Scenic Fitzroy Island is 45 minutes from Cairns. Daytrippers visit the island for snorkeling and diving, glass-bottom-boat rides, watersports, rainforest walks, or hikes to the lighthouse at the top of the hill. A day trip can cost as little as the round-trip ferry fare: A$74 adults or A$47 for kids 4 to 14 (for a little extra you can order a picnic lunch pack, too). A kiosk on the beach hires snorkeling gear, coral viewing boards, paddle skis, and stand-up paddling boards, or you can book a glass-bottom-boat tour. Check the website for packages that might save you a few dollars. Departure from Cairns is at 9am, returning at 4:30pm daily. Make reservations through Raging Thunder Adventures ([tel] 07/4030 7990; www.ragingthunder.com.au). Raging Thunder also runs daily guided sea-kayak expeditions around the island. These include snorkeling gear, lunch, and stinger suits (Nov–May), the return ferry trip, 3 hours of kayaking, and then you can stay on the island for the rest of the day. Tours cost A$134, but you must be at least 14 years old.
- Frommer's Staff