The first holidays with the whole family was in Great Keppel Island in 1999.
Great Keppel Island (also known as Ganumi Bara) lies 15 kilometres from the coast off Yeppoon along the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland. The island is the largest of the eighteen islands in the Keppel Group, and covers an area of more than 14.5 km2.
Great Keppel Island is a 15 minute flight from Rockhampton. To reach Rockhampton we flew from Sydney to Brisbane (1hour and 15 minutes) and from Brisbane to Rockhampton (1 hour).
The islands were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 after the then First Lord of the Admiralty, Admiral Augustus Keppel. Prior to European settlement, the island was home to the Woppaburra and Ganumi people of the Darumbal nation, with centuries old middens testifying to the quantity of seafood found in the surrounding waters. European settlers killed or removed most of the indigenous population by the end of the 19th century. During its early European history, the island was used to raise sheep, however it is now a tourist destination.
The first resort on the island was operating in 1967. There are no high-rise resorts on the island.
Arriving at Great Keppel
The tropical climate and numerous beaches attract tourists from all points, and a number of accommodation houses cater for them including the Beach House where we stayed. There are 17 white sandy beaches with some of the highest cover of hard coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef. The coral diversity of these reefs matches that of the Whitsundays with clear waters most of the year around. The island is served by ferries and aircraft.
(Note from 2015 update: The resort is now closed however there is still accommodation on Great Keppel Island which ranges from tents and cabins or even a private beach house on the water's edge. Great Keppel Island once boasted a resort owned by Contiki, dedicated to making it a "backpackers' island", though has recently been taken over by Mercure Resort, making it more of a family resort.)
Great Keppel Island offers seventeen pristine beaches to enjoy. The shallow fringing reefs and vast, abundant marine life, is quickly and easily accessed by boat. Divers can experience more than 40 dive locations, and see hundreds of different varieties of tropical fish, hard and soft coral, friendly turtles, sea snakes, dolphins, and giant manta rays.
We had a wonderful trip to the Great Barrier Reef on board of the Reef Cat a catamaran specially designed for these type of trips . We spend the day snorkling in amazing clear waters and enjoying the colourful marine life of the Great Barrier Reef.
A sample of the hundread of photos I took diving. I hope you like them.
We spent 5 days on Great Keppel. The resort was very confortable and the beaches around the island fabulous. We tried the aquatic activites the resort offered and just lazied on the various beaches and swimming pools around the island.