Searching for unique travel experiences without costing an arm and a leg? Here is one I would love to share with you!
I recently visited the Great Keppel Islands (GKI) off Yeppoon, Queensland and it's one of the most beautiful and relaxing locations Queensland has on offer!
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Getting to GKI
Sample itinerary - Trip Planner
Top experiences on GKI
Hike to Mt Wyndham to see the views GKI has to offer (the hike is quite exposed in some parts)
Have a picnic at Leekes Beach
Hike to Monkey Beach then over the headland to Long Beach for a day out
Watch the sunset on Putney Beach
Stargaze on the beach
Health & mindfulness
Bootcamps - morning and afternoon - $20 per session / $50 unlimited sessions Mon-Fri (as at September 2021). The barefoot training was particularly enjoyable!
Restorative morning yoga - $20 per person.
Meditation - Download an app and head down to the beach each afternoon!
Read a book.
There is a bistro at the Great Keppel Island Hideaway that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also sell Acai bowls, snacks and ice creams.
Hot tip: do not leave food unattended if you're travelling by yourself. The seagull residents will come and demolish your food VERY quickly.
Getting to GKI
The key ways are:
If you're flying, here are the ways to get to the Keppel Bay Marina for your ferry:
Young's Bus number 20 towards Emu Park. You need to get off at Rosslyn Bay in front of the Yellow and Blue Keppel Bay Marina entrance. The trip takes around 1hr 15min.
Uber - there are Ubers around Rockhampton but costs around $140 one way. The trip should take around 50min.
Cab/Taxi - My research tells me this isn't cheap and costs upward of $150 one way.
Make sure you factor in traffic of course although this is slightly rare in Rockhampton.
Once you're at the Great Keppel Marina, you'll head to GKI on your ferry, it's recommended that you book in advance on the provider website. I used Keppel Konnections. At Keppel Bay Marina, go through the restaurant and shop, head towards the water, then walk to the far right til you see the green hut - that's your check in point. The ferry will take around 45min from the Marina to GKI.
In my opinion, this is legitimately one of the best value for money trips Australia has to offer (yes big call I know, but I genuinely think so and hope all of you get to enjoy it too!).
When planning the trip, it took me about 20min find the most cost effective flights, accommodation and transport, then I did a straight forward budget. Below are my costs for the trip:
✈️ Flights - Brisbane to Rockhampton return (Virgin)
🚌 Bus - airport to Keppel Bay Marina return
$24 (adult), $12 (concession)
⛴ Ferry - Keppel Bay Marina to GKI return
🛖 Accommodation - 4 day 3 nights at Great Keppel Hideaway (Garden Room)
🍔 4x meals total
$80 per meal approx. (total for 4 days)
🌮 8x meals e.g. nachos, muesli, dried fruit
Of course you have the choice to eat at the onsite restaurants or at some of the other places nearby, but I like to save and travel more. I find one of the best way is to prepare and bring your own food which is just as delicious.
What to bring?
Here's a my top 10 essentials to bring onto the island:
Swimmers / bathers /budgie smugglers (whatever you call them in your country 😊)
Sunscreen - some hikes have minimal shelter
Insect repellent - especially for Long Beach!
Shoes - for the hikes. You can pretty much go barefoot everywhere else.
Empty water bottle - You can refill this on the island and in your room.
Snacks and food
Towel - The Dock & Bay sand free beach towels are amazing!
Drone - the views from the sky is immaculate!
There is limited internet and phone reception in some areas of the island which is great if you want a digital detox. The restaurant area had internet and phone reception each day I was there.
The Garden Rooms had intermittent phone reception only and minimal internet reception (definitely no 4G or 5G!)
Here is a 4 Day 3 Night GKI itinerary for you:
Are you on the computer? Access this article on your phone by scanning the below QR code:
If you head to GKI, make sure you tag @wandonist in your photos!
Happy travels and keep wandering.