Fitzroy Island with Mobility Issues

Julie Jones on March 7th, 2018

Fitzroy Island an island of Tropical North Queensland right on the Great Barrier Reef, is accessible to travelers with mobility issues but not great for those disabled travellers in a wheelchair without a carer. Choose a full day reef trip or indulge in an overnight stay on the island.

Fitzroy Island offers a wide range of water activities and you can also visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

When you are on Fitzroy Island it really feels a world away from busy Cairns and yet it’s only a 45-minute scenic ferry ride from the city.

It will seem like no time before you are pulling into the Fitzroy Island wharf where the laid-back vibe will have you quickly relaxing into island life.

That’s not to say there isn’t plenty to keep you busy on the island, with a range of water sports and activities available if you have some mobility to negotiate your way into the water.

The hardest decision will be whether to visit on a day trip or stay for a few nights.

The island has excellent accessible accommodation for disabled guests but it is best suited to guests with some mobility due to the size of the rooms and the access.

The ferry boat transfer is challenging as the gang-way is not wide enough for passengers to remain in their wheelchair so guests will need to be able to walk short distances and or have a carer assist them with a few steps to negotiate.

The resort complex is wheelchair friendly but there is limited accessibility in some areas of the island.

Fitzroy Island Accommodation

Should you decide to yield to temptation and stay, the island offers a range of accommodation including studio rooms, one and two bedroom suites and bungalow style cottages.

The full kitchens in the suites make it easy for you to self-cater. Groceries can be ordered from the mainland and will be delivered by ferry to the island.

If you do have a mobility restriction, you’ll appreciate the spacious and well-designed accessible accommodation.

The bathroom has grab rails throughout, hob-free shower with flip-down shower bench, height adjustable shower head and lever taps.

The bathroom is large making access and maneuvering easy.

The Fitzroy Island Resort complex has level pathways and lift access to the suite accommodation.

Ask the Barrier Reef Australia reservations team for more information and availability for these special needs rooms.

Fitzroy Island Activities

The clear blue tropical waters surrounding Fitzroy Island are the focus of the island’s activities.

You can swim, snorkel, standup paddle board, kayak or dive.

Snorkellers are often kept company by the local turtles as they swim in the waters not far from the beach.

The large inflatable trampoline in the ocean sees kids and adults jumping into the warm waters with holiday abandon.

The pool may prove an easier swimming option if you have a mobility restriction as the coral beach can be challenging, but please note the use of this pool is only for island resort accommodation guests.

A stand-alone unisex accessible bathroom is near the pool.

Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre

The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (in our "10 Best Things To Do With Kids In TNQ") cares for injured turtles with the aim of returning them to the wild when they are back to good health.

The tour offers you the opportunity to learn about turtles and see them up close without needing to snorkel.

You can watch the turtles swim and feed while a tour guide shares stories about their injuries and care.

The turtle pools provide easy viewing for children and wheelchair users. There’s a level dirt path to the Centre.

Tours have limited numbers so if you’d like to visit The Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, reserve your place on arrival at the hotels tour desk. There’s a nominal fee for the tour.

Food Options & Dining on Fitzroy Island

Foxy’s Bar is a casual bar and restaurant with a fabulous beachside location.  

The outside dining area is fully accessible for wheelchairs and the best position to have uninterrupted views of the ocean.

There’s one step up to the main bar area where food is ordered.

Zephyr Restaurant is the location for breakfast daily and alfresco dining in the evenings for in-house hotel guests.

The modern Australian a la carte menu uses locally sourced ingredients for your experience dining under the stars.

There are several ferry departure times but if you are visiting Fitzroy Island as a day tripper and want a full day, make sure you book the earliest departure from Cairns and the late returning ferry from Fitzroy (book this early as it sells out fast).

If you arrive on the early ferry you’ll be able to enjoy the island at its quietest.

Tidal currents may affect the wheelchair acces to the island jetty so please be sure to talk to the Barrier Reef Australia holiday specialists before booking any tours that are marked as disabled friendly.

There is also the option to do a half day as well.

And remember to advise us at the time of booking if you have limited mobility and require assistance with your wheelchair.

We would like to highlight that you do require to be able to walk unaided for a period of time to enjoy Fitzroy Island.

Ring us today on 1300 231 118 and plan your Fitzroy escape.

Julie Jones

Julie Jones

Julie Jones is the creator of Have Wheelchair Will Travel (, where she combines her skills as an ex-travel consultant with her life and experiences as a mother to her daughter AJ and son BJ, who has cerebral palsy.

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