Latest COVID-19 impacts—Qld national parks, state forests and recreation areas. Check the latest information and updates.
Things to do
Camping is permitted on Russell and High islands only. Campers must be self-sufficient and only use the sites delineated by tarp posts and seats.
Camping permits are required and fees apply for High Island.
Russell Island is a Commonwealth island and a camping permit must be obtained in advance. No camping fees apply.
- Find out more about camping in the Frankland Group National Park.
- Russell Island Camping Area map
- Book your Russell Island and High Island camp site online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Cairns and Innisfail. For more information see tourism information links.
Normanby Island has a short walking track and visitors are welcome to walk along the beaches of all the islands. To protect nesting seabirds, the sand spits on Normanby and Russell islands may be fenced off from 1 September to 31 March. Please do not enter fenced areas.
Normanby Island circuit track—1km return (20mins) Grade: easy
This circuit walking track passes through a range of environments, including rocky outcrops, dense rainforest, coastal vegetation and mangrove communities. The track gives walkers the opportunity to see a variety of plants and animals including seabirds.
Guided tours and talks
Frankland Islands Cruises offers their passengers a guided island walking and snorkelling tour at Normanby Island.
Picnic and day use areas
Russell Island has a hybrid toilet (no toilet paper is supplied). Russell, Normanby and High islands have bench seats and picnic tables. There are no facilities on Mabel and Round islands.
Boating and fishing
Frankland Group National Park and the surrounding marine waters are internationally significant and are protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Marine Parks Zoning provides a balanced approach to protecting the marine and intertidal environments while allowing recreational and commercial use. Check zoning information and maps before entering or conducting any activities in the marine parks.
Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.
There are public moorings in the waters around Frankland Group National Park. Moorings reduce coral damage from anchors and provide safe and sustainable access to popular reefs and islands. They suit a variety of vessel sizes and are accessed on a first-come-first-served basis. Time limits may apply during the day, but all mooring are available overnight between 3pm and 9am. Learn more about moorings and responsible anchoring and see maps and mooring locations.
Visitors should check weather conditions and obtain updated forecasts before venturing out in recreational vessels. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Please note that there are group size limits and other restrictions for commercial operators under the Cairns Area Plan of Management.
Motorised water sports
Motorised water sports, such as jet skiing, are prohibited around the Frankland Islands. For more information refer to the Cairns Area Plan of Management.
Swimming, snorkelling and diving
The fringing reefs surrounding the Frankland Islands are a great place to enjoy swimming, snorkelling and diving. The best snorkelling is on the north and south-west sides of Normanby Reef and on the north and west edges of Russell Island. Take care not to kick or stand on corals.
Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. A full-body lycra suit or equivalent may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first-aid information.
Be aware that crocodiles can occur in the waters around island national parks in North and Central Queensland. Crocodiles are potentially dangerous and attacks can be fatal.
- For information on guided snorkelling and diving tours see tourism information links.
The Frankland Group National Park supports diverse biological communities and offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Keep in mind that small populations of breeding seabirds may be present from 1 September to 31 March and the sand spits on Normanby and Russell Islands may be fenced off during this time. Please stay out of any fenced areas.
- See natural environment for more details about the Frankland Islands' diverse wildlife.
- Temporary closure of camping areas on Frankland Group National Park 19–27 January 2021