Unplanned but, Unforgettable: A Trip to Fitzroy Island

Jessica Nguyen is a student at Arizona State University and is an ISA Featured Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Gold Coast, Australia.

Coming to Australia, I knew that there was so much I wanted to see and explore. Within the first week of my arrival, I made a list of about 20 of the places I had to see during my time here; One of the places was Cairns because of the tropical weather, the amazing beaches and the Great Barrier Reef (of course).

After two months of school, we were given a Spring Break: a week to explore anywhere we wanted. Most of my classmates chose to leave Australia to explore the tropical islands nearby but due to my procrastination and rise in flight prices, I ended up going just up north to Cairns. My friends and I ended up booking our flight four days prior to flying. Not only was Cairns itself a fairly spontaneous trip, the trip itself was filled with many more spontaneous decisions. One of which was our last minute decision to stay on an island called Fitzroy.

Originally, we were set to do only a tour of Fitzroy; One that gave us five hours to explore the island in whichever way we chose to, which was a tight schedule since some of us wanted to explore the mountains by hiking to the top while some wanted to explore the bottom of the island through snorkeling the whole southern shore. Upon arriving to Fitzroy, we realized there was no way that this entire island could be explored in five hours.

After being docked for about five minutes, we spontaneously decided we were going to stay on the island for the night. With nothing packed, not even a change of clothes or a phone charger, we spent the next hour finding accommodation on the island, rescheduling our departure boat, and calling our hostel back in Cairns for a late check-out. We spent the rest of our day jumping on the ocean trampoline, snorkeling and paddle boarding the island, doing a sunset hike to the top and stargazing, knowing we had all the time we needed. As the morning approached, we watched the sunrise and swam until it was time for us to leave.

We ended up getting back to our hostel about 30 minutes before having to leave for the airport. Regardless of all the hassle that we had to go through, we were so happy that we chose to stay because it left us with memories of a lifetime and knowing we fully satisfied our craving of an amazing spring break.

Arriving to Cairns, the city itself was not what any of us had expected. Although it was different and cool, we were all disappointed. But because we managed to make an unforgettable trip from what started out as disappointment I learned that you can always make the best of any situation. This trip also reaffirmed that the best memories are made through spontaneous decisions for me, which I hope inspires others to have a little spontaneity when given the chance.


Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.

Leave a Reply