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Wildlife Region

Frankland Islands National Park

Frankland Islands National Park

The Frankland Islands, located off the coast of Far North Queensland, form a picturesque archipelago situated approximately 10 kilometers offshore and about 45 kilometers southeast of Cairns. These islands, namely Normanby, High, Russell, Round, and Mabel, are an integral part of the renowned Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its extraordinary marine biodiversity and ecological significance.

These uninhabited islands are enveloped by pristine fringing reefs, showcasing a dazzling array of hard and soft corals, giant clams, schools of vibrant fish, turtles, octopuses, and occasional sightings of dolphins, whales, manta rays, and dugongs.

A visit to the Frankland Islands promises a breathtaking experience, where you can revel in the beauty of sandy beaches embraced by coastal grasses, pandanus, and coconut trees. As you explore, you'll encounter diverse ecosystems, including mangroves, rocky outcrops, and lush rainforests teeming with a wealth of birdlife. It is a vital nesting ground for various bird species, such as the little tern, beach stone-curlew, pied imperial pigeon, and crested tern.

Normanby Island, renowned for its exceptional snorkeling, owes its unique appeal to its geological history. Once part of the mainland, it now stands as a continental island, separated from the coast by rising sea levels hundreds of thousands of years ago. This island boasts a mix of rainforest vegetation and coastal species, while the cool water channels surrounding it maintain refreshing sea temperatures during the hot summer months.

The Frankland Islands Group National Park holds great cultural significance as it lies within the traditional sea country of the Mandingalby Yidinji and Gungandji peoples. Throughout history, these waters have been extremely important for fishing, hunting, and gathering food. The islands were christened by Lieutenant James Cook in 1770, in a tribute for two eighteenth century sailors, Lord of the Admiralty and his nephew, both named Sir Thomas Frankland.

Apart from their cultural importance, the islands serve as a sanctuary for endangered and rare fauna, including the green turtle, hawksbill turtle, spectacled flying-fox, and beach stone-curlews. During May and June, manta rays grace the shallow fringing reefs, offering a spectacular sight both above and below the water's surface. Additionally, two rare jewel-blue anemones host playful clownfish, a delightful sight for visitors on the north and west shores of Normanby Island.

Featured operator

  • Featured operator

    Frankland Islands Reef Cruises

    As part of the Entrada Travel Group portfolio since early 2020, Frankland Islands Reef Cruises is a certified Ecotourism business, that places conservation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at the heart of its operations. The organisation is actively involved in scientific research data collection on marine species, reef damage, debris and tracking the overall health of the ecosystem, via the Eye on the Reef App and Rapid Monitoring Surveys.

    Frankland Islands Reef Cruises holds an exclusive commercial access permit to visit the stunning Frankland Islands National Park. ...

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