Located slightly north of the Tropic of Capricorn and ringed by 28 kilometres of beaches and bays, Great Keppel Island enjoys an ideal sub-tropical climate. Being far enough north to capture the sun, it enjoys mild winters while being far enough south to avoid the tropical monsoons.
The island is almost 1500 hectares and is a sanctuary to extensive native flora and fauna including more than 100 species of bird life including kookaburras, rainbow lorikeets and a diverse range of seabirds. Captain Cook was the first recorded European to sight the island, anchoring off the mainland in May, 1770 and naming the group of 14 islands, of which Great Keppel is the largest, after Rear Admiral Keppel of the Royal Navy. Learn more about the history of the area.
Great Keppel Island, is just a thirty-minute ferry ride from the mainland and regular ferry services depart from Keppel Bay Marina at Yeppoon, providing easy access for day trips or overnight visits.
The island boasts seventeen white sand beaches – inviting swimming, snorkelling and diving. Bushwalk the island’s interior where native flora, fauna and a rich Aboriginal heritage are waiting for you to discover. Go kayaking, coral viewing and enjoy the variety of water sports that are available.
The waters around the island are safe and there is 18 km of beach with coral around the headlands. The island’s crystal clear tropical waters are teaming with brilliantly coloured fish, other marine life and corals. The best snorkelling spots are Shelving Beach, Monkey Point and Clam Bay, all within easy walking distance.
You can sail the Keppel Islands on a luxury catamaran cruise – or tailor your own holiday experience with a private bare boat charter.
The closest airport is Rockhampton. Visitors to Great Keppel Island can fly to Great Keppel Island’s very own airstrip, an inspiring trip over crystal blue waters and pure white beaches, which will see you enjoying the island only 30 minutes later.
Can you still visit Great Keppel Island?
You can still visit Great Keppel Island all year long, for a day trip or a longer stay. Ferries depart for the island 365 days per year 7 days a week and are the perfect solution for a Great Keppel Island day trip or island holiday.
Great Keppel Island Hideaway
Great Keppel Island Hideaway is just 3 minutes walk from the beach. Offering a fully licensed restaurant on site and beachfront cabins with ocean views, Great Keppel Island Hideaway is located on beautiful Great Keppel Island, off the Capricorn Coast. Free WiFi access is available at the reception area.
You can choose from a variety of accommodation options, including a holiday home and cabins. Some offer air-conditioning, a patio, garden views and a private bathroom.
At Great Keppel Island Hideaway you will find pristine beaches and gardens. Discover the area’s water adventures with kayaking and scuba diving nearby, or enjoy the great outdoors with hiking/biking trails and mountain climbing.
An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including snorkeling, fishing, bush walks. The ferry from Yeppoon to the property is available at an additional charge.
The bistro style restaurant offers a variety of meals – open every day for breakfast, lunch & dinner, welcoming day trip guests as well as offering an all-meals package for our in-house guests.
Choose from a number of seating areas from underneath shade trees to cosy corners inside, under a thirty foot wooden ‘hut’. Wherever you dine, enjoy stunning views over Putney beach to the north and Fisherman beach to the west.
The Great Keppel Island Hideaway Bar & Bistro offers a magnificent vista overlooking pure white sand and the crystal clear waters of Keppel Bay with a backdrop of national park islands and the mainland in the distance. This is a popular area for casual dining, the and is also a perfect option for functions, weddings and special occasions.
Great Keppel Island Resort
In 2008 the Great Keppel Island Resort, an iconic party destination in the 1980s with the slogan “get wrecked!” closed its doors, and while there have been several attempts to revitalize the resort, it continues to remain closed.
And while many tourists thought the island had closed for business, two resorts, the Holiday Village and Hideaway, remain open, with some beach houses available for rent. There’s no grocery store on Great Keppel Island so if you are planning to self-cater, you will need to bring everything you require over on the ferry.
Great Keppel Island Resort is currently closed.
For other Island Resort options nearby, click the links below:
- Bedarra Island Resort
- Hamilton Island Resort
- Daydream Island Resort
- Hayman Island Resort
- Long Island Resort
What was Great Keppel Island Resort like?
The resort itself offered great facilities including a pool, a small shop, numerous accommodation types and various restaurants. Great Keppel Island Resort was the major place to stay on the island. On site there was a great restaurant, four bars, one night club, five pools, two spas, squash, tennis, golf, snorkelling, skydiving, paraflying and camel rides, just to name a few.
There were 2 Restaurants, Aqua Restaurant situated upstairs on the beach front and offered indulgent buffets or delicious al la carte. The Reef Cafe was for casual outdoor dining and offered tantalising wood fired pizzas, homestyle burgers and assorted cusine from the wok. The Restaurant served a buffet style brunch between the hours of 0700 – 1100 daily, and buffet style dinner was available nightly with a different theme each night.
There were three styles of accommodation available. Garden rooms were situated close to all of the resort facilities. Beachfront rooms were unrivaled for location. Just 50 metres to the beach and close to all facilities. Hillside Villas were air conditioned for maximum comfort.
Set back in the hillside, Villas had privacy and great views across the island. They were situated close to Billabong swim up pool bar and spa. Room Configuration: Garden – Queen bed or two Queen beds or three singles, – Beachfront – Queen bed or two Queen beds and Villa – Queen bed or Queen bed and Single or Queen bed and two singles.
Great Keppel Island Resort Activities
Activities at the resort included: Archery, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bushwalking, Catamaran Sailing, Golf, Gym Equipment, Gym/Fitness Centre, Live Entertainment, Nightclub, Paddle skis, Sailing, Spa, Squash, Swimming, Snorkelling, Table tennis, Tennis and Wind Surfing.
Canoeing excursions, Guided walks, Jet skiing, Massage, Para-sailing/Para-flying, Skydiving, Snorkelling excursions, Tube rides, Water skiing, Water sports, Wine tasting were also available.