Top 5 experiences on Great Keppel Island
Are you looking for an idyllic island escape with white sandy beaches, beautiful clear water and an abundance of wildlife? Then Great Keppel Island is for you!
Great Keppel Island forms part of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and with the island covering an area of more than 14.5 km², there are lots of reefs and sensational snorkelling opportunities! There are a couple of options when it comes to snorkelling Great Keppel Island you can hire equipment and go for a snorkel off the beach yourself or join one of the fantastic guided tours available on the island. I prefer the guided tours as the staff are extremely knowledgeable and know which spots are the best to visit. The best locations vary from day to day depending on the conditions and the staff can also point you in the right direction if there’s a particular type of marine animal you’d like to see. One of my favourites is Monkey Beach which has quite a nice coverage of coral reef and is also a great place to swim with turtles.
One of the benefits of being such a large island is that there are a number of bushwalking tracks available. These range from basic beach walks through to the more adventurous and challenging walks. The more challenging walks include amazing views from 1st Lookout and a visit to Leeke Homestead, the heritage listed homestead built back in the early 1920s. There’s so much history on Great Keppel Island! If you’re heading off on one of the bigger walks be sure to take lots of water and let someone know your plans.
A trip to Great Keppel Island wouldn’t be complete without a sailing adventure! I joined Sail Capricornia for a sail around Great Keppel Island and the surrounding islands. We did this in the late afternoon and it was a fantastic way to wind down after a big day of snorkelling. A couple of drinks and canapés as we watched the sun setting over the ocean was simply magic!
If you’d like to see the reef but don’t really want to get wet, then make sure you check out the Glass Bottom Boat Tour. Freedom Fast Cats offer these tours daily and they’re a great way to get up close with the coral gardens, fish and turtles that call Great Keppel Island home. If the conditions are right, you’ll also get a chance to watch lots of hungry fish as a part of the fish feeding at the old Underwater Observatory. The Observatory is no longer operating but it has now been turned into a green zone which means it’s illegal to fish here. As a result, there’s a huge population of fish!
For those of you who love action-packed water sports, Great Keppel Island also has jet skis, kayaks and stand up paddle boards for hire. There are a number of businesses which operate from Putney and Fishermans Beaches and offer these activities with the option to take part in guided tours as well. I can highly recommend the jet ski tours as a great way to explore parts of the island that you wouldn’t normally get to. I was lucky enough to do my first ever jetski snorkel trip with GKI Adventures too and I think I’m now hooked! With 17 beaches scattered around Great Keppel Island, a jet ski is definitely the best way to visit and snorkel them all!