Great Keppel Island is located about 20 km from the Yeppoon coast in Queensland (45 km from Rockhampton). After 30 minutes by ferry, I found myself in paradise! It was better than I had imagined. I usually try to manage my expectations, because photos from Google or Instagram often differ from reality. Especially that nowadays filters are commonly used and colors differ with what we see with our own eyes.
I have heard about Great Keppel recently from randomly met people. They inspired me with stories about this place and gave me contact to polish girl who works there. I thought – why not, it looks cool. In the end, Chris and I landed on a big cruise ship, a glass-bottomed boat trip and spent the night in a great atmosphere in unusual accommodation on the island. But let’s start from the beginning!
Luckily, I am currently working 2.5 hours from Yeppoon. However, for everyone who traverses Australia from south to north – or vice versa – Great Keppel Island, my paradise on earth is near Rockhampton. From there you have to stray from the highway and head to the coast.
We set off on a cruise with Freedom Fast Cat Cruises (clink on link) from Rosslyn Bay in Yeppoon. We took the best seats in the back. On board we had a coffee, tea, something sweet and then lunch. During the day we jumped on a smaller boat with a glass bottom to admire the reef, turtles and the wrecks of sunken boats. In some places of this reef there was not much left, so time after time I was disappointed. I was compensated when snorkelling an hour later during which the diversity of underwater life simply amazed me.
During the cruise, people have an hour to spend time on the island freely. I was glad that we stayed for the night because an hour would not be enough for me. With this in mind, we were lounging on the beach in a completely blissful peace, knowing that tomorrow was also an exciting day. I like to stay in one place longer and not just lick paradise and turn back. God forbid, you won’t get the good weather yet!
We spent the night at the Great Keppel Island Holiday Village, our australian paradise on earth. Such an atmosphere! I had not specifically decided on any standard room or cottage. This tent-room surrounded by greenery and beach sand was just perfect! Inside was a normal bed with a bedside table and outside a place to have morning coffee. I would definitely recommend it if you also have a small bushman inside.
Holiday Village does not have its own restaurant, so we ate and drank in a tavern belonging to another accommodation center – Hideaway Island Bar & Bistro – 5 minutes walk from us. I recommend Happy Hours on Sunday 😀
We sat under palm trees long after sunset. And the sunset was magical 🙂
The whole island resembles a Caribbean oasis. Snow-white sand on the beach, blue water, palm trees, lots of greenery and accommodation in a great climate. Moreover very clean, tidy and a lot of different hiking trails to choose from leading through the forest. Remember to apply cream with a high filter and put on a hat! After such a walk, we looked like wet chickens: D
A big plus is that the Great Keppel coral reef is close to the coast, so if you stay there overnight, you can do some great snorkeling without a tour! We did it the other day at Sheveling beach. The best beaches for independent snorkelling – among 17 beaches on Great Keppel Island – are Shelving, Monkey Point and Clam Bay and they’re fully resembling an australian paradise on earth I was searching for. You can easily reach each of them on foot.
However, what we saw while diving on the reef with the Fast Cat Ferry group was something amazing! A lot of fish of unusual colors, shapes and sizes right before our eyes. We saw a family of turtles, one of which was enormous. It was the first time I had seen them so closely. Amazing experience. Many of these “first times” in Australia: -) On Keppel there are huge differences in water levels during the tides, so during low tide the reef we dived was completely above the water surface! These are not ideal conditions for corals because of the warming sun, but despite this they still looked full of life and confidently adapted in their own way to this natural cycle.
There are not many places where I come back twice, but I would love to come back to Great Keppel Island as I really think it’s an australian paradise on earth. And why don’t I visit the same places twice? Hm, I think I am convinced that there are so many beautiful places to see, that the explorer awakens in me at the thought of new discoveries. The second reason is that I would rather have not enough than too much. Keppel I give 10 out of 10!
And to think that not long ago I did not know about its existence … 🙂
Best regards and thanks for coming!