Frankland Group National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Qld Govt

About The Franklands

    Park features

    Featuring outcrops of weathered and eroded green and white metamorphic rock, the islands are part of the coastal mountain range which was separated from the mainland by a rise in sea level 6,000 years ago. The vegetation on the islands is varied and includes patches of lush rainforest, coastal plant communities and mangrove swamps.

    The islands support a large array of bird life including numerous seabirds as well as pied imperial-pigeons, fruit doves, varied honeyeaters and white-breasted woodswallows. The fringing reefs surrounding the islands are home to a diversity of reef life including both hard and soft corals.

    The Frankland Islands have special significance for the Mandingalby Yindinji and Gungandji Aboriginal people who fished, hunted and gathered food on these islands and the adjacent sea country. Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook named the islands in 1770 in honour of two 18th century sailors—a Lord of the Admiralty and his nephew, both named Sir Thomas Frankland. Early in the 20th century, the Frankland Islands became a popular fishing and boating destination for local people. A lighthouse was built on Russell Island in 1929 and the island became a Commonwealth island. High, Normanby, Mabel and Round islands were declared national park in 1936. The surrounding waters were included in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in 1983.

    Looking after the park

    • Everything in the park, living or dead, is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
    • Camp only in designated camp sites and use the tarpaulin poles provided—disturbance to vegetation can cause erosion and spread weeds.
    • To protect nesting seabirds, the sand spits on Normanby and Russell islands may be fenced off from 1 September to 31 March. Please stay out of any fenced areas.
    • Do not feed wildlife including birds and fish—it is harmful to their health.
    • Domestic animals are not permitted in the Franklands Group National Park or on tidal lands adjacent to the national park within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Tidal areas include beaches, rocks and mangroves.
    • Use fuel stoves only—fires are not allowed.
    • Keep on walking tracks at all times.
    • Avoid damaging coral—never stand on or touch coral.
    • Rubbish bins are not provided. Do not bury rubbish—take it with you when you leave.
    • Where toilets are not provided, bury human waste and toilet paper at least 15cm deep and 100m from camp sites and tracks. Take nappies and sanitary products home with your rubbish.

    Be pest-free!

    Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! (PDF, 573.6KB) before your visit.

    Before you visit, please check that your boat, clothing, footwear and gear are free of soil, seeds, parts of plants, eggs, ants and insects (and their eggs), spiders, lizards, toads, rats and mice.

    Be sure to:

    • Unpack your camping gear and equipment and check it carefully as pests love to hide in stored camping gear.
    • Clean soil from footwear and gear as invisible killers such as viruses, bacteria and fungi are carried in soil.
    • Check for seeds in pockets, cuffs and hook and loop fastening strips, such as Velcro.

    While you are on the islands, remove soil, weeds, seeds and pests from your boat, gear and clothes before moving to a new site. Wrap seeds and plant material, and place them in your rubbish.

    Everyone in Queensland has a General Biosecurity Obligation to minimise the biosecurity risk posed by their activities. This includes the risk of introducing and spreading weeds and pests to island national parks.

    See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

    Park management

    The Frankland Group National Park is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) for the enjoyment of visitors and the conservation of nature.

    The park is managed in accordance with the Frankland Group National Park Management Plan (PDF, 489.2KB) and the Cairns Area Plan of Management.

    Russell Island is Commonwealth island. It is managed in a complementary manner with the national park islands of the Frankland Group National Park under agreement with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

    The reef and waters surrounding the Frankland Islands are protected within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

    Tourism information links

    Rainforest and Reef Information Centre142 Victoria Street
    Cardwell QLD 4849
    ph: (07) 4066 8601
    A partnership between QPWS and the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, managed by Great Green Way Tourism Incorporated.

    For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.