QLD's TOP TOURS: Cairns to Frankland Islands

Are you ready for the ultimate tropical island adventure in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef? If you're seeking a day of exploration, relaxation, and underwater wonders, the Frankland Islands Reef, Rainforest & River Day Tour from Cairns is your ticket to paradise.

Frankland Islands: An All-Inclusive Tropical Escape

This fully inclusive tour is an exciting day out in paradise, offering a unique blend of experiences to make your visit to the Great Barrier Reef unforgettable. From the moment you step on board, you'll be treated to a fantastic range of activities, including a river cruise, a secluded Frankland Islands escape, snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, a guided island walk, and delicious meals.

Highlights of the Day

Your QLD Tropical Island Adventure Awaits!

The journey begins with a comfortable air-conditioned coach ride from Cairns, taking you through lush UNESCO World Heritage-listed rainforest mountains. En route, you'll pass sprawling sugar cane fields and witness the iconic Walsh's Pyramid, the highest freestanding natural pyramid in the world.

Upon reaching Deeral, just 45 minutes south of Cairns, you'll board the Turtle Islander, for a calm water cruise down the Mulgrave River. Take in the breathtaking landscapes and keep an eye out for crocodiles as you relax inside or enjoy some time out on the shaded outdoor decks.

Your adventure then takes you to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, as you cross the shortest open water distance of any Cairns reef day tour. This means more time for exploration (and fewer chances of seasickness.)

A Wildlife Haven and Aboriginal Culture

The Frankland Islands, part of the traditional sea country of the Mandingalby Yindinji and Gungandji Aboriginal peoples, is a natural wildlife haven and a protected national park. It's a place where rich history meets pristine nature. Discover rock pools, white sandy beaches and healthy fringing reefs that you can snorkel directly from the shore.

Island Activities for All

Enjoy guided snorkelling experiences that showcase the Great Barrier Reef's remarkable underwater world. An expert crew and a Master Reef Guide will be on hand to guide you through this unique ecosystem. You can even opt for an adventure snorkel safari from the boat, where you'll encounter an abundance of coral gardens, reef fish, and turtles.

If you prefer to stay dry, try stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking on the calm island waters. The clear tropical seas provide the perfect backdrop for these water sports.

On land, join a guided island walk with a marine biologist and Master Reef Guide, exploring the island's beautiful landscapes, rock pools, sandy beaches, and lush interior.

Practical Tips for Your Visit

Ready to experience the breathtaking beauty and vibrant marine life of the Great Barrier Reef at the Frankland Islands? Book your all-inclusive adventure today!


(Updated: October 6 2023)

Discover the Fascinating Frankland Islands: Olly Gaspar

Join blogger Olly Gaspar from Week Seek Travel on his Frankland Islands experience!

While everyone goes to Green Island and Fitzroy Island, a series of Great Barrier Reef islands you might not have heard of are the mind-bendingly beautiful Frankland Islands.

This incredible green zone marine park is found just south of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia. The good news is, you can organise a day trip to the Frankland Islands from Cairns!

My name is Olly and I run the adventure travel blog We Seek Travel.

I recently booked this epic Cairns Frankland Islands day trip with Backpacker Deals.

In this post, I’ll share with you my experience and photos from this epic trip to help you prepare for what to expect!

About The Frankland Islands

The Frankland Islands are a series of five islands just outside the mouth of the Mulgrave River. This spot is a little further south of the popular Fitzroy Island.

What's so special about the Frankland Islands is that the coral reef is absolutely thriving! The reef here is incredibly healthy and biodiverse and in my opinion, rivals the outer reef.

Honestly, I was blown away by just how healthy and rich the reef system is at Frankland Islands. That's because being situated so close to the mainland, you'd think that it wouldn't be thriving like it is.

However, out of the 600 different types of coral that grow on the Great Barrier Reef, 200 are found on the Frankland Islands.

There are many reasons why the reef system is flourishing here, but the main reason is due to the unique, non-gravitational current that exists here. This special current washes a lot of essential nutrients over the reef everyday, allowing it to grow and remain healthy.

What to Expect on a Frankland Islands Day Trip

Unlike most of the island trips from Cairns, the Frankland Islands day-trip actually includes a river cruise as well!

After being picked up in a coach transfer from your hotel, you'll be taken south to the Mulgrave River. On the way out through the Mulgrave, you'll get an opportunity to spot crocs, just before heading out through the headlands to the croc-free paradise; Normanby Island in the Frankland Islands Group.

Included in the trip was a guided snorkelling tour by a highly-skilled Great Barrier Reef guide. If you're lucky, you'll get Michele, who is unbelievably knowledgeable on everything to do with the Great Barrier Reef.

I spent much of the day snorkeling but regathered energy from the hearty lunch. Then, we were offered an island walk where we learnt so much about the formation and sustainability of this unique island ecosystem.

Wrapping Up

So, what are you waiting for? The Frankland Islands are calling!

Skip the crowds on your next trip to the Tropical North and head out to the Frankland Islands for the island trip of a lifetime - book at backpackersdeals.com.

Epic White Water Rafting Trip on the Barron River (Cairns)

Cairns is Australia's number one tropical adventure hub. Located in Far North Queensland on the footsteps of both the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, this incredible slice of paradise has more than its fair share of breathtaking nature and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities.

If you're visiting Cairns, one of the best, half-day adventure tours is this White Water Rafting trip on the Barron River.

My name is Olly and I run the adventure travel blog We Seek Travel. I recently booked this epic Cairns white water rafting experience with Backpacker Deals. In this post, I'll share with you my experience and photos from this epic trip to help you prepare for what to expect!

What to Expect on a White Water Rafting Trip in Cairns

This awesome white water rafting trip includes two hours of rafting led by professional guides down grade 3 rapids. What I loved about this tour is that it's suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters.

Included in the tour is:

White Water Rafting on the Barron River Rapids

After donning our life jackets, helmets and paddles, Andy, our professional guide ran us through the safety briefings and instructed us how to work together to rush down the gorge.

Luckily for us, we had a decent amount of flow, which meant bigger rapids and overall a more thrilling experience. Andy showed us how to paddle and manoeuvre the raft through large waves, broken water and strong eddies.

Our boat was quite confident, so we tackled some of the bigger rapids sideways, backwards and bouncing off large boulders!

Of course, this section of the Barron River isn't always fierce. There were some relaxing sections where we all jumped off into the warm tropical waters and floated alongside the boat.

This epic white water rafting tour gave us the best of both worlds– heart racing thrills and a relaxing scenic float.

The Barron Gorge

This region is one of the most scenic you'll find near Cairns. Dense, tropical rainforest vegetation drapes down from the towering cliffs into a deep, rich river. Rainforest birds fly above the pristine fresh waters off the Barron River below, which gently flows towards the Coral Sea– that is, until they release the floodgates!

The trip starts from the top of the Barron River, near the hydroelectric power station. Consequently, this station dams accumulated freshwater and releases it daily. This is when the excitement really begins! It also allows for this trip to run year-round, even in the dry season!

You'll find that the larger drops and stronger rapids are found further upstream. The last leg of the activity is a gentle paddle back down to Lake Placid, where it's possible to spot rainforest birds, harmless freshwater crocodiles, turtles and possibly even a Cassowary!

Wrapping Up

Are you still here reading? What are you waiting for? This trip is a definite must-do in Cairns for adventurer travellers and being so close to Cairns, I couldn’t think of a reason not to! Book them here.


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