Island day trips accessible from Cairns include Green, Fitzroy, Frankland and Low Isles. These stunning islands are all diverse with their own unique features and highlights. Fringing reef surrounds the islands where you can snorkel directly off the beach, and walking tracks through lush rainforest allow you to explore the different flora and fauna.
Green Island is a beautiful coral cay situated just 27km offshore from Cairns, making it a perfect day trip for families or people short on time. With regular ferry departures throughout the day, it's easily accessible and offers a range of activities and facilities for visitors to enjoy.
Formed over 6000 years ago, Green Island is a unique coral cay with a diverse range of flora and fauna. It's the only coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the island's vegetation and surrounding coral reefs by snorkelling, swimming, scuba diving, parasailing, or taking a self-guided island walk.
For those who are unable to swim or have small children, there are glass-bottom boat and semi-submarine tours available to explore the reef. And for those who want a more relaxed day, Marineland Melanesia is a unique attraction that showcases over 50 crocodiles, marine aquariums with coral, fish, giant sea turtles, and an impressive range of tribal carvings.
Facilities on Green Island
Green Island offers a range of facilities for visitors to enjoy, including coin lockers, wheelchair facilities, boardwalk pathways, a swimming pool, a pool bar, a restaurant, a casual grill, an ice cream shop, a resort shop, a dive shop, a massage salon, and beach hire.
Green Island Resort
Green Island Resort features 46 elegant suites nestled amidst a lush rainforest on the coral cay. With 126 indigenous plant species and a vibrant birdlife, this 15-hectare island offers an unforgettable experience amidst its verdant rainforest and mesmerising coral gardens. Guests can take the 45-minute walk around the island to experience the magic that lives amongst Green Island.
Green Island Resort has been awarded Advanced Ecotourism Certification for their commitment to the island's surrounding rainforest and reef, and the management of this eco-sensitive resort. It's a perfect place for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Green Island while enjoying luxurious accommodation.
Fitzroy Island is one of the most unspoiled islands on the Great Barrier Reef, with 97 percent of the four square kilometre continental island covered in tropical rainforest and protected within the Fitzroy Island National Park.
Located just a 45-minute ferry ride (about 30 km) from Cairns, Fitzroy is a local favourite. Some of the activities you can participate in while visiting Fitzroy Island include walking and hiking trails, snorkelling, swimming, sea kayaking, and viewing the reef by glass bottom boat.
A ferry transfer to Fitzroy Island from Cairns takes 45-50 minutes.
The Flyer is a large & modern catamaran which departs Cairns 3 - 5 times daily. When booking the flyer you can add extras such as snorkeling equipment and glass bottom boat tours.
Check-in opens 1 hour prior to departure at the Fitzroy Island Resort Booking Centre Shop 2/1 Spence Street
Departs Cairns at 8am, 11am, 1:30pm
Departs Fitzroy at 9:30am, 12:15pm, 5pm
The Fitzroy Flyer is ideal for resort guests who need to book the ferry one way or return with different departure dates.
Fitzroy Island Adventures
Fitzroy Island Adventures offers a smaller catamaran and departs Cairns at 9am daily. Passengers on Fitzroy Island adventures have unlimited use of the Ocean trampoline.
Departs Cairns at 9am
Departs Fitzroy at 4pm
Sunlover Reef Cruises Ferry
Sunlover Reef Cruises is a large catamaran that stops at Fitzroy Island on the way to and from the outer Reef. Sunlover is introducing more time options for their ferry service to Fitzroy Island in April 2023.
Departs Cairns Marina at 8:45am
Departs Fitzroy at 4:00pm
Fitzroy Island Resort
Fitzroy Island Resort offers accommodation in a range of Hotel Rooms and Suites.
Food and Drink
Foxy's Bar and Café provide a wide range of food and drink options including Kids meals and coffee. The General Store also has a range of food, drinks and general needs including pies, sandwiches, ice-creams, BBQ packs, soft drinks and sunblock.
The Frankland Islands are a unique Great Barrier Reef experience. There is one day trip ex Cairns to Normandy Island which offers a comprehensive reef system displaying the features of a coral cay and continental island.
This is the only tour to visit Frankland Islands daily, so you will not be surrounded by large crowds. It is a true island escape! [Normandy Island]
Your day begins and finishes with a gentle cruise along the Mulgrave river. An interesting commentary provides an insight into the river environment and mangroves.
Snorkelling and reef viewing are easily accessed from the beach. The guided snorkelling trails offer a simple and comprehensive introduction to the reef and provide an excellent opportunity to observe this diverse marine environment.
Leisurely island walks explore the rainforest and surrounding rock pools and reef flats. You will be amazed at what your guide will show you along the way.
Lunch includes a selection from the barbecue complimented by fresh salads, prawns and tropical fruits under the cool shade of the large canopy among the trees.
A day at Normanby Island can also offer a fabulous dive experience for either the certified diver or the uninitiated adventurer looking forward to an introductory dive with an experienced dive instructor. Normanby Island is a sanctuary for the Green Sea Turtle and diving affords a rare glimpse of this elusive creature. Staghorns, plate corals and bombies are abundant and the many species of fish and other marine life make the Frankland Islands a divers delight.
Your Day Includes:
Camping is available on neighbouring Russell Island. Permits must be obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency prior to arrival.
Often you are the only campers on this tropical island paradise. Being a National Park, you will need to bring all your own gear, including cooking equipment. You cannot burn any wood on the island and you must bring all your rubbish back with you.
The Low Isles is located 15 km (8 nautical miles) off the coast of Port Douglas and is made up of two islands, Woody Island an uninhabited coral/mangrove island and Low Island, a sandy coral cay typical of the Great Barrier Reef. A calm lagoon area that sits between the two islands provides the perfect snorkelling site.
Here you will find an abundance of marinelife including fusiliers, sweet-lip, angelfish and plenty of turtles! The island is perfect for young children and beginner snorkellers. Low Isles has also been a research station since the late 1920’s and is still the site of significant research for the Great Barrier Reef. Sailing trips depart daily from Port Dougals to the Low Isles and coach transfers from Cairns can be organised.
Reef trips visiting the Low Isles include: