About Great Keppel Island

Great Keppel Island is an island paradise where the ‘squeaky-clean’ white sand flows between your toes and the ocean sparkles before your eyes. As the largest island in the Keppel Group, Great Keppel is situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn and on Australia’s heritage listed Southern Great Barrier Reef. Whether you’re visiting Great Keppel for a day, a few nights, or for a couple of weeks, you can’t fail to be impressed by the scenery or the relaxed atmosphere on the island.



Ferries depart every day to Great Keppel Island from Keppel Bay Marina (Keppel Konnections) & Pier One (Freedom Fast Cats), Rosslyn Bay Harbour just south of Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast, 30 km north east of Rockhampton. Rockhampton is easily accessible by road, rail and air and is situated about half way between Brisbane and Townsville in Queensland, Australia’s sunshine state.

Great Keppel Island photo map - walking tracks, beaches and airfield

Great Keppel History

For most of it’s history, the Keppel district was part of the mainland, up until the late tertiary period – 5 millions years ago. As a result, the Keppels are known as continental islands in contrast to many of the Barrier reef islands which are low-lying coral cays, formed entirely from reef sediments and never connected to other land.

In 1770, British Explorer Captain James Cook sailed the endeavour through Keppel Bay. Cook named Keppel Bay after Rear Admiral Keppel and noted seeing people on one island. Surveyors Flinders in the Investigation and Murray in the Lady Nelson visited Keppel Bay in 1802 and saw people on both North and Great Keppel. The naturalist John MacGillivray made the first record British landing on Great Keppel in 1847, the aborginal people fled and hid. The native tribe to Great Keppel are the Woppabura people. On a track between long beach and monkey beach you can find an aboriginal sacred site.

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