Great Keppel Island, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Guide to Great Keppel Island
- Getting to Great Keppel Island
- When to visit
With your choice of 17 pristine beaches to explore, Great Keppel Island is sure to satisfy your tropical island craving.
Great Keppel Island is one of the best island getaways on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. It’s easy to see why with the option of snorkelling right off the beach, spotting wildlife during hinterland hikes and trying an array of aquatic adventures. Sitting just 18km (11mi) off the mainland coast, getting here is convenient even for a day trip. But stay a while and experience a quiet island escape that's anything but boring.
Great Keppel Island is an easy 30-minute boat ride from Rosslyn Bay Harbour, which sits around an hour's drive from a regional airport near the inland city of Rockhampton.
- Rockhampton Airport; domestic flights only
- Shuttle services and taxis to Rosslyn Bay, and hire cars, are available from the airport.
- High-speed catamarans, ferries and scenic boat tours to Great Keppel Island depart from public piers at Rosslyn Bay Harbour and the harbour's Keppel Bay Marina.
The island has its own small airstrip, Great Keppel Island Airport, with several operators offering chartered helicopters and fixed-wing flights from Rockhampton Airport.
Great Keppel Island enjoys warm weather all year around, with most rain falling during the hot summer, from December through to early spring, in March. While winters are generally mild and dry, pack a jacket or layers for cooler nights when south-easterly winds pick up. Humpback whales pass by the island from July to September, while May to August is peak season for the gentle manta rays that feed offshore.
- High season: Winter and spring (July to September)
- Low season: Early summer (December)
- Don’t miss: The turtle nesting and hatching seasons (nesting on the island’s beaches from November, hatching from January to March)