A Day in the life of a Long Term Backpacker

Winter Blog

Winter in QLD is my favourite time of year.

When I first visited the Capricorn Coast it was to do my 88 days regional work to gain my second year working holiday visa. For those regular to the Hideaway, you may know me as the Pome in reception(!) to others, I’m Eloise! I was absolutely adamant that I’d stay 3 months, post that, I’d travel the coast and head back to Sydney. Well, it wasn’t quite the case. Although I’ve traveled and come back and returned to the motherland since arriving, as I approach my 2nd year anniversary with the Capricorn Coast, I’m reflecting on some of the majestic things about Great Keppel in particular, that I’ve found so hard to leave….

 

  1. The Reef (sorry to start with the blatantly obvious)blog turtle

I’ve traveled the East Coast and snorkeled in various areas, including the outer reef from Cairns and quite frankly, the snorkeling on Great Keppel, is just as good as any and, comes with the perk of being a mere 30 minute ferry journey away. Within walking distance (or swimming distance!) you can snorkel directly off the beach, with anemones of clownfish (Nemo!) and turtles galore. As a little Brit in the big blue sea, I’ve previously felt slightly anxious about deep drop offs and unreasonably sized aquatic animals, however the option of walking down a gentle gradient and snorkeling over the reef is far more therapeutic than I could have ever wished for. With safe swimming all year round, the waters of the Southern Great Barrier Reef truly produce an unforgettable experience. The Official Travel blog of Queenland has some great articles and features in regards to our snorkelling and aquatic activities.

     2. Activities

blog lighthouse

Views heading towards the lighthouse

As cliche as it sounds, you can literally, Eat, Sleep & Play on one of the Natural wonders of the world. Not only can you find the Great 8 Marine species at various times throughout the year, but you can bush walk and find yourself a magical private beach, or kayak and SUP til your arms ache. There’s sunset cruises for the leisurely “Bubbles” occasions and there’s snorkel drop offs when you just can’t walk any further. For the less adventurous days, you needn’t move from your veranda or your book and still, the views are paradoxically overwhelmingly calming. Having holidayed on Greek and Spanish islands as a child, I’ve never experienced a more calming environment where you’re simply never bored.

     3. Accessibility

Anyone that lives in a remote area will understand that every now and again, you have to head to the big smoke and interact with other people. Here on Great Keppel Island, we are no different. Without a home to go to, I’m lucky to have some great friends and adopted families around me that are happy to take me in, but the best part is, with Keppel Konnections ferry service leaving twice a day, we can head back to the mainland on the morning service, have our shopping fix, and jump right back on the 2pm departure service from Keppel Bay Marina.

blog long beach     4. Those beaches….

I mean really, truly. I’m being serious on this point: Have you ever seen anything like Long Beach when the wind is headed northerly? The pure, crystal clear waters. The stillness that engulfs your senses and requires your full attention to take in the sheer beauty? I would argue until I’m blue in the face that Great Keppel Island has some of the most magnificent beaches in the world; without an egotistical price tag to go with it. The soft white sand, that is so fine, it squeaks beneath your feet, the silent surroundings from the lack of neighbours. To me, it simply is bliss – right on the doorstep of the Capricorn Coast.

 

5. The Locals(!)

Many of you may know but most probably wouldn’t, that Great Keppel Island is filled with an array of colourful characters. Whether it be the salty air (or sun-kissed hair #idreamofkeppel !) or just the salty bore water, when it comes to characters, Great Keppel breeds them boldly.

Great Keppel Island

Geoff Mercer & his “Tinny” (I’m very Aussie now…)

We have our neighbour Geoffrey, whom is always available for a cup of tea and a philosophical theory. Then there’s Dennis, the resident full time artist and part time Tequila consumer, we have the Lorraway tribe, featuring Joyce, whom at 86 still gets on the roof to paint, Brett our Home-Schooled Keppel Kid, and his and Amie’s brood of 3 little Keppel rugrats. Not forgetting Leon, full time Tree of Knowledge for us here at the Hideaway and Shane & Dot – so laid back that their Keppel Water Sports hut is even Balinese in style.

 

There’s something about Great Keppel Island that just suits me down to a T, and with so much to entertain a girl, who can blame me for staying?

Until next time,

Eloise

#idreamofkeppel #southerngreatbarrierreef #thisisqueensland #GBR #greatbarrierreef #greateight #visitcapricorn

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