Heading North for winter DAY SIX

Forget about the crocks, what about the sharks!

Below you will find a detailed description of the route as seen through the eyes of its creator to give you firsthand knowledge of the type of experiences available along this route The Below map of this road trip’s detailed trail and interactive map. Click on the link in each icon to go to more details

FITZROY ISLAND Day trip 

1. FITZROY ISLAND (45min) Fitzroy Flyer ride will get you from Cairns to Fitzroy Island and back daily

By morning the Curlews had gone and momentarily forgotten for the thrill of our new adventure.

The hour of washing machine motion was the usual fun park ride for LR, however, B and I didn’t fare so well. B launched just before the finish line adamant that he was fine until the end. Yet as our feet touched the jetty somehow the delicate wind chime sounds were enough of a distraction to steady our footing. The gentle motion of the waves jostling the coral beach with its ebb and flow was melodically beautiful.

2. SECRET GARDEN WALK (45min return) starts western edge of the resort beside foxy’s Bar

Stashing our snorkels in the lockers (small paid lockers by the amenities block at the Lagoon) we started with the secret garden walk. It was a pretty walk but the finale was a little lacking. We had a minor drama when LR had to rescue her camera from strangers after leaving it on the path while doing the mountain goat thing. She returned a little quiet and with eyes unnaturally wide for her experience, but bounced back as her toes touched the slightly chilled water.

3. SNORKELLING (Near landing) Welcome Bay & Nudy Beach

Doing the backwards waddle into the water was a little challenging with the coral debris that makes up the beach constantly entering the flippers. Finally, in the water, it was a little like a hidden treasure hunt as we scanned the murky waters, always with that crock fear in the back of my head. The couple of choppy days before we arrived meant that finding the reef clusters was all that bit more of a surprise treat through the murky waters. Heading for the rocks end of the main beach was the overall best spot, however, the opposite end (another side of the wharf) had some enormous clams.

LR couldn’t handle the cold water (funny for a girl that is always complaining about being too hot) and got out while B headed for the huge ocean Trampoline. I was quite happily hovering around the bottom as B readied himself for launch, and then came the call came out “shark, shark! Get out of the water!!” Let’s just say, I inelegantly scaled the ladder in full flipper with one leg in a cramp before I drew my next breath. Final consensus….just a reef shark and everyone continued on with what they were doing…..I casually made my way out of the water, and here I was worried about the crocks, completely forgot about the sharks lol. No stingers at least at this time of year.

Some changerooms would be welcome on the island. My still slightly upset stomach had me half naked B lining for the outside of the toilets to finish getting dressed, such was the smell. However, this did not stop me enjoying some divine salted calamari from Foxy’s Bar. Unfortunately, the salad was drenched in oil, but LR said the wedges she had were the best ever!

4. STAND UP PADDLE BOARD (Hire near Resort)

Fitzroy Island has heaps to do with Kayaks, Paddle Boards, & snorkels for hire, and tours all available on shore. LR mastered the paddle board in no time. The whole experience was gorgeous as well as slightly terrifying at the same time. After my first minor shark scare the periodic screams from the kids finding fish sent shivers down my spine on several occasions…..and in the back of my mind, the Curlew screams were not helping haha.

One warning though, by the end of the day it felt like blood was dripping from my feet from walking on the coral pieces that make up the beach, but at least I achieved some seriously natural exfoliating.

A truly magical place, and a brilliant time of year to visit. More than one day is needed to fully explore what is on offer. We only did a day trip as we had left H unwell in the van on the mainland, but the tough nut that he is, we headed up the winding Kennedy Hwy stopping at a basic rest stop for the night(I have an alternate overnighter in the details below).

Vinegar for stingers

PORT AUTHORITY to RIFLE CREEK REST AREA (104km 1.26hr) on the left heading North out of Mount Molloy QLD 4871 – cost gold coin, fire, tables, toilets, showers, creek & wildlife for photo and art inspo

NEXT: Rainforest on steroids and a resort with wildlife as a feature