The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Posted on April 21, 2010 by Christina
Tropical island? Check. Beautiful corals? Check. Heaps of marine life? Check. Frankland Islands offers all this and more including one of a kind rock pool tours, semi submersible boat rides and a fantastic buffet lunch – all of which are only a short 55 minute journey to island paradise!
The day starts with a 7:25am pick up from your accommodation on a comfortable air conditioned coach before driving south through Cairns, Edmonton and Gordonvale and arriving at our departure point in a little place called Deeral at approximately 8:30. Indulge in morning tea before the boat begins its cruise along the Mulgrave River for about 30 minutes during which the safety briefing is given. This is followed by a 25 minute open water crossing out to Frankland Islands!
The island you actually spend the day on is called Normanby Island. The boat moored off the edge of the island and a glass bottom boat acts as a shuttle service between the boat and the island for the day. At approximately 9:45am we took our boat ride over and once there, all snorkel gear was distributed for the day. After setting up our sun tent and putting all our equipment on, we set off on the advanced snorkel tour. Our guide, Rhys, showed us all the best spots including a clam garden, several coral bommies, and his favourite type of coral – Christmas Tree Coral! The best part of the tour was seeing all the turtles and there were heaps! Turtles prefer the shallowness of the island waters so you are more likely to see them in this type of environment than any where else. The tour lasted about 45 minutes and there were floaties and a snorkel rest station provided in case anyone was tired of swimming.
Once the tour ended there was still about an hour before lunch was served so we had plenty of time to go snorkelling on our own or just relax and take in the beach atmosphere. Lunch was served buffet style at 12:00pm and included cold meats, prawns, salads, rolls, bread, cheese, and fruit. Picnic tables were set up underneath a huge tarp and cold drinks were available for purchase.
After lunch we had about two hours to participate in the different activities on offer. Semi submersible and glass bottom boat rides were departing and they were each about 30 minutes in length. Due to the location of Normanby Island, when low tide occurs around midday many of the corals become exposed and between the areas of coral and patches of sand, rock pools have formed. This provides an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with all of the little sea creatures that call the corals home including crabs, sea cucumbers, and clams. A marine biologist narrates this tour which is approximately 45 minutes. There is also time for another snorkel before the afternoon is over. We were lucky enough to see two huge manta rays playing near the surface and we were actually able to get into the water and swim with them! Between all the boat rides, guided island walks and snorkeling, hopefully you can find a few minutes to relax on the sand before it’s time to board the boat for our journey back to Deeral.
An afternoon tea of coffee, tea, and cake is served on the cruise back down the Mulgrave River and the boat pulls into the dock at around 3:45pm. We hopped back on the bus and finished off this fantastic day with a smooth ride home.
Frankland Islands is the perfect choice for those looking to enjoy everything the Great Barrier Reef has to offer – with the added bonus of an island paradise!
By: Andrea Teed, TTS Tour Consultant
For More Information About This Tour, Please Visit The Tour Specialists
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