The Tour Specialists Blog


Hiking Trails on Fitzroy Island - Things to Know

Saachi James-Mason on May 25th, 2024

Hiking the Trails on Fitzroy Island - Things You Need To Know

Just a quick 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns lays Fitzroy Island, a haven for nature lovers, snorkellers and hiking enthusiasts. Several Cairns local fitness junkies buy year-round tickets to come hiking on this island in groups as it is such a good workout and provides a massive reward visually and physically at the end of the day.

With 97% of its landscape designated as a National Park, Fitzroy Island offers a captivating blend of tropical rainforests, coastal woodlands, wildlife, and picture-perfect beaches for that rewarding swim and snorkel at the end of your hike.

Whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll through woodland rainforest or a challenging hike to the lighthouse summit, Fitzroy Island's walking and hiking tracks cater to all ages and fitness levels. In our Tour Specialists blog, we'll provide as much information to assist you in planning your hiking, training, and snorkelling trip for visiting the Fitzroy Island hiking trails.

What Are the Most Popular Hiking Tracks on Fitzroy Island?

Fitzroy Island is home to a range of trails that showcase its natural beauty and unique biodiversity that is preserved by its National Park status. Here are some of the most popular tracks to explore:

Secret Garden Track: (Grade: moderate)

This serene 1-kilometer journey takes approximately 45 minutes round trip and is not an arduous journey, you can take it as fast or as slow as you like. Meandering along the Secret Garden Track, you'll find yourself enveloped in the lush embrace of the island's woodland rainforest.

When you walk quietly you may just spot some of Fitzroy Island's distinctive wildlife, hidden amidst the foliage.

While on this peaceful walk, listen for the calls of various birds both in the trees and scurrying around under the bushes. You may just hear the chatter of Orange Footed Scrub Hens, Fruit-Doves, and other varieties of permanent or migratory visitors. With all the flowering bushes and trees on Fitzroy Island you will come across various beautifully coloured varieties of butterflies throughout the year.  Keep an eye out for little lizards or skinks scurrying about your feet doing their daily business in the undergrowth. At the end of the track, you'll find a large platform where you can sit down for a rest, close your eyes, and just listen to the natural sounds of nature. We call this rainforest bathing and its good for your body, mind, and soul.

Don’t ‘forget when exploring the Fitzroy Island hiking trails be sure to wear appropriate shoes, carry plenty of water and slip slop slap with the sunscreen even if it is an overcast day.

Nudey Beach Track: (Grade: moderate)

Another delightful 45-minute round hiking trip, the Nudey Beach Track invites you to leisurely wander through the woodland rainforest. Nudey Beach is the pin up beach of Fitzroy Island and its granite boulders that line the shores of the Great Barrier Reef can be seen in tourist brochures, Instagram feeds and all over the internet.

When you reach the beach, please do not take your clothes off as it is not actually a designated nudist beach, however, feel free to drape yourself across some boulders for your own Instagram feed with your sports gear still on your body. As you meander along the trail be sure to keep an eye out for the cute little Echidnas that may cross your path and other little lizards or skinks.

If you have the time, stop, and look deep into the woodlands and see the magnificence of the various types of undergrowth that supports the wildlife on this tropical island. The fruits and berries that grow here provide the perfect symbiotic eco system that supports the wildlife and provides us with the beauty and shelter that we see before us.

On the Nudey Beach trail you will come across a few little bridges, granite boulders in amongst the forest and then when you can begin to see the clearing ahead “BAM” you have arrived at the famous Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Islands crown jewel.

Lighthouse Road & Summit Track: (Grade: difficult)

Reserved for those with a very high level of fitness, and those that love a challenge. When you just hike the 3.6km return to the lighthouse this will take around 2 hours and if you combine the summit track this is a combined 4km return and around 3 hours of heart pumping exercise. 

The Fitzroy Island Lighthouse and Summit Track presents a challenging ascent beginning with a very steep service road (concrete wheel tracks) that climbs skyward to the top of the island. This track begins at the eastern end of the island's jetty and traverses’ steep terrain.

As you reach the pinnacle of Fitzroy Island, you'll be greeted by awe-inspiring panoramic views of the island and the surrounding islands on the Great Barrier Reef such as Green Island.

Self-Guided Summit Hike

If you're keen to keep going to test your metal on the Fitzroy Island hills, then push on with the Summit hike as it only adds on another .4km to the hike. In parts it can get a little tricky but the fitspos will love the challenge of crawling over a few boulders to see the amazing views over Welcome Bay and catch the breeze at the top.

You can identify signs of World War II military occupation and locate various objects left behind by the Lightkeepers and their families.

Again, take some time at the top for some reflection of the sacrifices and hardships of our forbearers that have enabled us to live the lives we have today and the freedom we enjoy.

Should you wish, you can buy a Fitzroy Island self-guided hiking booklet that shows you all the maps and trails for you to follow.

Do’s and Don’ts of Hiking on Fitzroy Island

During the warmer summer months, it's advisable to take the early ferry boats to the island and take on the hikes early in the morning to avoid heat exhaustion. In the cooler months (we really don’t have a winter) you can go on the any one of the half day snorkelling tours that will have you rock hopping in comfortable conditions.

While exploring Fitzroy Island, it's essential to be mindful of certain rules and guidelines for day visitors:

  • The resort and resort pool are off-limits unless you are a guest of the resort.
  • Do not touch any wildlife on the island or in the water.
  • Avoid standing on live coral.
  • Observe the boat channel markers when snorkelling, kayaking, or paddleboarding.
  • Always pick up your litter and place it in the recycling bins provided or take it home and dispose of it respectfully.
  • Bring plenty of water for your day of exploration, or purchase some at the convenience store or Foxy's.
  • Reef shoes are recommended for the coral beaches.

Secure Your Belongings on Fitzroy Island

To keep your belongings safe during your adventures on Fitzroy Island:

  • Only bring what you need like a backpack with a bikini, swim trunks, sunscreen, sun shirt, hat, and snacks
  • Bring a waterproof bag to protect your essentials.
  • Cover your items on the beach with a towel to shield them from the sun.

Safety Issues on Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island offers diverse natural landscapes, and it's essential to be aware of your group’s potential safety concerns:

  • Be cautious of ocean currents especially when you are travelling with young children or older grandparents.
  • If anyone in your party is not a good swimmer, stay near the beach in shallow water and always have a snorkelling buddy.
  • Sea lice, or stingers may be present, so wearing a Lycra sun suit is advisable and it also protects you from sunburn.

Come on Over to Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island's hiking trails and rainforests offer an incredible opportunity to really test your fitness limits and at the same time connect with nature and then dunk yourself under the brilliant blue sea to witness the antics of all the marine life on the Great Barrier Reef. 

View all Cairns tours to Fitzroy Island.

Learn more about the things to do on Fitzroy Island:

Saachi James-Mason

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