Daniel and I have been to Cairns not once but twice. We really love traveling up to Far North Queensland as it’s a quick 3-hour flight from Sydney and just like that…you’re in the tropics. We went back up that way for a weekend visit with his mum and decided to spend a couple days on Fitzroy Island and get away from the mainland. Happily, Fitzroy Island is also a national park on top of everything else that makes it special. Here’s what went down:
Getting to Fitzroy Island is super easy – you book tickets on the Fitzroy Island ferry (in advance or via the resort) and 45 minutes after departing Cairns Wharf, you’re on an 800 acre island paradise.
We spent the weekend on Fitzroy at the Fitzroy Island Resort, which had absolutely stunning views off our balcony. The rooms needed a bit of updating in terms of soft furnishings and such but really…on an island like this you better not be spending too much time in your room!
The weekend consisted of lounging by the pool or beach during the day, a couple of easygoing, shallow SCUBA dives for me and Daniel, a fantastic hike and lots of eating and drinking in the evenings whilst enjoying the sunsets. It’s also an ideal place for people who want to snorkel – there are two reefs flanking the western side of the island immediately off shore. As a word of caution: be prepared to pay resort prices for food and alcohol! It was definitely a lesson for us. If we go back, we will bring some simple breakfast and lunch groceries to fiscally ‘ease the blow’ a bit. Also, you cannot bring alcohol on the island from offshore so probably not worth the risk trying to sneak it in!
Despite all of the water-based activities, the highlight of the weekend for me was when we woke with the sunrise and headed out for a hike up Lighthouse Road in to the forest. The bush walk was shockingly steep in some areas and we got totally, wonderfully drenched when a surprise rain storm hit but the reward was worth it: a gorgeous view from the lighthouse looking due east toward the open ocean.
So there you have it! If you’re up in the Cairns area and want to sneak away for a couple days, Fitzroy Island is worth the adventure. It’s laid back and everything you want in an island escape. If we ever head back there, we plan to use it as a jumping off point for some other Great Barrier Reef diving spots. I’ll keep you posted! XOXO -JW