The islands off Cairns are a varied bunch, from the exclusive luxury of Double Island to the uninhabited Frankland Islands, and of course the popular Green Island and Fitzroy Island, and Lizard Island to the north. Let Cairns Unlimited guide you through the features of each island and the range of accommodation options available, and help you find the perfect destination for your tropical island getaway!
USE THE LINKS ON THE RIGHT TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE ISLAND DESTINATION OF YOUR CHOICE, OR SCROLL DOWN TO DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE VARIED AND BEAUTIFUL TROPICAL ISLANDS OFF THE COAST OF CAIRNS.
GREEN ISLANDGreen Island is the closest to Cairns (just 45 minutes cruising time, or you can get there by helicopter!) and is probably the most popular for people staying in Cairns for a short period. This 15 hectare coral cay boasts spectacular rainforest stretching up to 25 metres high, and lies upon 710 hectares of reef, making it a fantastic diving spot. The crystal clear waters surrounding Green Island offer fabulous snorkelling and scuba diving, and the coral on the eastern and western sides of the island are noticeably different, so it's worth exploring. Green island is also home to over 60 different species of birds, including Egrets, Doves, Ospreys, Sea Eagles, Silvereyes and Woodswallows. There's a pleasant two kilometre circuit track which leads around the island.
The island features a low-rise resort, an underwater observatory and a marineland, and is part of a protected Marine Park. Visitors can snorkel or scuba dive among the marine life, or if you don't want to get wet, you can view it from a glass bottom boat or semi-submersible. Showers, change rooms, shops and beach hire equipment are available. The resort also has restaurants, shops and a pool bar.
1/3 Abbott Street, Cairns (MAP)
Phone (07) 4031 4307 / Fax (07) 4041 2540
Truly admire the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns!
Cairns Seaplanes have been conducting scenic flights for the past 15 years. Specialising in scenic tours of the Great Barrier Reef by air, the wonders of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are so much more incredible flying over the reef in one of their comfortable and safe seaplanes.
Cairns Seaplanes offers flights to island and cay destinations as well as reef scenic flights for spectacular views you will always remember. At an altitude of 500 feet enjoy the view of reefs, islands and coral cay's as well as marine life – whales, manta rays, schools of tuna and turtles being a regular treat. This magnificent 45 minute flight will provide you with memories lasting a lifetime. With only a small number of guests on each flight, you will enjoy personal attention from Cairns Seaplane's crew of experienced and safe pilots, who will make sure your scenic flight will be luxury personified.
BIG CAT GREEN ISLAND REEF CRUISES
Reef Fleet Terminal, Cairns (MAP)
Phone (07) 4051 0444
Snorkel, dive and swim in the warm island waters!
How does a day on a tropical island on the Great Barrier Reef sound?
Green Island is a beautiful coral cay on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Green Island is a Marine National park and is the perfect place to snorkel, dive and swim in the warm island waters. View the spectacular reef and abundant marine life from a coral viewing tour, explore Green Island National Park or just relax on the idyllic sandy beach. Big Cat offers a range of packages with a choice of full or half day tours which depart daily at 9am, 11am & 1pm from Cairns.
Activities offered include snorkelling, semi-submarine and glass bottom boat coral viewing tours, scuba diving, helmet diving, buffet lunch, time to explore Green Island or simply relax on the white sandy beach. Our friendly crew will help you to organise your activities to make the most of your time on Green Island.
ACCOMMODATION - GREEN ISLANDGreen Island Resort, located on the southern side of the island, far removed from the day guest facilities, has been acclaimed for its protection of the unique environment, yet the accommodation is luxurious with all the modern facilities. Ten split level 'Reef Suites' and 36 'Island Suites' -with an occupancy of up to two adults and two children- provide accommodation for 90 people and are of low set style of construction carefully positioned amongst the lush vegetation of the island.
Guests can participate in the free guided rainforest walks, and make use of the resort's windsurfers, surf skis, canoes, and snorkelling equipment. Optionally, you can pay for scuba diving (introductory or certified), outer reef tours, parasailing, and scenic flights by either seaplane or helicopter
DINING - GREEN ISLANDThere are no other restaurants in the island apart from those you can find in the resort.
CORAL CAY LOUNGE
GETTING TO GREEN ISLANDFitzroy Island is one of the most unspoilt islands on the Great Barrier Reef and hasn't changed much since being named by Captain Cook during his voyage of discovery back in 1770. Just 28 kilometres off the coast of Cairns, it's a popular spot for day trippers from Cairns, as well as overnight guests. Daily fast catamaran services take about 45 minutes from Cairns, and it's only another 45 minutes to the Outer Barrier Reef. Fitzroy Island National Park is a 340 hectare mountainous rainforest oasis surrounded by fringing reef formations. The population of the island is approximately 12, and they are all employees and residents at the island's resort.
Fitzroy boasts pristine white sandy beaches, and snorkelling and scuba diving are magnificent off the shore. Snorkelling equipment, paddle skis, catamarans, fishing rods, and sea kayaks can be hired on the island. If you would prefer a guided tour, then you can join a small boat trip which departs from the resort. There are also some good walking tracks which offer spectacular views across the island and the crystal clear sea, and the island is abundant in birdlife.
GETTING TO FITZROY ISLANDDouble Island Resort is on a private tropical island, situated 20 kilometres north of Cairns International Airport. It is a ten minute boat ride from the shores of Palm Cove. Double Island is a retreat available for the exclusive use by only one party of up to fifty guests at a time; a genuine 5 star alternative to larger, more commercial, resorts and is only available for rental on a 'whole-of-island' basis. The retreat provides complete guest privacy and a wide variety of activities, extensive facilities and exclusive use of the entire island.
The resort offer a 25 metre resort pool, outdoor spa, library, computer and Internet access, indoor cinema with 52-inch plasma screen and surround sound system, outdoor cinema, located adjacent to the beach, (Double Island will provide DVDs, or guests may provide their own, and both cinemas support DVDs from all zones), games room (including pool and table tennis tables and computer games), beachside gymnasium, two Hobie catamarans, two Jet skis (available for 16 year olds and above), windsurfers, canoes and kayaks, motorised dinghies (one requires a Queensland boat license holder, the other is skippered by a licensed Double Island staff member)
There are ten one-bedroom Garden View Rooms each with marble bathroom and private balcony, and ten one-bedroom apartments, each with luxurious open plan lounge and dining area, opulent bathroom, fully-equipped kitchenette, plus either a private plunge pool or outdoor spa. All apartments and Garden View rooms are fully air-conditioned and adjoining apartments and Garden View rooms may be configured to form larger two-bedroom, two-bathroom accommodation.
Double Island provides a range of facilities for use by external caterers, such as a full commercial kitchen, fully equipped bar, and an outdoor barbeque areas for beach or poolside functions.
Restaurants and dining areas include:
The Long Room (designed for open air eating with open sides allowing cool air breezes)
Coral Sea Deck
Beach Deck (a large open air deck adjacent to the beach and capable of seating 400)
The spacious Games Room converts easily into an ideal conference room for up to forty delegates; the indoor cinema accommodates up to twenty for audiovisual presentations, and the library or lush tropical gardens serve as break out areas for smaller groups.
The majestic Long Room restaurant with its high ceiling and open sides offers the perfect venue for a cocktail party, banquet or open air presentation and the outdoor large screen cinema, located adjacent to the beach, makes for amazing twilight presentations.
Special events are transformed into truly memorable occasions on Double Island, with the Island's own management team, and/or your own event organiser, developing a unique program to suit any requirement. Professional food and beverage catering facilities ensure the highest hospitality standards are met and a variety of colourful local and international entertainment is available to suit every instance. Theming, staging, lighting and audiovisual services can all be introduced to create a definitive Double Island experience.
Imagine, a beautiful beach ceremony, followed by a banquet on the waterside deck with views of Palm Cove and the stunning mainland coastal ranges, and the tranquil sound of the Coral Sea gently lapping against the beach.
Wedding receptions at Double Island include your overnight accommodation in either the Roundhouse honeymoon suite or a stunning apartment with heated private plunge pool. If you would like selected guests to stay over and celebrate your first day as newlyweds, five star accommodation is available for up to 50 guests (twin share basis) for no additional charge.
Situated in Tropical North Queensland, just ten minutes from Palm Cove, Double Island is only available on a whole-of-island basis, which guarantees you and your wedding guests have exclusive use of the island and all its facilities. Double Island can cater for receptions of up to 400 guests on the open-air waterside deck or 85 guests in the majestic Long Room restaurant. Double Island - the perfect choice for your perfect day.
For more information about weddings and honeymoons, please visit our WEDDINGS page.
Haycock Island can be seen from Palm Cove, next to Double Island. Haycock Island is commonly known as 'Scout Hat Island' because its silhouette resembles a huge scout hat. In stark contrast to the exclusive luxury of Double Island, Haycock Island is deserted and is covered with rough terrain.
The island is a good place for fishing thanks to the tides that have created a very deep hole, forming a favourite fishing ground.
Due to nesting seabirds, access to the Normanby Island sand spit is restricted during the period 1 September to 31 March.
NATIONAL PARKS page.