One of the largest and most beautiful islands in the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef, Great Keppel Island is well loved by locals. The island’s 17 white sandy beaches, tranquil blue waters, coral reef and year round tropical climate make it a lovely spot to visit.
Located 15km from the coast off Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island lies in the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland. This island getaway is a wonderful destination for day trips or extended holidays.
Great Keppel Island is among one of the many hidden gems in the Great Barrier Reef that remains well loved by locals. With no five star resort to speak of, the low key accommodation offerings of beach cabins, camping and private homes are what draw some visitors to this location to really experience the natural beauty of this place.
The island boasts natural attributes such as 17 uncrowded and pristine white sandy beaches that have snorkel sites close to shore. It is not uncommon to see dolphins and turtles in the waters alongside you exploring hidden pockets of stunning coral reef. Great Keppel Island is also home to approximately 90 species of birds and has an abundance of flora and fauna.
This island is ideal for rest and relaxation in beautiful natural surroundings. It is rarely crowded so you can easily find a piece of paradise to yourself. Snorkelling is popular here and Shelving Beach and Monkey Point are often recommended as the best places to go to. The relatively calm waters surrounding the island are perfect for water sports like stand up paddle boarding and kayaking or even fishing and sailing.
If you are expecting a busy commercial five star resort with all the offerings then this is not the destination for you. Great Keppel Island is an island best suited to those who are comfortable camping or staying in basic but clean and comfortable accommodation. The focus here is not on the accommodation but rather being outdoors and experiencing one of the best tropical islands and reefs the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. If that is not your style then you may prefer to visit the island on a day trip with Freedom Fast Cats and stay in more luxurious accommodation on the mainland in Yeppoon.
Freedom Fast Cats offer an adventure day cruise to the island with the chance to go boomnetting or snorkelling with an Australian buffet style lunch served on board. You will have the opportunity to swim in crystal clear waters and explore nearby trails and quiet beaches. And for those who don’t like to get wet there is a glass bottom boat for coral viewing with expert commentary.
If you do choose to stay on the island then Great Keppel Island Hideaway and the Great Keppel Island Holiday Village have a variety of lodgings. You can choose from simple cabin style rooms steps away from the beach through to canvas tents or a beach house. Some rooms are self- contained and communal kitchens are provided for those room that are not. The Great Keppel Island Hideaway does have a licensed bar and bistro overlooking the Great Barrier Reef should you want to take a break from cooking.
To reach the island you will to fly into Rockhampton Airport with commercial airlines arriving here daily. From the airport 45 minute transfers can take you to Rosslyn Harbour in Yeppoon where you will take a fast ferry to Great Keppel Island. Queensland Rail and Coaches also services this area and long term car parking is available for road trippers. Whilst it might seem difficult to reach the island, it is well worth the effort to experience this little slice of paradise.