Fitzroy Island (Queensland)
|Native name: Koba or Gabar|
Welcome Bay, Fitzroy Island.
|Highest elevation||269 m (883 ft)|
|LGA||Cairns Regional Council|
Fitzroy Island (originally Koba or Gabar) is a continental island out from Djujbirri (formally known as Cape Grafton), 29 km south east of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. It is a large tropical island, with a rainforest covering and its own fringe coral reef system.
About Fitzroy Island
Fitzroy Island is a 60 minute ferry ride (about 30 km) from Cairns in Queensland, and is surrounded by a reef system that forms part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Moorings as listed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Protection Agency. 97 percent of the four square kilometre continental island is National Park, covered in tropical rainforest and freely accessible to the public via an established network of walking tracks. National Parks map
Total Area 339 hectares (838 acres) National Park Area 324 hectares (796 acres) Summit Height 269 metres (882 feet)
Fitzroy enjoys a typical North Queensland tropical climate but with the added advantage of the cooling effects of the prevailing SE ocean breezes for the majority of the year. Temperatures range from 24 - 31 C (75 - 88 F) in summer and 19 - 25 C (66 - 77 F) in winter.
The island separated from the mainland (about 8000 years ago), at the end of the last Ice Age. There were Aboriginal visits, mainly for visiting hunting trips and recreation. There were also links with England’s Captain Cook and (much later) use of the island for a considerable time as a significant Chinese Quarantine Station (for the Queensland goldfields). Subsequently it was used as a Mission School and then, during World War Two, as a Coast Watch Station. The island has also been important as a significant Lighthouse Base, with the last permanent lighthouse structures on the main island still being an important community attraction. Since its closure the marine community has been serviced with an automatic lighthouse based on the adjacent Little Fitzroy Island. There has been both a Giant Clam farm at Welcome Bay and now a Tourist Resort and Day Visitor Centre.