Fitzroy Island is a perfect place to visit the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. You can swim and snorkel off iconic beaches exploring world heritage listed rainforest and coral reef systems which are highlighted by turtles, soft and hard corals and even whales in the winter months.
With our expertise and resources, GBR Biology, Reef Education and Land and Sea Country connections are now offering specialised education and research field trips to Fitzroy Island.
Turtle Rehabilitation Tours
Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (CTRC) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. The Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. A number of these are seriously threatened by a diverse range of natural and, more significantly, human induced factors. Come along and be part of the journey to learn about sea turtles, the history of the organisation and the great work into rehabilitation and sea turtle release programs on the Great Barrier Reef.
Island Ecology Walks
Fitzroy Island has a rich and diverse flora and fauna system. One of the main attractions is the Yellow Spotted Monitor which is one of the largest predators on the island at 1.2 meters long. There are several species of snakes (non-venomous), mammals and birds which live in a variety of plant communities. Heaths and open woodlands of Eucalypts, Acacia and Turpentine trees cover the exposed slopes and spurs on the island.
Indigenous Connections to Country
Fitzroy Island National Park and the surrounding reef and waters form part of the traditional land and sea country of the Gurabana Gunggandji people. Join our Indigenous Reef Education Ranger to yarn about the creation of Fitzroy Island through a dreamtime story about a big mountain (Kookaburra) surrounded by coastal plains, which were later flooded by the seawater. The island and its surrounding waters are of cultural significance and importance as they were used for hunting and gathering, fishing, totemic values and ceremonies. The Gurabana Gunggandji people once hunted goannas and goats on the island, collected crayfish from the south-eastern shores and gathered coral rubble, which they later crushed to apply to orchards as lime. Today, many Gurabana Gunggandji people reside in the local towns of Yarrabah and Cairns adjacent to the Island.
Education and Research
- Up to 5 hours at Fitzroy Island
- Guided snorkelling tours with Marine Biologist / Ranger
- All equipment and instruction
- Lycra suit and wetsuit inclusive
- Sea Country Island Ecology Walks
- Turtle Rehabilitation Centre Tours
- Citizen science projects
- Environmental management, Climate Change and Research talks