The mother behind the award winning family travel blog theblondenomads.com.au shares with us her magical island getaway, as she island hops from Pumpkin Island to Great Keppel Island with her Blondie tribe in tow.
Just a short boat ride from Keppel Bay Marina in Yeppoon, you will find Pumpkin Island – an amazing island where you can experience the beauty of The Southern Great Barrier Reef – one of the 7 wonders of the world.
With the sun shining down on us, our boat eases ashore and we step onto the sand, barefooted and ready for some island time. We are welcomed by Wayne, the islands owner who is waiting with his solar powered ‘buggy’ to transport our bags to our cottage. Our introduction is perfectly followed by a big splash right next to us as a pod of happy dolphins frolic in the shallows. The kids squeal with excitement, clutching fistfuls of shells they have already collected. My husband Rob and I share a look – you know, the one that says “oh yeah, we can get used to this”.
Welcome to Pumpkin Island, a hidden treasure amongst the Keppel group of Islands off the coast of Yeppoon. It was just 35 minutes ago that we had left
With only 7 funky beach cottages to choose from, the island can house a maximum of 34 guests. Powered entirely by the wind and sun, it’s Australia’s first carbon positive island resort and offsets 150% of its annual carbon footprint – how cool is that!?
Speaking of footprints, it wasn’t long before our Blondie tribe was out and about exploring every corner of the island, combing for beach treasures and settling into our accommodation. As a self catering island we have packed our own food for our stay which suits us just fine, keeping costs down and allowing us to simply grab a bite to eat between activities.
With a great little play park for the kids not too far from our cottage (we stayed in the Coral Cove cottage) we could take some time to relax while the kids made us ‘mud pies, sand pizza and coconut milkshakes’ in the sand pit.
Jumping in the ocean for a snorkel, we were blown away by what we found. The abundance of vibrant soft corals and schools of neon fish happily swimming along made this one of the most diverse, colourful and healthiest reefs we have ever seen. The Southern Great Barrier Reef sure is a special place. Knowing there was a huge anemone and clown fish to find, Marli was also eager to jump in and join us to explore this underwater wonderland. It was just magic and something we will always remember.
The rest of our stay had us enjoying the complimentary kayaks and stand up paddle boards, fishing for squid and shucking our own oysters right from the rocks. To top it all off, Mother Nature treated us to the most amazing light show as we watched the sun set over the ocean. Relaxing by the communal campfire, we enjoyed a cool drink, while the kids roasted a few cheeky (pre dinner) marshmallows.
If you are seeking some time away from all ‘the busy’ and just want to chill with your tribe and mother nature, this self-catering tropical island paradise is for you. Thanks for the memories Pumpkin – we will be back.
‘The Blondies’ favourite quick and easy self-catering meals:
• Tacos – Pre prepare your Mexican mince at home, pack some grated cheese and tacos shells.
• Pizza – Bring along pizza ingredients and allow the kids to make their own creations or simply purchase pre-made frozen pizzas.
• BBQ – Pack some sausages, steak or chicken to cook on the BBQ and serve with a simple salad.
• Tuna Pasta Bake – Pack a large tin of tuna, can of peas and corn, a jar of pasta bake flavour and pasta, mix it all up for an easy ‘one pot wonder’.