you are going for a day trip.

Are there snakes on Fitzroy Island?

Yes, there are plenty of snakes on Fitzroy Island.  Thankfully there has not been a sighting of a venomous snake, ever.  If you encounter one then it will be a tree snake or a python. These snakes are generally quite docile and will not bite you unless provoked.

Does Fitzroy Island have wifi?

The resort offers wifi to guests however, the wifi does not reach most of the resort rooms.  Instead, you will need to be by reception or the pool to access the wifi. For day visitors Fitzroy Island barely has phone service let alone wifi.  Put your phone down and enjoy the beauty of the island instead.

How much is breakfast on Fitzroy Island?

The Fitzroy Island Resort offers two breakfast options at Zepher restaurant.  Continental and full English buffets. The continental is around $20 AUD and the full English with bacon and eggs is $27 AUD.  These prices will no doubt change from time to time, these were the prices last time we were there in 2019.

Where to snorkel on Fitzroy Island?

The best snorkelling at Fitzroy Island is at the northern end of the Island near White Rock.  While you can snorkel off Nudey Beach, don’t expect to see much.

Are there shops on Fitzroy Island?

There is a general store located next to Foxy’s Bar which has a limited selection of random things at wildly inflated prices.  Bring your own food and drink to the island to avoid having to visit the shop.

What is Fitzroy Island like?

Fitzroy can be busy during school holidays and very quiet outside these holidays.  During the holidays, Fitzroy is kind of overrun by kids and feels a bit like a Big 4holiday park / Disneyland.  Outside of the holidays, Fitzroy is a very relaxed and chilled out place to lay around on the beach. As there is hardly any phone reception, it’s a great way to really switch off for a day and work on your tan.

Fitzroy Island, what to bring?

Hats, towels, sunscreen, portable speaker, water, lunch, swimmers and a camera.  That’s about it really. Snorkelling gear can be hired on the island and for a day of chilling on the beach, you really shouldn’t need much more than that.

Are there lockers on Fitzroy Island?

Yes, there are lockers available just near Foxy’s Bar.  

Summary

So there we go, these are the suggested questions about Fitzroy Island that we felt were not answered properly.  Summing it all up, Fitzroy Island is a wonderful place to relax and switch off from the world. If you have the right weather and the money then I highly recommend staying in the resort for a night or two.  We recommend it so much that we make sure we do it at least twice a year.

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