Great Keppel Island – Everything You Need To Know

Great Keppel Island should be high on your bucket list when visiting Queensland.

Only a 30-minute boat ride from the coastal town of Yeppoon, you can choose to visit for a day trip or for an extended getaway.

Great Keppel Island – Everything You Need To Know

Great Keppel Island should be high on your bucket list when visiting Queensland.

Only a 30-minute boat ride from the coastal town of Yeppoon, you can choose to visit for a day trip or for an extended getaway.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

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Rach Great Keppel Island

Either way, this is an affordable island paradise with much to see and do once you arrive.

How to get to Great Keppel Island

Two ferries are running transfers to the island from Rosslyn Bay marina in Yeppoon.

We chose Keppel Konnections to get to/from the island; they were fantastic! This is a smaller boat with fewer passengers and a smooth trip.

The other company, a bigger ferry, is Freedom Fast Cats. 

Keppel-Konnections-ferry
How to get to Great Keppel Island? We used Keppel Konnections (ferry above) There are a few options, so you can make the choice.

Both companies charge around the same fare and have similar ferry schedules. See Keppel Konnections’ ferry schedule here.

Keep your eyes peeled on the ferry transfer between the mainland and the island. During the right season, you might be able to spot some humpback whales.

Alternatively, book this Great Keppel Island Day Trip Bundle from Yeppoon.

Best time of year to visit Great Keppel Island

The best time to visit Great Keppel Island is between May and August. We stayed on the island for three nights in August, and the weather was perfect! Outside these months, the days can be scorching and humid.

The bonus of travel during this time, of course, is accommodation prices are cheaper.

Great Keppel Island - Everything you need to know

Where to stay – Great Keppel Island Accommodation Options

Up until 2008, everybody used to stay at Great Keppel Island Resort. This was THE place to stay, with a prime position on the beachfront to enjoy your Great Keppel Island experience.

But, due to its closure in 2008, there are some other fantastic options for accommodation on Great Keppel Island.

A good mid-range option is Great Keppel Island Hideaway.

We stayed here and we can highly recommend this place.

It ticks all the boxes, situated right on Fisherman’s Beach with a range of cabins to suit every budget and a restaurant on-site.

Keppel Konnections ferry arrives near this resort so it’s easy to walk a few minutes to your accommodation, which was super convenient.

Another option for accommodation here is the Great Keppel Holiday Village.

You can rent a cabin with two large beds, a whole house, or even a tent.

On a Budget?

Great Keppel Holiday Village offers an option to pay for a parking spot and set up your own tent. This is ideal for travellers who wish to spend more than a few days on the island.

The rate includes a communal kitchen, showers, toilets, and snorkelling equipment.

Which are the best beaches on Great Keppel Island?

Marty great keppel island beaches
Great Keppel Island Beaches are gorgeous!

There are 17 gorgeous beaches to choose from, to be exact! You’ll be amazed at this rustic paradise’s pristine white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters.

The island has two main beaches: Fisherman’s Beach and Putney Beach. These are the busiest hubs and where you’ll find most Great Keppel Island accommodation options.

For visitors seeking a little more seclusion, we recommend heading to Long Beach on the southern side of the island or Monkey Beach & Shelving Beach.

How to Explore Great Keppel Island on Foot

Fishermans-Beach-Great-Keppel
Fishermans Beach Great Keppel Island

Over 90% of this island is walking trails and bushland, so exploring on foot is the best way to see it. It’s also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 90 species of birds here. See how many you can spot along the way.

There are many walks to choose from. I’ve listed the most popular walks on Great Keppel Island below.

#1 Leeke’s Beach walk

Leeke’s Beach circuit is a good walk if you’d like to learn a bit more about the history of the island. Check out the Old Homestead which was home to the Leeke family back in the 1920s. Leeke’s Beach is one of the best beaches on the island. Make sure you time your walk to allow yourself at least an hour to spend there.

Distance: 4km. Allow approximately 2-3 hours for the walk.

#2 Lighthouse walk

The lighthouse walk on Great Keppel Island is renowned for being the hardest hike on the island.

Distance: 3 hours return

Recommended to take a detour to Wreck Beach for some snorkelling and relaxing time.

#3 The Lookout Trail

An easy walk that will only take an hour of your holiday time. The Lookout Trail will reward you with views to the west side of Great Keppel Island. I’d recommend doing this toward the end of the day, perfectly timed to return to a happy hour drink on the beach at sunset.

Distance: 2.6km. This walk takes approx 1 hour.

#4 Long Beach & Monkey Beach trail

Locals recommended we do these trails if we enjoyed walking and we wanted to visit two of the best beaches on Great Keppel Island. They were right! Long Beach is stunning, the kind of beach you see splashed across postcards.

Once we reached Monkey Beach, we couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was too. The turquoise water is stunning.

Distance: Around 10km. The walk takes approximately 2-3 hours.

#5 Mount Wyndham

Do the hike to Mount Wyndham for the best views on the island. This hike is challenging and best suited to those with good fitness and hiking experience. This hike climbs to the highest viewpoint on the island.

You’ll get amazing views of many of the island’s beaches from here.

Distance: Allow yourself approx 3 – 4 hours.

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Things to do on Great Keppel Island

In addition to all the great hiking trails listed above and the option to swim in the water on your doorstep every day, what are the other things to do on Great Keppel Island?

There are many water activities to keep you busy, more about that below.

Marty-snorkelling-Great-Keppel-Island
Marty snorkelling on Great Keppel Island

1. Snorkel on Great Keppel Island

Should you bring along your own snorkelling gear to the island? Absolutely! Great Keppel Island is a fantastic place to go out there and explore the underwater world on your own.

What are the best beaches for snorkelling?

Shelving Beach, Clam Bay, and Monkey Point are the island’s most popular snorkelling spots. At these spots, you can easily see fish, turtles, colourful coral reefs, and starfish.

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2. Scuba Diving on Great Keppel Island

If you’re only on Great Keppel Island for a day trip or want to get out to some of the better parts of the reef, I’d recommend you get in touch with Keppel Dive. These guys offer snorkel and scuba dive trips on Great Keppel Island.

We spent a day with them doing both activities and the marine life was awesome.

Scuba dive Great Keppel Island
Scuba diving is a top activity on Great Keppel Island

3. Other watersports and activities on Great Keppel Island

The team at Keppel Dive is your go-to for watersports and activities on the island. Find them at the blue hut on Fisherman’s Beach, once you depart the ferry.

Book a jet-ski tour around the island (28km) or hire a stand-up paddleboard or kayak for the day. Keppel Dive can arrange boat pick-ups/drop-offs to different beaches if time isn’t on your side.

It’s up to you to decide which ones you’ll visit and which ones you’ll leave for next time. Take it from us, the struggle is real!

More Tips for Great Keppel Island

Plan on staying on Great Keppel Island for longer than a day? Here are a few things I’d recommend:

1. Bring some food supplies with you

There are no supermarkets on the island. I’d recommend that you bring some food with you. Your accommodation provider may provide a private or communal kitchen where you can cook or prepare something easy to eat. Of course, this depends on where you stay.

If you don’t bring food, you’ll need to eat out. This can quickly add up if you’re not prepared for it.

The Great Keppel Island Hideaway has a good restaurant offering tasty food available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

great keppel island food
Dinner at Great Keppel Island Resort. Grilled barramundi, chips and salad.

2. Bring your own snorkel and fins

If you enjoy the underwater world, this island is a playground to go exploring the reefs on your own without the cost of the daily hire of snorkel gear. My tip, bring a snorkel kit with you!

3. Take your hiking shoes

If you don’t own any hiking shoes, a pair of good running shoes should do. Many of the trails have sharp rocks and unstable gravel. Decent footwear is recommended.

4. Slip, slop, slap

This means cover-up from the sun. Slip on a light shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat. The sun is very strong here!

5. Pack a rash-vest for snorkelling

If you plan on spending many hours snorkelling, I’d recommend getting a good rash vest to avoid your back and upper body getting sunburnt from being exposed for several hours in the sun.

6. Headlamp and mosquito repellent

I’d recommend you take a headlamp for hiking in the early mornings or late afternoons. Take sunscreen & mosquito repellent.

And that’s it! Everything you need to know about Great Keppel Island in Queensland, Australia. Let us know if we missed something in the comments below.

Travel Tips for Australia

We have many travel guides and tips for Australia—what a diverse country!

Australia is ideal for exploring with two wheels! If you plan to explore Oz, check out our best tips for doing the Big Lap of Australia 

Our complete guide to Great Keppel Island is all you need for the perfect island stay.

If you head back to the coast, we recommend that you visit Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast. Check out the 15 Best Things To Do in Yeppoon, and don’t forget about the food. We’ve got you covered with the best places to eat in Yeppoon.

Our comprehensive itineraries for travelling in Australia include this Brisbane to Cairns Road Trip – the Best 14-day itinerary, our detailed Guide to Camping in Karijini National Park and the Ultimate Guide to Carnarvon Gorge.

We’re all about the food, too! Don’t miss these 12 best cheap eats in Cairns.

We highly recommend you visit the gorgeous Whitsunday Islands in Queensland; this is a special place!

If you’re after a unique experience, these five reasons why you need to Reefsleep on the Great Barrier Reef will do it.

If you’re visiting Australia on vacation, try these 12 classic Australian foods while you’re here and see if you can visit these iconic 30 Best BIG Things in Australia.

Do you plan to visit the Pacific islands? You’ll need our ULTIMATE guide to visit every country in the Pacific.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel longer after visiting Australia, these 21 cheapest countries to visit will make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

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5 Comments. Leave new

  • I like Leeke’s Beach walk and the Lookout Trail for walking. food are so available in this place. Thanks for writer for informative writings.

    Reply
  • Hi Rach,
    you have present the Keppel Island beautiful , I like your way of writing and this beautiful place .After reading your blog everyone will to go their but fact is that always money matter 🙂 to live life like you. Thanks

    Reply
  • Wow great photos!

    Reply
  • Thanks for the blog guys – really helpful. My partner and I are looking to head up to the Southern Great Barrier Reef in ~1month (from Sydney). What made you choose Great Keppel over some of the other nearby islands like Heron and Lady Elliot?

    Reply
    • Hi Jess,
      We’re glad you enjoyed the blog. We chose Great Keppel Island over the other islands mostly due to the price (it’s not so expensive to get there and accommodation is affordable) and also because of the activities available on the island. We like to dive and snorkel and Great Keppel has some great opportunities for this. There are some great hikes and walks too, and we always enjoy getting out in nature.

      Reply

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