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.
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
Duration: 3 hours
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.
3. Walk the Leeke’s Beach Circuit
|Trail Name: Leeke’s Beach Circuit|
Trail Type: Circuit
Duration: 2 hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*BONUS HIGHLIGHT* – Hike up Bluff Point Walking Track
|Trail Name: Bluff Point Walking Track/Circuit|
Trail Type: Circuit
Duration: 1 hour
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.
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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