The majority of tourists who visit Cairns and like the idea of a trip to a tropical island generally come in and ask about Green Island. They want to laze on a beautiful beach, snorkel with turtles and perhaps even enjoy a cocktail. What most people don’t realise is there’s a better option for those who want to spend a day in paradise…
Sitting just south of Cairns, Fitzroy is a mere 45 minutes away by ferry. Only 3% of the island is developed, the rest being native rainforest and white coral beaches.
It’s not going to stay this quiet for long though, in fact over the past two years booking to the island have shot up dramatically. I almost shouldn’t be blogging about it because I’m probably helping to make the island a lot more busy than it is now.
Hopefully the size of the island (over 800 acres) means that there’s more than enough space for all the day trippers! I’ve never been over and felt like it’s been crowded, even on the most picture perfect days.
If you’re feeling energetic then there are a few walking tracks around the island. Feeling like we should probably do some exercise to earn our eagerly anticipated afternoon beers we opted for the lighthouse track which is a 4km loop. The views from the lighthouse are supposed to be stunning.
I say ‘supposed to be’ because we didn’t make it that far… Vastly underestimating my hangover and thinking that 4km isn’t really that far imagine my shock when I saw how steep the track was. We soldiered on for a while but with no water and in almost midday heat we gave up part way through! For a while all I could think about was that I may not be a health nut but I’m not that unfit before realise that actually I was just chronically dehydrated.
After seeing many others also abandon their walks didn’t feel too guilty, and we still got to see some fantastic views. Next time I’ll be getting a decent nights sleep and the early ferry over to tackle the track before the heat gets up. Oh, and taking a big bottle of water with me too!
^^^Obviously I am just sitting down here for the photo op, not because I’m so dehydrated that I can hear my blood in my ears and I’m seeing white spots.
One advantage to the steep track? Awesome matrix style pictures! Just ignore the angle of the trees…
Ok, enough of me justifying my laziness now…
After drinking a large coke and a 3L jug of water I felt almost human enough to embrace my fishy side and head out for a snorkel. I hadn’t really heard anything particularly good about the snorkeling off Fitzroy and so I was pleasantly surprised to discover some very pretty soft coral and quite a bit of fish life just off the beach. I opted to take videos on my GoPro rather than photographs and you can watch my Fitzroy video here.
While I still wouldn’t recommend Fitzroy over an outer reef trip it was still a really lovely spot, and I was on my own for most of the time too. Bonus! You don’t get that out at the reef proper.
There’s more to Fitzroy than just snorkelling and walks though. You can kayak, hire stand up paddle boards and bounce on the ocean trmapoline to name a few.
Or you can do as we usually do and relax on the beach before hitting Foxy’s for an afternoon beverage.
This is as clost to a picture perfect island paradise as I’ve ever found and with so many places to explore we still have things to tick off our Fitzzroy ‘to-do’ list…including, hopefully, ‘get married on the beach’.
A girl can dream, right?
In fact the only bad thing about Fitzroy is having to leave which is why I’m very excited indeed to be staying over there at some point in the next few weeks. While there are camping options available from only $30 a night we’ll be staying at the resort to test it out as a potential place to tie the knot.
The fact that we want to spend such an important day over there should give you an idea to how much I love this place!
It’s basically got everything you could want. Beach, rainforest, bars and even a turtle rehabilitation sanctuary. That’s right, not only is this place gorgeous but you can catch up with everyone’s favourite sea creature too.
Each time I wave goodbye to Fitzroy I feel a bit sad (and usually a bit tipsy, they make some good cocktails) which is usually the mark of an excellent day.
So expect this to be the first of many posts about my obsession with this little island because we’ve not even scratched the surface yet.