Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Fitzroy Island National Park, see the Great Barrier Reef, without the crowds

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Nudey Beach
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Fitzroy Island - less tourists. only 45 minutes from Cairns by boat, possessing one of Australia's (largely unknown) beaches.
While boatloads head off to Green Island and pontoons further out on the Great Barrier Reef, Fitzroy Island is quiet and full of surprises. No wonder it's a National Park.
I stupidly left my camera at the hotel. The journey (by Fast Cat) is interesting as it follows the scenic, untouched Queensland coast before heading across to Fitzroy Island.
A spectacular rainforest bushwalk (one of several self-guided trails) leads you to Nudey Beach (not a nudist beach). It is only 20 minute walk from the central dock (Welcome Bay). The coral reef is only metres off the beach. There is also good snorkelling in Welcome Bay. 
If you don't swim, you can take a glass bottom boat tour or visit the turtle rehabilitation centre (organised tour only).
For bushwalkers there is a more challenging circuit trail to the summit and lighthouse (perfect for a full day visit). 
There is a resort (looked 3 star, not that flash) on the island if you want to stay longer.
I only stayed for a few hours (1:30 p.m. boat from Cairns, departing Fitzroy Island at 5 p.m.) but had enough time for lots of snorkelling (coral gardens - brain coral, staghorn, etc, clam, stingray, parrot fish) and a leisurely walk and another snorkel at Nudey Beach.

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