About Fitzroy Island
Close to the North Queensland mainland, Fitzroy Island National Park features rugged, diverse landscapes of granite outcrops, open woodlands, rainforest, mangroves and coral beaches. This high continental island was connected to the mainland before sea levels rose.
Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook gave the island its current name in 1770. The island became a quarantine station for Chinese people heading to the Palmer River Goldfields in 1876, and later became part of an Aboriginal mission growing fruit and vegetables.
Several lighthouses have been established there over the past 80 years, from a carbide gaslight on Little Fitzroy Island in 1923 to a wartime light built on the ridge above the old lightkeeper’s residence in 1943. The lighthouse on the main island was built in 1970, but is no longer in use. This was the last staffed lighthouse purpose-built in Australia and probably the world. Today’s automated lighthouse is located on Little Fitzroy Island.
Looking after the park
Remember, Fitzroy Island is a national park—everything is protected.
- Take your rubbish with you when you leave—plastic can harm wildlife if they eat it or become entangled in it.
- Dispose of cigarette butts thoughtfully—they can kill wildlife if swallowed.
- Stay on walking tracks; taking short cuts leads to erosion and adjacent areas may be unstable.
- Do not feed the wildlife, including fish—it can affect their health and alter the natural population balance.
- Do not venture onto the reef flat at low tide—marine life can be damaged by trampling.
- Avoid touching, kicking or standing on living coral when snorkeling or wading ashore.
- All marine life is protected—do not collect corals, clams or shells.
Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! before your visit.
Before you visit, please check that your boat, clothing, footwear and gear are free of soil, seeds, parts of plants, eggs, ants and insects (and their eggs), spiders, lizards, toads, rats and mice.
Be sure to:
- Unpack and clean out your backpack and hand, beach or camera bags and check them carefully before your visit, as pests love to hide in stored gear.
- Clean soil from footwear and gear as invisible killers such as viruses, bacteria and fungi are carried in soil.
- Check for seeds in pockets, cuffs and hook and loop fastening strips, such as Velcro.
While you are on the islands, remove soil, weeds, seeds and pests from your boat, gear and clothes before moving to a new site. Wrap seeds and plant material, and place them in your rubbish.
Everyone in Queensland has a General Biosecurity Obligation to minimise the biosecurity risk posed by their activities. This includes the risk of introducing and spreading weeds and pests to island national parks.
See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting the environment and heritage in parks.
Fitzroy Island was gazetted as national park in July 1989. It is not all national park—leases are held by the resort and the Cairns Regional Council. The Cairns Port Authority manages the public jetty and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority maintains the lighthouse on Little Fitzroy Island.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services manages Fitzroy Island National Park for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation. The island is managed in accordance with the Fitzroy Island National Park and Marine management area management plan .
Tourism information links
For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.
The natural, cultural and historical significance of Fitzroy Island
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.