Exclusive Reef & Island Day On The Great Barrier Reef

Jennifer Tofia on October 10th, 2018

Small Group, No Crowds

Due to Normanby Island being part of a National Park which has restrictions to the number of guests who can visit the island, there will never be any more than 100 guests on this tour. The tour operator, a local family-owned business, has the exclusive rights to this island destination and its surrounding reefs. This makes it a unique reef experience.  

The operator’s boat called the ‘Turtle Islander’, will only cater for up to 100 passengers maximum, however, the boat is actually surveyed for 180. This means more space and comfort for you on their air-conditioned vessel.

On this tour, you will feel like you are immersed in nature because the island is undeveloped and has been well looked after. It seems almost untouched. All amenities are on the vessel and are accessible at all times.

The ratio of crew to passengers is a maximum of 1:12

Scenic River Cruise & Guided Island Walk

The expedition to Normanby Island takes approximately 60 min by boat. 30 min of this journey is via a river cruise along the calm waters of Mulgrave River before heading out on the 30 min open water leg of the journey.

The leisurely cruise along the Mulgrave River, comes with amazing tropical views, Mangroves lining the river, with rainforest behind. There is a variety of birdlife that can be spotted, and If it is low tide you may also spot an Estuarine Crocodile sunbaking on the banks.

As you approach the mouth of the river, you can see the islands of the archipelago in

the distance. That is a magical sight in itself. By this time, you know that you will have only 30 min left before you reach your destination on the Great Barrier Reef.

Activities for All ages, Swimmers & Non-Swimmers available

It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced snorkeller or a non-swimmer, there will be an activity that will be suited to your capabilities. Even if that means simply enjoying relaxation time on the beach and exploring the island without entering the water.

The beach has a shallow entrance, therefore very practical for young families. It is perfect for young children and parents wading with toddlers and infants.

  • Snorkelling – Swim out from the shallow waters of the beach to the coral gardens not far from the shore. Choose to follow along in a guided tour with a Marine Biologist who will point out, and provide you with information about the marine life, or snorkel at your own leisure. Floating devices are available to use.
  • Adventure Snorkelling Safari – If you are an experienced snorkeller, or a beginner feeling a little adventurous, there is a guided tour to the outer regions of the reef. Travel out by boat to a deeper area where there will be more coral and fish varieties to witness.
  • Semi-Submersible – For the non-swimmers, there is the option to explore the reef on a semi-submersible tour.
  • Scuba Diving – Certified Diving and Introductory diving is available. Snorkel and dive if you like! All diving must be pre-booked.
  • Guided Island Tour including Rockpool Discovery – If you prefer not to get in to the water activities, this tour is very informative as you have a Marine Biologist providing you with interesting facts about the ecosystem. This includes a tour of the island and its surrounding rockpools where your guide will point out the critters that live amongst them.
  • Kayaks, Stand Up Paddle Boards and Sea-Doo – These are activities for anybody who enjoys time out on the water, not necessarily wanting to view the reef, but soak up some sun and have some fun. The kayaks are see-through so you can the marine life below as you paddle across the surface of the water. The Sea-Doo is a motorised self-propelled watercraft that allows you to zoom around the surface of the water while taking in the sights below without having to use flippers.

Star Attractions

  • Electric Blue soft Anemone with Clown Fish [Very rare to see]
  • Pink soft Anemone with Clown Fish
  • Giant Clams
  • Green Sea Turtles are seen here frequently as they love this part of the reef
  • Manta Rays and Sting Rays are seen here frequently
  • Octopus have been seen here regularly
  • Starfish
  • Varieties of soft and hard corals
  • Humpback Whales travel through this area between July & Aug  

Tropical Buffet Lunch on the Island

A tropical buffet lunch is served under the canopy of the trees on the island. This includes Prawns and a variety of fruits from our local area.

This outstanding small group tour has so much on offer. If you would like to experience for yourself, please click here or call 1300 231 118 or visit the Frankland Islands page.

Jennifer Tofia

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