Cairns Turtle Conservation Volunteer

Visit Tropical North Queensland and become a Cairns Turtle Conservation Volunteer at the Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre on Fitzroy Island.

The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is a non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. CTRC is located on Fitzroy island, a stunning tropical island located a short 45-minute boat ride from Cairns.


The Great Barrier Reef is home to six out of the seven turtle species and CTRC supports the work of organisations, individuals and agencies in their efforts to conserve sea turtles and the habitats that they live in. CTRC relies on the help of volunteers and as a Cairns turtle conservation volunteer your contribution and effort will support this organisation to continue their work to rescue and rehabilitate sea turtles as well as carry out important research, which can then be shared with other turtle conservation rehabilitation centres domestically and internationally.

Fitzroy Island Turtle Hospital

Join our Cairns Turtle Conservation Volunteer program on Fitzory Island. As a turtle conservation volunteer you will help the CTRC team with their daily tasks at the rehabilitation centre such as cleaning tanks, general maintenance, feeding turtles as well as doing beach clean ups for marine debris. This intimate volunteer program will allow you to get an immersive, behind-the-scenes experience working with sea turtles as well as the opportunity to learn from experts in the area of wildlife conservation. 

The program offers week-long placements, available to a maximum of 2 turtle volunteers each week. Each day you will travel to Fitzroy island and assist the CTRC staff with any required tasks. All work is generally carried out by midday after which you have the opportunity to enjoy the remainder of the day on Fitzroy Island or return to Cairns early afternoon to explore the city and surrounding area.

2023/24 PRICES

Prices are based on a group of min. 2 persons.

Become a Cairns Turtle Conservation Volunteer and join our unique, immersive conservation program working with endangered species on a tropical island near Cairns surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef.

Interested in more volunteering opportunities?

You can combine the turtle conservation program on Fitzroy Island with our 12-day Marine Conservation program on the Great Barrier Reef. Need more turtles? Check out our Turtle Conservation program in Papua New Guinea. PNG is only a short flight from Cairns…


  • Daily assistance at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre with general maintenance of the centre, cleaning tanks, food prep for turtles, feeding turtles and the like – to be advised by CTRC staff.
  • Beach clean-ups and Rapid Monitoring surveys under the guidance of the CTRC team.
    • (All tasks are subject to change)


  • Price is valid for one persons until the end of March 2024, subject to availability.
  • This program can be combined with our Marine Conservation Program on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Day 1 is Sunday. Conservation tasks commence on Mondays, with Fridays being the last day on Fitzroy Island.
  • Optional scuba diving courses available per or post program – ask for details.
  • This program has very limited availability – book well in advance.


Accommodation is at Gilligans Backpacker Resort in mixed gender dorms, shared with other guests. Where possible dorms will be exclusive to the conservation groups, but this is not guaranteed.

Private room upgrades on request, subject to availability and at additional cost (from AUD165/ night).

Would you like a hotel upgrade? We recommend The Abbott Boutique Hotel. Upgrades available from AUD185 per night, subject to availability. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.


  • 6 nights accommodation in dorms, hostel accommodation (share facilities), Gilligans Backpacker Resort or similar
  • Daily return ferry transfers to Fitzroy Island
  • All CTRC volunteer fees
  • Program coordination and assistance by No Limit Adventures
  • International and domestic flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Scuba diving & snorkeling equipment
  • Meals
  • Alcohol and other beverages
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Other personal expenses
  • Day 1 Cairns

    Welcome to Far North Queensland. Arrive into Cairns and transfer to the city. Check in, relax and explore the city. You will be briefed on the days ahead by your local contact.

    Day 2 – 6 Cairns – Fitzroy Island/ Turtle Conservation

    Over the next 5 days you will be teaming up with and assisting the turtle conservation staff at the Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre. Each day you will meet the team at the Reef Fleet Terminal at 7.30am (unless advised otherwise) and transfer to the island. Daily activities will include hands on tasks, behind the scenes at the Turtle Rehab Centre on the island. You may be asked, amongst others, to help with the cleaning of tanks, general maintenance of the centre, cut and prepare food for the turtles and even feeding the turtles. Most importantly, you have the opportunity to observe firsthand how these amazing creatures behave and get invaluable insight and knowledge from the people working at the centre like co-founder & dedicated, conservationist Jennie Gilbert. In addition to tasks at the centre you may be required to take part in beach clean ups on the island, Rapid Monitoring or Coral Watch surveys. Each day the ferry returns just after lunch, however you can stay on the island and enjoy free time (please arrange return ferry with CTRC staff in advance). Fitzroy Island has some amazing walks, great snorkeling and other activities that will easily fill your afternoon.

    Day 7 Cairns

    Today is the last day of your program. Check out and transfer to the airport or continue with your travel adventures.

  • 30% deposit required to secure place ($150 is non-refundable)
  • Full payment must be made no later than 31 days before program commencement
  • No refunds within 30 days of program commencement
  • Cancellations made within 31 – 60 days will incur a 50% cancellation fee of total price
  • No shows will incur 100% cancellation fee