Things to do on Great Keppel Island - Hiking Leeke's Beach Circuit

10 Awesome things to do on Great Keppel Island – Australia. A short guide to our favourite things to do on Great Keppel island.

Where is Great Keppel Island?

Great Keppel (Wop-pa) Island is a spectacular little island off the Capricorn Coast of Queensland. The largest of the Keppel Island Group, Great Keppel Island (GKI, for short) is located about 15km from the coast of Yeppoon on the stunning Southern Great Barrier Reef.

How do you get to Great Keppel Island?

You can choose from 2 ferry companies to get to and from Great Keppel Island. Both Freedom Fast Cats and Keppel Konnections depart from Rosslyn Bay in Yeppoon and timetables and costings can be found in the links above.

Where to stay on Great Keppel Island

There are limited accommodation options on Great Keppel Island, so book early. We stayed at the lovely Great Keppel Hideaway. They offered a great accommodation package including transfers and a free water activity each.

How long do you need on Great Keppel Island?

As with some of our other small island visits like Magnetic Island and Daydream Island, you’ll find you can easily spend days and days on GKI. There’s so much to see and do, so we strongly recommend at least two to three full days here. You certainly don’t want to have to cram it all into a day trip if you don’t have to! And importantly, you always have to factor in the weather. 2 of our 4 days here where completely washed out by torrential rain. So if you’re tossing up between a quick day trip or a longer multi-day visit, we strongly recommend the latter. Trust us, when you get here you won’t want to leave!

10 Awesome things to do on Great Keppel Island?

As we’ve already eluded to above, there’s load’s to see and do on Great Keppel Island. It’s an outdoor lovers dream and there really is something for everyone. You’ll find great hikes, deserted beaches, native wildlife, water activities to name but a few. And what’s so great is it’s all so accessible, with almost everything reachable by foot.

Great Keppel Island Map
Map produced by Capricorn Enterprise

Here’s how we spent our time and what we rate as the 10 most awesome things to see and do on Great Keppel Island.

1. Hike up Mt. Wyndham

The first activity we did and our favourite thing to do on Great Keppel Island was hiking up Mt. Wyndham. If you’re looking for amazing GKI views what better place to hike up to than the islands highest point – Mount Wyndham. An easy to follow circuit, this hike offers of the most stunning panoramic vistas on the island. For those not so keen on a long trek you checkout the shorter Lookout Trail.

Trail Name: Mount Wyndham Circuit

Trail Type: Circuit

Distance: 7km

Duration: 3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate
One of the things to do on Great Keppel Island is hiking up Mt. Windham

2. Go Echidna spotting

We’ve been lucky enough to see dozens and dozens of echidnas on our many hikes, particularly around Victoria, but we are always on the lookout for more. And Great Keppel Island is one of the best places to find them in Queensland. Just hike a couple of the trails here and you’re bound to find some. The aforementioned Mt. Wyndham trek was especially productive for us as we found 3 echidnas on this hike alone.

One of the things to do on Great Keppel Island is spotting echidnas

3. Walk the Leeke’s Beach Circuit

Trail Name: Leeke’s Beach Circuit

Trail Type: Circuit

Distance: 3.8km

Duration: 2 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

A second hike not to be missed, the picturesque Leeke’s Beach Circuit is an awesome hike and another of our favourite things to do on Great Keppel Island. A great way to see what the island has on offer, this quiet hike takes you through some beautiful flora, past some really diverse fauna and along some spectacular stretches of beach.

Walking the Leeke's Beach Circuit - Great Keppel Island

4. Strap on a snorkel or scuba tank

While water conditions could unfortunately best be described ‘unfavourable’ during our time on GKI, we weren’t to be deterred. Despite the wet and wild weather conditions limiting our underwater explorations, we enjoyed our all too brief time down at Monkey Beach in search of Hawksbill and Green Turtles. Not to mention all the other majestic marine life we found including Clownfish, Porcupinefish and the most common stingray in the Great Barrier Reef, the beautiful Blue-spotted Lagoon Ray.

Blue-spotted Lagoon Ray - things to do on Great Keppel Island

5. Checkout the Blue Tiger Butterfly Migration

If your visit coincides with the Blue Tiger Butterfly Migration you’re in for a real spectacle. We caught up with the Blue Tiger Butterflies on their journey north and found hundreds and hundreds resting in the trees on the Leekes Creeke Circuit. As with our experiences in Magnetic Island and Agnes Water and 1770 we couldn’t believe the sheer numbers of these beautiful butterflies.

Great Keppel Island - Blue Tiger Butterfly Migration

6. Relax on the deserted Long Beach

The imaginative name says it all! At 2km this beach is indeed long! But what we loved about this pristine beach was that it was also practically deserted. So if you’re looking to relax and top up your tan what more could you wish for. Be warned though this long stretch of coastline might not be the only ‘long’ thing you see here. ‘Schlong Beach’ is, as Chris creatively renamed it also a nudist beach.

On of the things to do on Great Keppel Island is exploring Long Beach

7. Enjoy a magical sunset

There’s a couple of really lovely beaches to watch day turn to night on Great Keppel Island. Both Fishermans Beach and the neighbouring Putney Beach offer awesome westerly views as the sun drops below the horizon. Whether you fancy an evening stroll or just want to enjoy it drink in hand, you can’t go wrong with these two beaches.

8. Explore the calm waters of Leeke’s Creek

Something a bit different. This one is perfect at high tide especially if it’s a bit windy out at sea and you want a more sheltered snorkelling experience. We loved getting a little off track and exploring the underwater world of Leeke’s Creek and the surrounding wetlands lagoon. Watching the fish dart in and out of the maze of mangroves was quite mesmerising.

One of the things to do on Great Keppel Island is snorkelling in the lagoon

9. Have some fun on Fisherman’s Beach

This is the beach the ferry drops you off at. And for some day-trippers, this beach is as far as they choose to venture. And fair enough! With that long stretch of beautiful white sand and clear blue water, for many a beach like this is all they’ve come for. But for those wanting something slightly more active, there is plenty on offer from the beach – stand up paddle boards (SUP), kayaks and snorkel gear are readily available for hire.

Visiting Fisherman’s Beach is one of the things to do on Great Keppel Island

10. Indulge in a happy hour beer or two at the Hideaway Bar

After enjoying all of the above, what better way to relax than with a cold beer in hand the Great Keppel Island Hideaway Bar. It would have been rude not to make the most of their ‘Happy Hour’ deal! And, no the irony of drinking Corona on a deserted Great Keppel Island during the pandemic was not lost on us.

Indulge in a happy hour beer - things to do on Great Keppel Island

*BONUS HIGHLIGHT* – Hike up Bluff Point Walking Track

Trail Name: Bluff Point Walking Track/Circuit

Trail Type: Circuit

Distance: 2.3km

Duration: 1 hour

Difficulty: Easy

This one is a bonus and yes we know Bluff Point Walking Track is on the mainland, not GKI. But this scenic hike is easily combined with a GKI trip and not to be missed. At only a couple of kilometres from the Keppel Konnections Ferry Terminal, the Bluff Point Walking Track offers stunning views along the Capricorn coastline and over to the Keppel Island group. Adding this little hike on before or after a GKI trip is a must in our opinion.

In Summary

If you’re planning on visiting this magical island we hope this helps! And if you’re weren’t already, we hope showing you some of the awesome things to see and do here has convinced you to book a trip to Great Keppel Island in the very near future.

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