Great Keppel Island Day Trip: Enjoy Snorkelling Day Tour

Great Keppel Island Day Trip
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The 18 islands and rocky outcrops dotting the horizon are the main features of the vista when you’re on the Capricorn Coast. It is enticing to go over and examine these Keppels. Although Yeppoon and the surrounding area are full of things to do, we strongly suggest a day trip to Great Keppel Island. It is also feasible to stay there and explore some of the smaller islands.


There is a protected retreat within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on Great Keppel Island, which sits halfway along Queensland’s coastline. Take a quick ferry ride to Great Keppel Island on this day trip from Keppel Bay Marina in the vicinity of Yeppoon, then explore the island at your own pace. Spend some time relaxing in the jungle, tanning, or swimming in the clean water.

  • Equipment is available, so you won’t have to arrange an expensive hire.
  • Visit a restaurant on the island and get a free burger and beverage.
  • Eliminate financial anxiety before departure: all fees are included.
  • There is no schedule so you can explore the island quickly.

Finding Great Keppel Island

Two ferry companies offer daily transfers to Great Keppel Island. There is no pier on the island, so you use a ramp from the boat to access the sand at Fishermans Beach to arrive and depart. Most of the time, your feet stay dry, but on rare occasions when the tide or weather don’t cooperate, you might get a bit wet.

What To Do On A Great Keppel Island Day Trip

Sip Coffee With A Stunning View

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While some might advise leaving as soon as you arrive, we recommend adjusting to island time. After dipping your toes in the sand and down the ramp, turn left and climb up to the Hideaway Bar and Bistro. Coffee or anything more substantial can be ordered from here, and you can sit for a bit to admire the fantastic view of the shimmering blue waters. To unplug is to do something like this. Before you begin your day’s travels, take a moment to unwind and completely breathe in the salty air.

Hire Gear To Get Active

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Now is the time to rent any necessary equipment, including snorkelling gear, fishing gear, kayaks, or SUPs. You can walk up and strike up a casual conversation with the Great Keppel Island Watersports and Activities staff now that the first crowd that forms as the boat pulls up has dispersed.

Join A Snorkelling Or Dive Trip

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The Keppels, on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, are excellent for snorkelling. The two main beaches on Great Keppel have lovely white sand and turquoise water. They are great for swimming and resting but could be better for snorkelling.

Shelving Point Reef is the nearest alternative. Fisherman’s Beach should continue past the Hideaway resort toward the rocks. Then the track should be followed around to the safe bay. It’s a beautiful choice because it’s close to Monkey Reef, is accessible on foot, and always has something interesting to view.

Take A Look At Monkey Beach

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The following bay over is Monkey Beach. Walking takes about 40 minutes to get here because the path veers slightly inland rather than following the coast immediately. The reef near Monkey Beach is among the island’s top diving and snorkelling destinations, so the effort is worthwhile. In addition to a wide diversity of fish and turtles, the protected bay has a respectable coral cover with 38 different species recorded.

In addition, you can reserve a snorkelling or scuba diving excursion that will transport you by boat to the best locations on the island or nearby islands, such as the reefs surrounding North Keppel, Conical, Barren, Pumpkin, Miall, and Humpy Islands. The watersports hut rents snorkelling equipment for about $15 if you didn’t bring your own or had it included in your Great Keppel package.

Explore One Of The Great Keppel Walking Tracks

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Great Keppel Island offers a variety of climbs and walks, so it will be easy to choose one that suits your energy level that day. Since the routes have minor markings due to the area’s undeveloped nature, you should pick up a walking track guide at the resort and register your plans for safety if you intend to walk one of the longer or more challenging tracks.

Except for the central beach locations we’ve already described, which offer lots of chances but are out of the scope of day visitors to explore fully, Great Keppel is a 3500-acre island that is uninhabited and mainly underdeveloped.

The Lookout Trail, which is 2.6 km long, is one of the best walking routes. It’s an uphill hike because it’s a moderately strenuous lookout. On a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the west from the shelter at the top of the ridge. This one, which begins beyond the watersports hut, should take about an hour.

Head Out Rock Hopping Around The Coastline

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Fishermans Beach and Putney Beach are large stretches of soft sand, but at each end, you can climb over and around points of the table and lose pebbles. If you feel secure enough on the rough ground, it’s worth investigating. There are better methods to get around the heads to the following beaches. Forest tracks reach those.

Take A Swim In Sparkling Clear Waters

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Since these locations are so beautiful, you could set yourself up for the day and never want to leave if you bring your swimmers, a sun shelter, and a picnic. After our afternoon swim, we got a table and dried off in the sun before returning inside.

Chill Out On The Sandy Beaches

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Great Keppel Island has two beautiful beaches: Putney Beach, where the Hideaway Resort is situated, and Fishermans Beach, where the ship disembarks. These are undoubtedly popular owing to proximity, and the amenities (restaurant and restrooms) are here, but based on our experience, they were relatively quiet. If you are okay with walking, go to more isolated areas like Leeke’s Beach and Stream, Monkey Beach, and Long Beach.

What’s Included

  • Lunch: Choose one item from the lunch menu.
  • The utilisation of diving equipment
  • A glass of house wine, a soft drink, or a schooner of Great Northern are examples of light fare.
  • Fees for national parks
  • Including handling fees, taxes, and other costs
  • Ecological Management Fee (Reef Tax)

What’s Not Included

  • Alcoholic beverages that can be purchased
  • Pickup and drop-off at hotels

What To Expect

The Situation: Take a day trip to Great Keppel Island with Keppel Konnections, Great Keppel Island Hideaway, and GKI Water Sports & Activities after boarding the ferry at 9 a.m. Getting to the central Beach on Great Keppel Island takes around 30 minutes.

Please be aware that as the island lacks a jetty, the ramp descends when the ferry pulls up, and you step off directly onto the soft, white sand, where you might receive wet feet. When you arrive, travel toward the Hideaway sign (you can recognise it by the hula girls on the logo), and you’ll find GKI Watersports & Activities. You can choose a 1-hour SUP, kayak lesson, or a full-day snorkel rental here.

Additional Information

  • Booking will result in receipt of confirmation.
  • Children must sit on laps. 
  • An adult must be with children at all times. 
  • Baby food is not included.
  • The drinking age limit is 18 years of age.
  • This excursion is not suggested for individuals who use wheelchairs or have trouble walking due to uneven terrain (sand). 
  • Not accessible in a wheelchair.
  • Suitable for strollers.
  • Allowing service animals. 
  • The vicinity of a bus or train. 
  • Most visitors can take part. 
  • A maximum of 42 people may participate in this tour or activity.


Is it wise to visit Great Keppel Island?

When travelling to Queensland, you should prioritise visiting Great Keppel Island. Stay for a day trip or an extended vacation within a 30-minute boat journey from the seaside town of Yeppoon. In either case, this is a reasonably priced island paradise with many things to see and do once you get there.

What Is The Reputation Of Keppel Island?

Under the mirror-like surface of Keppel Bay, Great Keppel Island is best known for the pristine Southern Great Barrier Reef, which exhibits extraordinary beauty and biological richness. However, as 90% of this gorgeous island is covered in dense bushland, it is also a haven for flora and species.

Should I Go To Keppel Island?

The scenic Capricorn Coast fronts the bay and includes the communities of Yeppoon, Emu Park, and Keppel Sands. Only boats are allowed access to the islands. Rosslyn Bay Harbour offers boat launch facilities and charters, and secure parking is nearby.

Can You Swim At Keppel Island?

Great Keppel Island’s subtropical seas allow for year-round swimming without the need for stinger suits. Just set foot on land to start discovering the amazingly diverse coral species and aquatic life.

How Much Time Does It Take To Traverse The Entire Island Of Keppel?

The moderate Clam Bay Trail, which ends on a hill with a beach view, takes around 4 hours to complete. There are flat, manageable sections of the 10.6-kilometre return track and some steep ascents and descents to and from your overlook.

Travel Tips

  • Book your ferry in advance
  • Pack for all weather conditions
  • Bring snacks and drinks
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Take advantage of the activities on offer
  • Relax and enjoy yourself
  • Snorkelling and diving
  • Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding
  • Hiking
  • Beaches
  • Restaurants

Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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