Royston Island is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. With lush greenery, crystal-clear waters, and white sand beaches, it’s no wonder why couples flock to this secluded escape. But, if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, Royston Island is perfect for you!
The island offers a plethora of activities such as zip lining, hiking, diving, and more. Not to mention, the friendly locals are more than happy to share their local knowledge with you. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Royston Island today!
Royston Island History
Royston Island was first explored by Europeans in the late 18th century. The island served as a refuge for pirates and other criminals until it was ceded to Australia in 1888. Since then, the island has been used mainly as a tourist destination. With a population of 2,232 people, there isn’t a great deal to do on Royston Island. However, it is de facto the capital city of Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands chain.
The climate on Royston Island is tropical. The average temperature ranges from 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Flora/Fauna
Since there is nowhere on the island to build, Royston Island has no natural vegetation. Though one of Australia’s most popular beaches lies just a couple minutes’ walk off shore, it remains isolated and all-but uninhabited by man. The only life form that you are likely to see anywhere on the island is a koala bear or two (click here for more).
Royston Island is a largely conservative community. The locals are proud of their history and enjoy regaling visitors with tales of pirates, crime, and rum-running days. Though the island has no commercial outlets or restaurants, there are several cafes and small hotels on offer for tourists seeking some sustenance while they’re in town. Some also stay in overnight with their domestic mail or use the phone at one of the buildings to complete some shopping and other errands.
Royston Island is a unincorporated area of Queensland. As such, the government and laws that apply to the rest of the state do not always apply on Royston Island. For example, gambling is legal but (as on most Australian islands) there are no banks or other financial institutions available. Luckily, the town is small enough that you won’t need to wait too long for help.
Royston Island is serviced by a small post office, which sells stamps, takes mail and packages for delivery to other islands in the Whitsunday group. There are no stores or pharmacies on Royston Island so you’ll need to bring your own supplies if you’re planning on staying longer than a day or two. You should be able to get most supplies there however, and life is fairly self-contained.
Phone services can also be picked up here if you’re on Royston Island but are headed off island. There’s a phone/fax kiosk at the post office as well as an 800 number for Australian landlines that connects out to Singapore (where 150 calls per day cost about 25 cents US). A credit card machine can hit the $3 charge, or you can pay with cash. Electricity and water supplies are usually available to guests, but beware- if the power goes out on Royston Island it often does for other islands as well!
In the summer, Royston Island is a popular place to visit for people who want to escape the rat race. The island offers plenty of activities- from swimming and sunbathing on the white sand beaches to windsurfing or kayaking in crystal clear waters. In December, it’s also home to Australia’s only nighttime lighthouse tour.
In addition, during other times of year visitors can enjoy nature walks or fishing trips from the many boats that call at the pier. Back in town, there are several restaurants and pubs to choose from as well as a shop that sells light refreshments. For more accommodation options on Royston Island check out my post about it from last year!
Regular flights to and from the mainland arrive at Robertson Island Airport, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the pier. Ferries run back and forth between Royston Island and Whitsunday Islands every day, connecting with other islands in the group as well as Queensland’s mainland coast.
The ferry also stops in Airlie Beach and Port Douglas, offering visitors the chance to travel between these two cities. Other ferries operate out of Whitsunday Passage passing through a number of islands including Hamilton Island, which I’ll be visiting next year!
Royston Island boasts a wide variety of cuisine, including local seafood and barbecued meats. Visitors can also find international food such as Mexican and Italian restaurants in town. I’ll be checking out a pizza restaurant that was recommended to me during my last visit, so stay tuned! However, if traditional cuisine is more your style the island also houses a number of Aboriginal sites that offer authentic Indigenous experiences. Besides this there are plenty of options for those who prefer to dine out or stay at an accommodation provider on tap!
Royston Island is home to a great variety of wildlife, including many snakes and lizards. You can also spot kangaroos, wallabies, possums and goannas. In addition there are turtles nesting on the island as well as coral reefs that provide a habitat for seabirds such as darters and boobies. If you’re lucky enough to witness an oceanic basking shark or white pointer whale then you’ll be in close proximity!
If you’re staying on the island instead of travelling in, there are a number of accommodation options. Most towns and resorts will have their own property manager offering what is billed as ‘old-world hospitality’. If you prefer to stay off the grid then self catering arrangements (like camping) are also available. However, many visitors elect to be based at an alternative or under water backpacker resort like Naturalist , Resort, or the more upscale Platinum Reef Lodge.
Royston Island is a picturesque and secluded island located in the Eastern Torres Strait. The island was first discovered in the early 1800s during the search for a new penal colony in the area. The island was leased by the Commonwealth Government for 99 years from 1946 to 1996.
It is now managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service as a nature reserve, bird sanctuary, and fishing spot. The island is home to a large number of rare and endangered species of animals, including the pygmy possum, black-footed rock-wallaby, and the eastern quoll.
1.What Are The Facilities On Royston Island?
Ans: There are limited facilities on Royston Island, but visitors can find a range of activities such as fishing, birdwatching, and diving.
2.How Do I Get To Royston Island?
Ans: Visitors can arrive by air or sea. The island is accessible by boat from Thursday to Sunday from Cairns Marine Port (CMP). A number of tour operators offer full-day and half -day tours to the island.
3.How Far Is It From Cairns?
Ans: CMP and Royston Island are in close proximity, less than three hours by boat.
4.What’s Unique About Royston Island?
Ans: Royston Island is home to a large variety of rare and endangered animals, including the pygmy possum, black-footed rock-wallaby, and eastern quoll.
5.How Safe/Secure Is Royston Island?
Ans: Tourists are not given access to Royston island unless they travel with a tour operator. Guests should also ensure that their belongings do not protrude above deck as this may result in damage from bats or dolphins.