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“Make Sure You Pick The Right Tide” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Frankland Islands Cruise and Dive

Frankland Islands Cruise and Dive
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Frankland Islands Cruise offers visitors the #1 nature based island tour on the Great Barrier Reef. Totally uninhabited, Normanby Island is a national park and the destination for guest on board Frankland Island Cruises. The largest of the Frankland Islands, the island is part coral cay and part continental island, with a healthy and vibrant fringing coral community. The island boasts an abundance of plant and wildlife species, vibrant and colourful rainforest which is met by beautiful, unspoilt beaches and brilliant coral gardens which are home to tropical fish, giant clams and, most notably, green sea turtles. Your day begins with a drive south of Cairns and a morning cruise along the Mulgrave river. From the mouth of the river your destination on the Great Barrier Reef is already in sight, making it the shortest open sea crossing in North Queensland. With maximum daily passenger numbers of 100, and a high crew to passenger ratio, a Cairns Great Barrier Reef day trip to the Frankland Islands ensures you an intimate, personal and unforgettable tropical Island experience from Cairns and the northern beaches.
Kiama, Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Make Sure You Pick The Right Tide”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2012

We went on this trip in 2010 and it was fantastic, great coral, sea turtles on a quiet relaxing island. 2012 was an experience I would rather forget.

The setup is coaches pick you up in Cairns and take you 45 minutes south (or you can drive and leave your car near the wharf). Then a short trip down the river (if you are lucky you may see a croc.) and then 20 minutes or so to the island. You are then transported to the island by the glass bottom boat etc. On the island there are some tables under traps.

You can have glass bottom boat rides, snorkelling or island tours, by friendly staff. We went snorkelling by our self. Then lunch consisting of prawns, chicken salads etc. All of which were quite good.

Now where does it all go wrong? First when the tides are not right you only get a few hours (compare to 5 hours plus on 1st trip)on the island, as the boat cannot get over the sand bar. Then the glass bottom boat engines play up so we cannot get back to the main boat. Then the main boat cannot get into the river due to the tide. 5 hours plus waiting on the boat for the tide. Back to the hotel at 9:30pm, at least they could have provide a meal? Yes a free drink each on the boar, but no food available. We were told we would be contacted by the manager the next day, this did not occur. I rang several times and was told someone would ring back, this never happened.

Other downsides there were insufficient snorkelling gear for everyone and what was there was mouldy. The coral was still recovering from cyclone.

Visited April 2012
3 Thank TimWilco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Cairns, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2012

I loved my trip to Frankland Island so much. The staff were very friendly and informative and even took us on a guided tour around the island. I saw two sea turtles whilst snorkelling and many beautiful fish. I have been to a few islands near Cairns and Frankland is now my favorite

Visited November 2012
Thank LoveSummer_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Simply fantastic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2012

Great service, friendly staff, awesome food. had a great day out in franklin island onboard a clean vessel, i enjoyed the bush walk we went on with Erin the instructor. The only thing i wasn't happy with was the dining area, under a tarp like roof with wooden tables and sand with ants crawling over me! But thats just me being fussy.

Visited October 2012
Thank Liam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Something a little different”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 2, 2012

As locals we do not do many things in our own backyard so My Hubby and I did a trip with Frankland Islands cruises and really enjoyed it all. It was unfortunately rainy at the start of the morning but it picked up nicely shortly after arriving and setting up on Normanby island. The snorkelling was fantastic, we saw plenty of different fish, sea cucumbers, turtle and sting-ray....I only wish we had have thought of getting an under water camera for the day or a cheap disposable even. We both found all the staff very knowledgable, helpful and attentive to all the guests (there was only 21 guests on our trip) the staff were so funny and did not intrude on our private time either. The afternoon river cruise back was great and majority of us stood out the front taking in the mangroves and chatting with staff. I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting something a little different who were happy to just snorkel (no dive options). We drove ourselves to Deeral where the boat left and it was easy to find with the companies website instructions given, the only downside we found as leaving the island at 2pm....but at the same time it was good to back in Cairns by around 4pm (not 530-6pm like the other reef boats). Thanks to all the staff (Dave, Naoko, Shinji, Robbie and Captain Richard) for a wonderful trip out and taking such a relaxed approach to our journey (not pushing or neglecting us once!).

Visited December 2012
2 Thank LocalLass4870
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Bad Experience with Service and Management”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2012

I travelled from Canada earlier this year and toured NZ and Australia for 5 weeks, and as a world traveler for more than 50 years, this was the first time that I had such a bad touring experience.

The first problems were (1) unprofessional staff (2) when disembarking at Frankland Island, we had to walk off the boat into 2 to 3 feet deep water, the one helping staff couldn’t assist everyone and a wave came along and triggered my fall into the water, soaking all of my clothing and destroying my digital camera (3) the glass bottom boat was inoperative (4) the submersible viewing windows were extremely dirty making it difficult to get a good view (5) the submersible moved in spurts and too fast past interesting coral and fish to enable taking photos (6) the beach was heavily cluttered with dead coral, making it difficult to walk barefoot, and (7) very little sea life and coral was seen by anyone, including those snorkeling.

The second problem was with management, Ron Cusick, who I understand is the owner/operator. When I spoke with him on the phone I got the impression that he was a responsible manager, as he listened to my information and instead of a refund of the fee paid, he offered to send 2 tickets for use any time at a future date, and said that I should make a claim for the camera with one of my insurance companies, and if it wasn’t covered that he would make a claim with his insurance company. He did not follow through with either promise, and ignored 3 emails I sent as a follow-up. Finally, he offered to send the 2 tickets, which I refused on the grounds that I no longer trusted his word. My insurance company would pay for the camera less the $200 deductible. My total out of pocket cost is the $200 deductible, the cruise cost $125, and 2 disposable cameras and film developing $75.68, for a grand total of $400.68. I suggested a compromise cash settlement of $300, all of which has been ignored by this manager.

Visited May 2012
5 Thank AJ G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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