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Featured Wildlife Journeys

  • Clownfish in Blue Anenome

  • Turtle Islander Vessel

  • Mulgrave River

  • Green Turtle

  • Normanby Island

Frankland Islands Reef Cruises


Where and where does the tour depart from?

Tours depart daily. Coach transfers from Cairns CBD accommodation commence at 6.55am. If you prefer to self-drive, Deeral is an easy 45-minute drive from Cairns – please allow time for the drive and check in at the vessel by 8.15am.

The Turtle Islander departs Deeral at 8.30am and returns between 4-4.30pm, with coaches returning to Cairns around 5-6pm. Please note that on certain dates the tour will depart and return later than scheduled due to extreme tides. Customers affected by these dates will be notified by our team.

Are transfers available between Cairns and Deeral?

Yes, coach transfers from Cairns CBD accommodation to our departure point at Deeral are available for our all-inclusive tour passengers. Simply select your preferred option when booking. You're also welcome to make your own way to the boat using our handy self-drive map. Please make sure you check in by 8.15am.

What should guests bring?

You'll need your swimsuit and towel, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (we reccomend bringing a reef friendly type), and shoes that can get wet and sandy. Bring anything else you want to have with you for a day out on a tropical island. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle, and cash or credit card (Visa or Mastercard) for onboard purchases or optional activities.

Do the tides affect the timing of the tour?

Yes, they can. Extreme low tides may vary the times of the tour or cause it to be cancelled. We will advise guests at the time of booking or as soon as possible afterwards if this is the case. The tour duration stays the same, we just depart later and return later. We will not depart earlier than our usual time of 8:30am. You can view upcoming dates affected by tides on our tour page.

What is the general day plan? Can I choose activities when I am out there?

After departure, morning tea is served onboard the Turtle Islander. The timing of the day depends on guest numbers and pre-booked optional activities. The crew will provide an outline of the timing for the day before arriving at the island. There is also a chalkboard at the picnic area with the information for guests to refer to, and if you need more information or advice throughout the day, you can ask any of the friendly crew.

Can I go scuba diving?

Scuba diving is subject to availability and minimum numbers apply. Please contact us for more information. For Scuba Diving Cairns options, visit our friends at Tusa Reef Tours. If you are new to diving you can also try an Introductory Dive Cairns with all the thrills of breathing underwater while being guided by an experienced PADI dive instructor.

Is this tour suitable for families with young children?

Yes! During our day on the island young children can easily swim or snorkel from the beach. We provide flotation devices and our snorkel guides are happy to help with equipment and tuition. The guided island walk and our kids' treasure hunt are also great fun for children. Guests are welcome to bring portable prams, but please note there are no paved walk so they will need to carry or push them on the sand. The shaded picnic area is a lovely spot for a nap for the little ones.

What if I get sea sick? Is this a suitable tour for me?

Yes, the tour is more suitable than many other Great Barrier Reef tours for guests who may get sea sick, as we have a calm water river cruise and the shortest crossing to the Great Barrier Reef of just 6 miles (approximately 30 minutes). Once we arrive at our destination, we base ourselves on the island, which does not move, and you can recover quickly and enjoy your Great Barrier Reef experience. If you are still concerned, we recommend you take seasickness medication.

What happens in the case of extreme weather?

We'd love to guarantee perfect weather for all our guests, however we cannot control this! Should the weather create an unsafe environment, then we will cancel our tour. We will do all we can to contact our guests and advise of this prior to the day of travel and where possible re-book guests on an alternative date or provide a full refund.

Is this tour suitable for elderly people or people with mobility issues?

As there are no paved walkways on the island, guests need to be able to walk up to 100 metres on sand and navigate stairs on board the vessel. Unfortunately this tour is not suitable for guests using wheelchairs.