Why You Need To Visit Fitzroy Island, Stat
You may have heard a wild rumour earlier this year that Australia’s Best Beach was uncovered here in Tropical North Queensland. Firstly, we’d like to know what to do to be considered a ‘beach expert’, because that job sounds pretty much like a life calling. Secondly, it’s true.
However, before we get to the juicy stuff, we’re here to tell you about the island the beach can be found on. Fitzroy Island, about 30 kilometres east of Cairns, is a large continental island of white-washed coral beaches, rainforest and rocky peaks, skirted by fringing reef. Accessible by daily ferries, Fitzroy Island is a haven for hiking explorers, nature lovers, adventurers, sporty types and sit-on-the-beach-and-read types.
Fitzroy Island has a range of activities of the beach from snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming, to nature walking and exploring the island, to kayaking, fishing (limited to certain areas) and stand-up paddle boarding. Don’t fancy getting your feet wet? Take a glass-bottom boat tour to make sure you get to see the Reef in all her beauty.
Fitzroy Island rises to an elevation of 375m above sea level, providing an excellent and challenging walk that rewards all that hard work with an incredible 360-degree view from the top. The summit should only be attempted by fit walkers but for less enthusiastic walkers the Lighthouse is a 3.6km return walk, which is steep but not too butt-crunching.
Fitzroy Island is home to a turtle rehabilitation centre where injured or sick turtles are cared for before being returned to the ocean once they’re healthy again. Built in 2011, the centre was developed in response to a huge increase in the numbers of turtle strandings following floods in 2010 and Cyclone Yasi in 2011. There’s also an education centre where people can visit and learn more about the important work of the rehab centre.
Now, for the good stuff. The main beach of Fitzroy Island is not actually sand but is made up of millions of small pieces of coral that has washed ashore. Listening to the waves lapping on the coral beach as the pieces roll against one another has got to be one of the most relaxing things in the world. There is also a ‘secret’ beach called Nudey Beach away from the main beach on Fitzroy Island, recently being ranked as the Best Beach in Australia by the definitive guide, 101BestBeaches.com (who were given the thumbs up by Tourism Australia, so it’s legit). Take the track through the rainforest to pop out at a small quiet beach that will make you weep with it’s sun-kissed and white-sanded beauty. Tip though… the beach is Nudey by name only, so clothes will need to be kept on.
And with that, your Fitzroy Island adventure is beckoning.
Top image courtesy of Tourism Tropical North Queensland