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.
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.