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Frankland Islands Reef Cruises the latest addition to Australian Wildlife Journeys

An exclusive day tour to the Great Barrier Reef's Frankland Islands showcasing rivers, rainforests and reefs, is the latest addition to the Australian Wildlife Journeys (AWJ) collective.

As part of the Entrada Travel Group portfolio, Frankland Islands Reef Cruises are the only commercial operator with a permit to visit Normanby Island in the beautiful Frankland Islands National Park Island group, home to vibrant fringing reefs and a vast array of marine species, including beautiful hard and soft corals, turtles and a huge variety of fish, including the ever-popular Ocellaris Clownfish (Nemo) found in two rare jewel-blue anemones.

Normanby Island provides some of the best snorkelling of all the islands near Cairns, with exceptional water quality and visibility aided by the island's unique geographic location and cool water channels surrounding the area. 

Commencing with a scenic 30-minute cruise down the Mulgrave River lined by verdant rainforest and mangroves supporting abundant bird species and Saltwater Crocodiles, the Turtle Islander vessel ventures out to the traditional sea country of the Mandingalby Yidinji and Gungandji peoples. This archipelago is located only 10 kilometres offshore, being the shortest sea crossing of any Great Barrier Reef day trip.

With tour numbers limited to just 100 people per day, guests can choose from a range of optional activities with marine biologists, including a snorkel safari, island guided walk and semi-submarine experience.

Australian Wildlife Journeys' Executive Officer John Daw said, 'We are delighted to welcome Frankland Islands Reef Cruises to the collective to showcase the world's largest coral reef system with their team of passionate Master Reef Guides, Marine Biologists and crew. With the leave no trace philosophy in the National Park, non-commercialised approach, and the unique mix of ecosystems for interpretation, this is the perfect fit for our nature enthusiasts in Far North Queensland."

Providing habitat for key species such as the Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Spectacled Flying Fox, Beach Stone-Curlew, Pied Imperial Pigeon and White-bellied Sea-Eagle, the Frankland Islands National Park is renowned for its mix of coastal grasses, pandanus and coconuts, mangroves, rocky outcrops and dense rainforest.

A magical underwater world of species awaits snorkellers, with Nudibranchs, Giant Clams, Butterflyfish, Angelfish & Parrotfish, Damselfish, Sea Cucumbers, stingrays, and 200 species of coral. During the months of May and June, Manta Rays also visit the shallow fringing reefs around the islands. Frankland Islands Reef Cruises is actively involved in improving the marine ecosystem through activities such as health impact surveys, partnering with the Eye on the Reef program and monitoring the Crown of Thorns Starfish and Drupella Snail's impact on the islands.

"The pristine and largely undiscovered environment of the Frankland Islands National Park is a remarkable section of the Great Barrier Reef. We look forward to partnering with Australian Wildlife Journeys, to enable more nature-based travellers from around the globe to discover its stunning beauty," says Simon Payne, General Manager of Sales for Entrada Travel Group.

The Frankland Islands Reef Cruises day experience includes the following:

  • Snorkel Safari guided by marine biologists in small groups;
  • Guided Walk with Master Reef Guide or Marine Biologist to explore the fringing reefs and rock pools, through to the white sandy beaches lined with pandanus and other native species;
  • Semi-submarine experience covering the pristine coral reefs that surround the islands;
  • Soft adventure activities such as kayaking, standup paddleboarding and kid's treasure hunt;
  • Mulgrave River cruise with commentary;
  • All snorkelling equipment and tuition;
  • Coach pickup from Cairns with buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea.

From $219 AUD (adult) or $567 AUD (family pass for 2 adults & 2 children)


Captioned images to support Media Release available for download here (image credits apply).

About Australian Wildlife Journeys
Australian Wildlife Journeys is a group of Australia's leading independently operated wildlife tourism experiences, showcasing wildlife encounters in the wild, combined with warm hospitality. A high level of guiding expertise and focus on interpretation that connects with guests, encourages self-reflection and contributes to a better future for Australia's wildlife through 'conservation actions' underpins the group.

Australian Wildlife Journeys is part of Tourism Australia's Signature Experiences of Australia program that promotes outstanding tourism experiences within a variety of special categories.

Members of Australian Wildlife Journeys:

Victoria: Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours
Tasmania: Premier Travel Tasmania, The Maria Island Walk
South Australia: Australian Coastal Safaris, Exceptional Kangaroo Island, Murray River Trails
Western Australia: Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo, Naturaliste Charters
Northern Territory: Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris
Queensland: FNQ Nature Tours, Pacific Whale Foundation Eco-Adventures Australia, Frankland Islands Reef Cruises
Australian External Territory: Indian Ocean Experiences

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