Tropical North Queensland is famed for being, well, tropical. And what better to do in a tropical paradise than go to the beach? Luckily we’ve pulled together the best beaches in Cairns and the Tropical North to tempt you: Starting your tour of the ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2015

Brilliant. Enormous variety of fish and turtles to see whilst snorkelling off the beautiful sandy beaches. I wish we had stayed overnight.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

We flew into Cairns at 10:30am, and had time to get to the hotel, have lunch, and walk to the main fleet terminal (where all the boats are docked) for our 1:00pm trip to Green Island.
The crew was very nice and friendly.
Nice beach, clear water, and lots of tropical fish.
IMPORTANT: If you suffer from motion sickness, take Dramamine or something before boarding. The ocean was only mildly choppy, but 10 people got sick, and several threw up.

Doing what: Green Island Half Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

Brilliant!! Pleasant ferry crossing an amazing island, swam with the fish in the barrier reef in warm waters. Excellent beaches and good food supplied as part of the deal. Highly recommended.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

Loved it! Did the glass bottom boat ride and got to see all the wildlife. The glass in the boat isn't that great but good enough to see the fish (definitely get in the water and snorkel to see the fish up close).

Take the walk to the nude beach and see the white sand. A bit quiet on that side of the island and no one really does skivvy down but some pretty cool white sand to see.

There's a few hiking trails on the way to the nude beach which we tried to followed for about 20 minutes before turning back because we had to catch the boat back to Cairns. Yet, if we had more time, we would have followed the trail a lot longer as it was quite pleasant with all the birds chirping and the lizards running around.

And of course, you must snorkel! The water is a bit murky in some areas but you do get to see fish swim right in front of your face. If you miss seeing any fish, just look around the dock - there are tons there! You definitely can't miss them on the way in and out from Fitzroy Island.

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

We absolutely loved this excursion! The ride to the island was very enjoyable. We took advantage of both the semi-submersible as well as the glass-bottomed boats since neither of us are snorkeling or diving fans. There was enough time to enjoy a visit to the island and spend some time enjoying the beach areas.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

This trip offers a lovely, quiet, relaxing day out. Whilst staying in Cairns we also visited Green Island whereas this has more sandy beaches it doesn't have the fabulous snorkelling that Fitzroy does. The reef and the fish are absolutely stunning. I loved Fraser Island for the fact that there is not much there at all whereas Green Island is very commercialised. If you are looking for total relaxation, walks in the tropical rain forest up to the summit, a day on the beach or snorkelling this is definitely the place for you. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do the walks as the Forestry Commission were doing controlled burning that day but we still had a great time on the beach. Water sports equipment can be hired from the beach hut and there is also glass bottom boats on offer. On the island there is a dive centre but you might have to contact them direct before your visit should you want a dive here. All in all a great day out.

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2013

The ride out to Green Island is fairly quick and smooth, now do be aware that there is a deposit ( money,ID, or a room key) required for the snorkel gear. The island itself is lovely as is the beach. Now I have to assume time of year matters but there was a HUGE drop in tide from morning to afternoon. The staff was friendly, the water so clear, and heaps of coral and fish to see and photograph. As a side note the buffet lunch was tasty and plentiful, but you do need to pay for drinks fyi. Overall a very enjoyable way to spend a day and I would absolutely recommend it.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2013

Stunning day. Loved the snorkelling and paddle-boarding and lazing on the beach. Lovely relaxed atmosphere away from it all. Great value for money too. Would highly recommend.

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2013

Pick up and drop off were easy. The Catamaran was smooth to Green Island. We had a great day and enjoyed the semi-submersible, glass bottom boat and snorkeling. We did pay the extra for the wet suits and my husband wore his primarily not to get sunburned although they were recommended to prevent any jelly fish stings. I simply could not get mine on and had no problems. Don't forget beach towels, sunscreen and whatever else you need for a day at the beach. Just an FYI: bring your own coffee if you are picky and pack a lunch for the same reason as well as the time factor. We definitely recommend this day tour.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2012

Great day out on Green Island. Go early to get the food,plenty of it and loads of seating.Just enough time on the island for some time on the beach and a walk around the island.Only drawback is that the boat is slow compared to some of the other boats going out.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Meggy
Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2011

Lovely island, snorkelled and swam with a large green turtle. Went for a nice rainforest and beach walk. The weather was superb and the boat trip very pleasant.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Anonymous

Anonymous

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2010

Great trip! All went really smooth. Not much time on the island with lunch on the boat, the semi sub tour and glass boat tour however. Just enough time to walk around the island and rest by beach or pool for a bit before heading home

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Benjamin N
Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2010

Had a very nice day. Trips up and back were fine on the cat, a bit bumpy but we took ginger tablets which helped a lot. Had a great lunch and the submarine was also worth it. Snorkeled and sat on the beach for most of the day.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2010

Fun day at Green Island. Waves were a bit choppy due to the cyclone, but the trip was worth it. Sea turtles were swimming around the island, and the reef was a quick swim away from the beach. The beach was also a great place to relax. Lifeguards were on duty, which was a great peace of mind.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2010

Very lovely island. Lots of fun. We found a beach that had very few people and swam in warm and beautiful sea.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

Sarah A
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2008

Boat was quite busy, but it only took about 45 minutes to get to Green Island and once there you could walk anywhere on the island and not bump into many people! We snorkelled and saw loads of amazing fish, a stingray and a reef shark! Coral was beautiful. We also walked around the island and had the lunch on board the boat. If you want to rent equipment on the island it was very expensive.. even a sunlounger and umbrella cost an arm and leg! But if you are going to enjoy the island and coral it is well worth it. If you want water sports and to lounge on the beach I think you could find somewhere a lot cheaper.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2014

i was disappointed with the type of fish i saw, the the coral was magnificient
and make up for it. the day was just perfect for me...a little snorkellling ...dozing
on the beach and reading...just perfect for me.

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2014

It was good. We got on the island and sat down on a very crowded beach. The snorkelling was good. Having a pool on the island was a good idea. The selection of food to buy was okay. The glass bottom boat tour was amazing!

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2014

Tour was great... beautiful place although the beach was covered in coral and was quite painful to walk on without footwear.

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

Roxane
Belgium

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2014

What a great day!
The weather was pretty and everything went good from boarding to way back.
The island is just paradise! Beautiful beaches, some walks, amazing underwater life, ... everything you could ask for!

The staff is really nice and the guy at the beach hire hut is just awesome! He's working as a biologist on the island as well, so he knows where to go snorkel at each time of the day and can really help you with that, just ask and you might be lucky enough to see a turtle or a clown fish around.
There are also walks on the island, I only did the shortest one to Nudey beach which definitely worths it. But I heard from locals that the ones to the lighthouse and the summit are really awesome too.
All together, I think that to really enjoy all the island has to offer (beaches, walks in the rainforest, snorkeling,...), the best thing would be to stay longer on the island (probably even just one or two nights, resort and campground possible).

I haven't rated it five stars because I just had a little "less". The only thing I would recommend is to take the activity pass 1 (not activity pass 2) and just choose between glass bottom boat and snorkel gear, according to how much you love water. I think doing both wasn't really useful and I would have loved to spend more time snorkeling as it was really pretty underwater or even have the chance to do a walk despite the glass bottom boat.

Anyway, all together it was a day in paradise and I really loved it! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who's around Cairns :)

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
June 2014

Thoroughly recommend this short day trip. Boat trip over was good but we were given our snorkelling gear on board which meant carrying them around all day, so make sure you take a large carry bag with you. Plenty of places on green island to buy lunch or you can take your own and picnic on the beach.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
January 2014

This was a great place to go snorkelling and he island is a decent size. Better than Green Island. The only downside is that the beach is all old corral, so it's a bit hard on the feet, but a great place to relax.

Doing what: Fitzroy Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2013

Great day out. Enjoyed the cruise out and back on the Reef Rocket. The island is beautiful and the beach is great, water was warm as a bath. On the down side the food included in the package was very poor. I would recommend a picnic lunch or lunch in the resort restaurant rather than the buffet on the Big Cat. My wife and I were shocked at the greed and waste of the majority of folk at the buffet, they loaded their plates to overflowing and then only ate less than half. I also recommend the semi sub option much better than the glass bottom boat.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2013

Beautiful island. You had to go a bit far out to see any fish so I would definitely recommend hiring a life jacket along with the snorkel gear. I made the mistake not to and was overwhelmed at one time by being so far out and had a bit of a panic trying to get back to shore. From the dock, I saw several sea turtles and others who were in the water at the time swam with them. The buffet lunch was good but I wish I would have known there were cheaper (and just as delicious) options on the island then I wouldn't have included that in my trip. Overall, I would go again and recommend it as a nice relaxing day at the beach.

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

4 star rating: Recommended
September 2013

Great experience! Good way to see some of the Barrier Reef without spending a lot of travel time, harder to snorkel in the shallows off the beach but still a great experience~ ! Definitely recommend to everyone, especially families!

Doing what: Green Island Day Trip from Cairns

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