Snapper Island, North Queensland: A Hidden Gem in the Great Barrier Reef

  • Size: 66 hectares, or 66 square kilometres
  • Elevation: 99 metres (325 feet)
  • Postcode: 4873

Snapper Island

If you are looking for a hidden gem to explore on your next trip to Australia, Snapper Island, North Queensland, should be on your list. This secluded island is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore this World Heritage site’s marine life and natural wonders. This article will guide you through the island’s history, geography, and the best activities to do during your visit.


Snapper Island is a small, uninhabited island on the Daintree Coast, Queensland. It is named after the snapper fish found in the surrounding waters. The island has a rich Aboriginal history and was once used as a ceremonial site by the Yirrganydji people, the land’s traditional owners. The island was later used as a quarantine station for immigrants arriving in Australia in the late 1800s.

Snapper Island Beach

The Geography of Snapper Island

Snapper Island is located approximately 1.5 km off the coast of North Queensland and is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island covers an area of 0.35 square kilometres and is surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. The island’s coastline is dotted with rocky outcrops, white sandy beaches, and lush vegetation, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

How to Get to Snapper Island

You can take a boat from Port Douglas to get to Snapper Island. Several tour operators offer day trips to the island. The boat ride takes approximately 30 minutes from Port Douglas. The island is only accessible by boat, so book your trip in advance.

Snapper Island


A wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the best things to do during your visit:

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

Snapper Island is a snorkeler’s and diver’s paradise. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, home to diverse marine life, including colourful fish, sea turtles, and even reef sharks. You can rent snorkelling and diving equipment from the tour operators or bring your own.

Beachcombing and Relaxing

If you prefer a more laid-back experience, there are several beautiful beaches to relax on and soak up the sun. The island’s secluded location makes it an ideal spot for a peaceful day at the beach. The island also has several walking tracks to explore, offering stunning coastline views.

Wildlife Spotting

Home to diverse wildlife, including sea birds, lizards, and sea turtles. You can take a guided tour of the island to learn more about the local flora and fauna or watch for wildlife alone.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Snapper Island is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. The weather is mild, and the waters are calm, making it an ideal time for snorkelling and diving. The wet season, which runs from November to April, can be unpredictable, with heavy rain and rough seas.

FAQs Snapper Island

Q. Is Snapper Island suitable for families with children?

A. Yes, Snapper Island is a great destination for families with children. The island offers various activities suitable for all ages, including snorkelling, beachcombing, and wildlife spotting. Just make sure to supervise your children when swimming in the open water.

Q. Are there any accommodations on Snapper Island?

A. No, there are no accommodations on Snapper Island itself. However, several tour operators offer overnight stays on the island in tents or swags, a type of portable bedroll. Alternatively, you can stay in nearby Port Douglas or Cairns and take a day trip to the island.

Q. What should I bring with me to Snapper Island?

A. You should bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a towel, comfortable walking shoes, and plenty of water. Bring your equipment or rent it from the tour operator if you plan on snorkelling or diving.

Q. Can I fish on Snapper Island?

A. Fishing is not allowed on Snapper Island or in the surrounding waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This protects the fragile marine ecosystem and ensures the fish populations’ sustainability.

Q. How much does it cost to visit Snapper Island?

A. The cost of visiting Snapper Island depends on the tour operator and the type of experience you choose. Day trips typically range from $100 to $200 per person, while overnight stays can cost upwards of $500 per person. Research different tour operators and compare prices before booking your trip.

In conclusion, Snapper Island is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to North Queensland. Its secluded location, stunning natural beauty, and rich history make it a truly unique and unforgettable experience. That will leave a lasting impression on you, whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller. So, what are you waiting for? Book your trip today and discover the magic of Snapper Island for yourself.

More fun things to do in Port Douglas