OZ Top Spot #2 Frankland Islands, Cairns, Far North Queensland

Last Updated on June 22, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

We marked our 2009 return to Cairns after 10 years by finding a patch of ‘absolute virgin territory’ – no mean feat given the many attractions we’d seen on several previous visits.

BUT … a tour to the sensational Frankland Islands – arguably the most misspelled place name in these parts – was a superb reminder of why we keep coming back to Far North Queensland!
Looking from Frankland Islands to the Mainland
Don’t be fooled if you see ‘Franklin Islands’ on some promotional material – it’s just another reminder of the pitfalls of phonetic spelling…  All pedantry (reluctantly!) aside, there’s only one tour to the islands – and it’s got EVERYTHING!!
The cruise leaves from Deeral, a longish hike from Cairns meaning a fairly early start.  But don’t panic!!  It’s absolutely worth it – the scenery is spectacular as the boat heads out along the Mulgrave River – then it gets even better when you reach the islands!
On the Mulgrave River en route to Frankland Islands
Disembarking at Normanby Island, we were immersed in an archetypal tropical paradise – the five islands are pristine National Park, and the whole tour was a wildlife bonanza.
We sighted crocodiles and Papuan Frogmouth along the Mulgrave river, and a family of Beach Stone Curlew on the beach between Normanby and nearby Mabel Island – accessible at low tide. 
One of the Frankland Islands, Cairns, Far North Queensland
Turtles, whales, giant clams and a suberb array of colourful tropical fish and corals can be seen in the waters around the island, with snorkelling and diving available as part of the tour.
Swimming in crystal clear water, wandering along the spectacular beach (deserted except for up to 99 other tour guests) and walking through the rainforest interspersed with snorkelling and lazing on the sand means a killer appetite – easily sated by the delicious tropical buffet lunch served under the trees.
Beach, Frankland Islands, Cairns, Queensland
Alas, I have no pix of the scenic public toilets on the island, picturesque though they undoubtedly would be – because there aren’t any!  The ‘toilet run’ – a mercy dash back to the cruise boat – happens on demand!
So are you jealous?  It’s well worth seeking out the tour brochure for this OZ Top Spot – do yourself a favour and plonk yourself in paradise for a day!
Stay warm!!
PS – What is ‘absolute’ virgin territory?  That merely means neither of us have been there before!  While AVT is getting rarer we’re still managing to track it down!!
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  1. I love your pictures. This spot sounds idyllic and will be a must see if we ever make that way. I loved your definition of virgin territory :-). Have a grand day. Blessings…Mary

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