Frankland Group National Park Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Queensland Government

Russell Island camping area (Commonwealth Island)

Russell Island camping area is the most popular island in the Cairns section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Accessible by

  • Boat

Camping area facilities

  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Picnic tables
  • Mooring points
  • Anchoring allowed
  • Tent camping
  • Walking
  • Fishing

Features: the most popular island in the Cairns section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Location: on the north-east side of Russell Island.

Access: by private boat from either the Mulgrave or Russell river boat ramps. Sandbars at the mouth of Mutchero Inlet at Russell Heads makes crossing the shallow river mouth tide-dependent—check tide times before you go. Frankland Islands Cruises will drop off and collect campers at Russell Island.

Number of sites: two sites (separate but not numbered) with a maximum of 8 people per group.

Camp sites are suitable for: small to medium tents. The maximum total number of campers allowed on the island at any one time is 16, or 24 in the case of school groups (where 20 students plus four supervisors are permitted).

Camp site surface: sand/grass.

Facilities: hybrid toilet (no toilet paper supplied), seats and picnic tables. At each site poles are provided for erecting tarpaulins.

Open fires: not allowed. Fuel stoves only.

Generators: prohibited.

Essentials to bring: tarpaulin, drinking water, toilet paper, rubbish bags, fuel stove, comprehensive first-aid kit, insect repellent and sun protection equipment. Read more about before you visit.

Bookings: book online or learn about our camping booking options. Bookings are essential and are required well in advance for holiday periods. No camping fees apply.

Mobile phone coverage: very limited or not available.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting The Franklands safely and camp with care.

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.