• Relax at an eco-friendly resort on Fitzroy Island
• Wander rainforest pathways and discover "the Secret Garden Trail"
• Snorkel or SCUBA dive the inner and outer Great Barrier Reef
• Sea kayak to hidden coves and deserted beaches
• Discover the national park and hike to the island's summit
Overview - 3 Days/ 2 Nights
Indulge your tropical island fantasies with an active adventure at the Great Barrier Reef and the sun-kissed Fitzroy Island.
We ferry you out to a luxurious resort on Fitzroy Island (the only accommodation on the island!), located on the inner Great Barrier Reef. There you can snorkel the reef, kayak around the island, wander the lush rainforest protected in a national park, and hike to the lighthouse for a spectacular view over the Coral Sea.
An entertainment area, nightly music and complimentary movies in the cosy resort cinema make for enjoyable evenings, and a host of island activities will keep you busy --but only if you want to be!
Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to Tropical Island
Welcome to Cairns! You arrive in Cairns in the morning and are warmly greeted by one of our staff members at the airport. You are then transferred to the marina and then ferried to the pristine Fitzroy Island – a green gem in a turquoise sea. The island was once connected to the Australian mainland before being separated by rising waters. Over time a fringing coral reef surrounded the island, providing a sheltered home for a variety of fish and coral species. The island is now protected as a national park, with 94% of the island covered in lush rainforest and surrounded by waters ripe for discovery.
Your accommodation is at the lovely eco-friendly Fitzroy Island Resort – the only accommodation on this tropical island. Your resort studio features a queen-size bed, air conditioning, a black marble tiled bathroom with hairdryer, plasma TV, small refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities.
The resort facilities include a contemporary restaurant, large pool with a pool bar and swim up bar, games room, resort mini supermarket and wellness area. You can spend the evening enjoying a cool drink at the island bar, listening to music, or watching a complimentary movie in the resort indoor cinema.
Accommodation: Fitzroy Island Resort
Day 2: Fitzroy Island Sea Kayaking, Nature Walking & Optional Activities
In the company of your sea kayaking guide this morning, you explore fringing coral reefs and private beaches accessible only by boat. With full use of snorkeling gear as well, you can expect to see hard and soft corals, turtles, and a variety of fish species on this inner Great Barrier Reef location. You also discover a mosaic of wildlife--from birdlife to reptiles and crustaceans—and savour the beauty of this protected island.
In the afternoon you can wander the Secret Garden track, relax by the resort pool, or have fun on the giant marine trampoline! You can also choose from some optional activities such as an Introductory SCUBA dive or mini-submarine ride (extra cost) Don't miss the resort's afternoon fish feeding or the trail to Nudey Beach -- a spectacular swimming spot once a hang out for "naturists", but now appropriate for everyone.
For great views out over the Coral Sea, you can walk a gorgeous but steep rainforest track—keeping an eye out for the yellow-spotted monitor—to the summit of the island or to where a historic lighthouse stands and views of the Coral Sea are magnificent.
Accommodation: Fitzroy Island Resort
Day 3: Snorkelling/Optional Diving at Outer TheGreat Barrier Reef
Your day begins with a pick up from your island resort in air-conditioned catamaran for a ride to the outer Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World-Heritage site and one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. On the way, you enjoy a reef presentation by a marine naturalist to help you understand the marine species you will find at the reef.
Upon arrival, you dock at a floating pontoon, and an underwater universe greets you: clear turquoise waters host a 1,800 species of fish and 450 species of coral. With full use of snorkeling gear, you can expect to see hard and soft corals, turtles, and a variety of fish species including butterfly fish, parrot fish and the ever-popular clown fish, also known as "Nemo".
A semi-submarine, glass bottom boat ride and underwater observatory are all included in your day, and these opportunities allow those who prefer not to snorkel to still enjoy viewing the marine life at the reef.
A scenic 10-minute flight over the reef is available as an optional extra. SCUBA diving is also available for certified divers and an Intro Dive for those who would like to try diving with a dive instructor (extra cost)
You return to Cairns at the end of the day. You can then continue your adventures in Cairns or on to another destination in Australia.
Included: Breakfast and Lunch
- Airport Meet & Greet by a Small World Journeys staff member
- Transfer from Cairns International Airport
- All activities as described in the itinerary
- Ferry ride to Fitzroy Island
- 2 nights Fitzroy Island Resort (resort studio with ensuite)
- 2 breakfasts
- 1 lunch
- Mask, fins, and snorkel hire on outer reef trip
- 101 Animals of the Wet Tropics field guide
- Emergency local support 24 hours a day
- National Park taxes
- Comprehensive travel notes, maps, background and logistical information
- A turtle t-shirt – proceeds from which go to the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy
- Climate Care™ carbon-offsetting for a carbon-neutral trip
What's not Included:
- Airfare to Cairns and travel insurance
- 2 lunches and 3 dinners
- Optional SCUBA Diving
- Optional 10-minute helicopter ride ($148 AUD per person)
- Personal expenses (phone, internet, laundry, etc.)
Certified SCUBA diving at the outer reef: $80 AUD for one dive and $125 AUD for two dives. Includes wetsuit and equipment hire.
Intro Dive with a dive instructor: $125 AUD for one dive and $190 AUD for two dives. Includes wetsuit and equipment hire.
"Sea Walker" Platform Helmet Dive: Walk among the reef fish on a spacious underwater platform. The excitement of SCUBA diving but ideal for non-swimmers. $140 AUD per person.
NOTE ON SCUBA DIVING: In order to participate in SCUBA diving, you will be required to fill out a medical form. It is important to note that Australian diving standards are some of the most rigorous in the world, and certain medical conditions will require a medical exam by a certified Australian dive doctor even if you are ALREADY certified. Although dive medical exams (at your cost, approximately $60 AUD) are available at a 24-hour clinic in Cairns, you need to know before the dive trip that you need this medical exam. Some of the medical conditions that may disqualify you from diving or will require a medical exam are, but not limited to, the following: Diabetes, Asthma, Migraine Headaches, Previous Head Injuries. We will email you a medical form on request if you are interested in diving.
Fitzroy Island Options
Certified diving from $65; Mask, snorkel and fins hire: $15 per day; sun/stinger suit hire $15 per day; water trampoline from $5; Aqua Jet hire from $39; glass bottom boat ride $25 per person.
Other Post-Trip Optional Add-Ons:
Small Group Aboriginal Culture Adventure: the Kuku Yalanji are the last rainforest tribal people to have retained their own language and customs – learn from an indigenous guide who will show you how to catch food the traditional way, cook up what you've caught, and share in an aboriginal art experience with an indigenous artist-in-residence. $209 AUD adult and $189 child (to 14 yrs.) and includes transport from your hotel.
Small Group Whitewater Rafting the Tully River: A full day paddling Class III-IV rapids through UNESCO World-Heritage rainforest. No experience necessary. Minimum age 13 years. $195 AUD which includes the river levy of $30 and transport from your hotel.
Other Destinations in Australia, Pre or Post Trip
Once I arrive at the Cairns airport - what next?
We will arrange your transfer from the airport to your hotel. Details will be provided in your final itinerary.
What is the weather like in Cairns?
Cairns has a tropical climate, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. In our summer (December-February), the weather is at its warmest and wettest. Expect hot days with occasional tropical storms, producing lush green hillsides and plenty of waterfalls. Average temperatures are 23-31 degrees Celsius/73-87 Fahrenheit.
In our winter (June-August), the climate is at its most mild, with warm days, cool nights, and little rainfall. Average temperatures are 18-26 degrees Celsius/64-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
In spring (September - November), days are warm to hot and in autumn (March - May) temperatures are still warm to hot, with more chances of rain than in spring.
What should I bring with me?
We will provide you with a suggested packing list in your Confirmation Packet.
What about sharks or jellyfish?
The ocean is home to sharks, but the ones you may encounter at the Great Barrier Reef are small and pose little threat to swimmers. In fact, divers and snorkelers often consider themselves lucky to spot one of these shy, magnificent creatures. Australia's famed Great White sharks prefer the cold waters of the southern coast, and therefore are not found at the Great Barrier Reef.
Box jellyfish, irukandji and other jellyfish, collectively known as "stingers" breed along the coast in estuaries and are not commonly found at The Great Barrier Reef. Therefore, they do not pose a major threat to snorkelers or divers at the reef. However, as a precaution you can use a full body lycra suit from the reef boat so that you may still enjoy snorkeling and/or diving. Stingers are only a consideration between November and April/May.
Do I need to bring my own snorkelling or dive equipment?
You may bring your own equipment if you wish; however mask, fins and snorkel are provided on the Great Barrier Reef trip for snorkelers and all dive equipment is included in the diver package.
How do I arrange airfare?
We do not arrange airfare in house, however we do work closely with several travel agents.
In Australia, we recommend:
Kim Salter, our Melbourne-based travel agent. Contact Kim at email@example.com or call + 61 0433 324 455 or toll free within Australia 1 300 640 821.
In the US, we recommend:
Sandra Marron at Millennium Travel California. Contact Sandra at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 1-888-700- 2182.
Do I need a visa to visit Australia?
All visitors to Australia need a visa, with the exception of visitors from New Zealand. An Australian entry visa, commonly known as an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) will let you spend up to three months in Australia. In most countries it is easily obtained by the travel agent who issues your ticket, and should be free of charge. You can also get an ETA on line by visiting www.eta.immi.gov.au. There is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office to submit an application, and you do not need a stamp or label in your passport. Upon check in at the airport, the airline agent will be able to confirm your ETA electronically. All visitors will also need a passport, valid for at least six months after the planned return date.
Why should I travel with Small World Journeys?
LOCAL SUPPORT & KNOWLEDGE
Our office is in Cairns – this means we are right around the corner for 24-hour support, to answer your questions, or if you have an emergency in the middle of the trip.
Local knowledge means we know the restaurant owners who catch their own fish (and then deliciously prepare it for you!), where to buy the real indigenous-made souvenirs, and where the mobs of people will be on the morning of the eclipse (hint: we’re not going there.)
Being an “eco” tour operator means more to us than just offering walks outdoors. It means we pay to offset the carbon emissions from your trip, give a percentage of profits to local environmental and community organizations, plant trees, recycle, and participate in Rainforest Rescue’s Adopt-a-Square program. See 10 Reasons Why We’re Eco for more on what we do for our environment and community.
HUNDREDS OF HAPPY GUESTS
We could tell you that we provide highly professional customer service, respond attentively and consistently exceed our guests’ expectations. But don’t believe us! Read some of our testimonials or ask us for references from past guests who are willing to tell you all about their experience with Small World Journeys.
You get a Small World Journeys water bottle, a cloth carry bag, a regional field guide, and a 5 square metre of Daintree rainforest adopted in your name, plus a certificate detailing where your rainforest square is located. Plus you get an unforgettable trip too.
Once you book your trip, we will send out a Confirmation Packet to you with detailed information that should answer most of your questions. In addition, you can feel free to email us anytime at: email@example.com