Fitzroy Island is beloved by locals and visitors alike for its coral beaches, mountain peaks, lighthouse and walking tracks. Not to mention Foxy’s Bar, the island’s casual beachfront bar and restaurant, Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and great range of water sports and activities that are available every day. The island itself has an established resort with 99 rooms and some facilities that are exclusive to resort guests, which includes their Zephyr Restaurant, swimming pool with swim-up bar, tour desk and kids playroom. You can also camp on the island, with around 20 tent sites. The crystal-clear blue waters that surround the island are perfect for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, as well as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The Fitzroy Island Sports Hub, which is adjacent to the island’s resort reception, beach and swimming pool, is the place to go to organise all your water activities on the island. Please note if you are planning to participate in any Fitzroy Island diving tours then we definitely recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment. Also you do not need to stay at the resort to dive, but choosing to do so gives you more time to fully enjoy all that Fitzroy Island has to offer. To get the low down on Fitzroy Island diving tours and activities please read on and please note, we’re adding new information to this site all the time, so bear with us as we grow our content and advice.
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Fitzroy Island diving tours are suitable for people of all diving levels and take place daily (subject to availability). We’ll start with the certified diving information and work ‘backwards’ from there. If you are a certified diver, a tender will transfer you from the beach to one of the offshore reef sites – including Sharkfin Bay and Double J – where you’ll dive to a depth of around 12-15m. Certified divers need to head to the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub at 10am or 1pm for certified diving and you should allow approximately 2 hours, to complete paperwork, safety briefing, boat transfers and the dive itself. There is also the option for certified divers to hire equipment and dive from the beach. To take advantage of this opportunity, you must have a minimum of an Open Water Dive certification and a recent and regular dive history with a minimum of 25 logged dives. There are other requirements too, so best to contact the Sports Hub for more information.
If you want to try diving for the first time, then the Fitzroy Island Discover Scuba Diving program is the way to go. The minimum age to participate in 12 years old and you’ll do a pool dive and boat dive. There’s no experience necessary and dive professionals will show you how to use the equipment and be there with you, for the duration of your diving. It’s a safe and exciting way to experience scuba diving for the first time. Their Discover Scuba Diving program operates daily from 9.30 – 11.45am and 12.30-2.45pm. Want to take it further and learn to dive at Fitzroy Island? Then the 3 day PADI Open Water Course is the one for you (and note you must have completed the 1 day of eLearning prior to starting the 3 day course). If you successfully complete the course, you complete it being a certified PADI Open Water Diver and you can dive around the Great Barrier Reef and the world. There are 2 Fitzroy Island learn to dive courses scheduled every month – so you would need to align your visit with these dates. The Fitzroy Island Sports Hub recommends that bookings for all diving at Fitzroy Island, needs to be made at least 24 hours in advance. So we definitely recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment.
Fitzroy Island is a cracker of an island! We’ve stayed there many times over the years (I even went on school camp there back in the 1980s) – we’ve hiked to the summit, swam in the sea, jumped from the jetty, snorkelled, kayaked and of course dived. This is a great place, with lots of activities on offer. If you want to scuba dive and still enjoy the island, then we recommended camping or staying at the resort. That way you have time to do it all. If you are a certified diver traveling with non-diving family and friends, then this is a good destination as there are lots of land and water based activities they can enjoy.
At Fitzroy Island you can hike, swim, snorkel and scuba dive. You can also kayak, SUP and visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Great for families and adventurers.
Fitzroy Island is about 25km east of Cairns. There are day tour boats and island transfers that can take you there, every day of the year. Transfers generally take around 45 minutes each way and should be booked in advance.
The travel time between Cairns and Fitzroy Island is around 45 minutes, pending weather and conditions. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors, so pre-booking your boat transfer is highly recommended.
Yes. Fitzroy Island is on the Great Barrier Reef and is a part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. It’s a continental island – which means it used to be attached to the mainland – with coral beaches, mountains, walking tracks, a camping area and resort. You can enjoy day tours to the island, with boats providing transfers to and from Cairns every day, or you can choose to stay on Fitzroy Island for 1 or more nights.
Yes. You can scuba dive at Fitzroy Island. In fact, the island offers scuba diving experiences for people of most ages and abilities. If you are a certified diver, you can hire scuba gear and dive from the beach (terms and conditions apply), or you can book guided certified diving, where a boat will take you to an offshore dive site around the island. If you are a certified diver who hasn’t dived in a while, then the Refresher Dive Course will bring you back to speed, getting you ready for some Great Barrier Reef dive time.
For non-divers who are keen to try scuba diving, then you can do so through the Discover Scuba Diving program. In Discover Scuba, a Dive Instructor will show you how to use the equipment and then take you to the dive pool and boat dive. They will be with you the whole time, providing guidance and instruction. There’s no experience necessary for this, but the minimum age to participate is 12 years old. You can also learn to scuba dive and become a certified Open Water Diver, over a 3 day course (with 1 day of eLearning to be completed in advance). For the kids, there’s a Bubblemaker Program which is suitable for children aged 8-12 years. In this program a dive professional will show them how to use the scuba gear to breathe underwater in the pool.
No, if you are over 12 years of age you can book their Discover Scuba Diving program. If your kids want to try, and they are aged between 8-12 years of age, they can try the Bubblemaker program. If you are a certified diver, then you can book guided ocean dives or hire some equipment and do beach dives. More information regarding the various diving options are outlined in the answer to the above question.
No, you can dive at Fitzroy Island on a day tour. However, we strongly recommend staying as there is so much to see and do at Fitzroy Island one day is not enough.
Whenever you visit is the best time to dive at Fitzroy Island. While there are some seasonal variations, mainly regarding water temperatures, there is no one time that is any better than another.
You can snorkel and dive in the reefs around Fitzroy Island, where you might even see a sea turtle, like this one we found near Bird Rock, in Welcome Bay.
Fitzroy Island is a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area. This is a continental island (which was once attached to the mainland) with mountains, a lighthouse and walking tracks. There’s a resort on the island and you can swim and snorkel in two places, Welcome Bay which is where you arrive on the boat, and Nudey Beach (which is not a nudist beach, if you are wondering). All of the dive and snorkel equipment and activities are co-ordinated through the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub, which is located as a part of the resort, adjacent to the pool and beach. Diving activities should be pre-booked at least 24 hours in advance to avoid disappointment. You do not need to stay to dive.
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