Situated around half way between Brisbane and Tropical North Queensland, the Capricorn Region sits upon the Southern Great Barrier Reef and is the ideal location if you are looking for that perfect island getaway.
The Keppel Island Group is home to 18 pristine islands that are little known to the rest of Australia. The islands are located by the Tropic of Capricorn and boast an average water temperature of 25 degrees year round.
The laid-back coastal towns of Yeppoon and Emu Park are located just a short drive from Rosslyn Bay Marina which offers ferry transfers, packaged tours and boat access to the nearby islands.
Great Keppel Island and Pumpkin Island are two of the most popular island destinations in the region, boasting white sandy secluded beaches, clear waters and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving locations in Queensland.
Whether you are looking for a day trip or an exclusive island stay, the Capricorn Region is the perfect destination to escape the tourist trail and explore all that the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.
Nestled upon the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, Great Keppel Island has a little slice of paradise for any kind of visitor. It is the largest of the islands in the Keppel Group and sits on the untouched coastline of the Capricorn region.
Much of the island’s attraction is its accessibility. Great Keppel Island is just a 30-minute boat ride from Rosslyn Bay Marina which is located just south of Yeppoon. The island can be reached by a packaged tour, sailing trips, ferry transfers, private charters and even by Helicopter.
Whether you are seeking a day visit or an overnight island stay, you won’t be short on options. There is plentiful accommodation on the island including camping, beach front bungalows to private beach resorts.
The island is home to 28km of beaches and bays that sit upon the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. There are 17 pristine beaches waiting to be discovered, all of which boast pure white sands, beautiful palm trees, and clear turquoise waters.
The island’s pristine beaches make for perfect swimming conditions with an average water temperature of 25 degrees year round. You won’t be short on things to do with a number of water sports and activities on offer including coral viewing tours, motorised canoes, kayaking or simply stumbling upon on your own secluded beach.
Many of the beaches offer fringing coral reefs ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving for all levels of experience. If exploring the island’s underwater wonders is on your holiday to do list, Shelving Beach, Monkey Point and Clam Bay are arguably some of the best snorkeling locations in the Capricorn region.
Inland you will be blown away by the abundance of walking trails, native flora and fauna, unique bird life and Aboriginal heritage waiting to be discovered. 90 per cent of the island is covered in natural bushland and is home to around 100 bird species. Make sure you look out for Kookaburras and Rainbow Lorikeets!
Pumpkin Island is arguably one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. Situated around 14km from the coast of Yeppoon, Pumpkin Island sits upon the Great Barrier Reef and offers exclusive island accommodation.
The island is privately owned and is the ultimate getaway for couples, families or those simply seeking to immerse themselves in the Capricorn Region’s natural beauty.
This tiny untouched paradise is a part of the Keppel Island Group and is reachable by a 45-minute boat ride from Keppel Bay Marina. As you arrive on the island you will be blown away by the white sandy beaches, surrounding coral cays and lush native bushland occupying this hidden gem.
Pumpkin Island Resort offers eco-friendly cottages and bungalows with exclusive beach front views and access.
The island itself boasts a rich marine life with sea turtles, dolphins and whales frequenting the island year round. Pumpkin Island’s natural beauty serves as the perfect destination to enjoy an array of activities or simply laze the day away on your own secluded beach.
How long does it take to get to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns? It very well may seem like a simple and easy question to answer, however, there are so many variables that make the answer not quite as straight forward as you may have initially thought.
No matter whether you are a snorkeller or a certified scuba diver, there are number of amazing Great Barrier Reef experiences that are a once in a lifetime absolutely ‘must do’. And a Minke Whale snorkel and dive Expedition is one of those that should be on your list!
Thinking of becoming a Certified Scuba Diver and looking to do your learn to scuba dive PADI certificate? Do you wish to learn to dive with a high quality professional company that has an outstanding reputation for not only skill but also safety and can match this with some of the best liveaboard dive boat fleets on the Great Barrier Reef?
This tour is special in so many ways, and is unrivalled to all other reef tours in Far North Queensland. First of all, it has the shortest open water crossing to get to the Great Barrier Reef. Fantastic news for anyone prone to motion sickness. Although this tour is a ‘Reef’ tour, it includes a ‘River Cruise’ on the journey there with Island activities on arrival. And a huge PLUS to guests that like to avoid the crowds, it has one of the lowest passenger capacities of all the island tours with a maximum of 100 guests. The destination is to an uninhabited continental island called Normanby in National Park which is part of the archipelago of Frankland Islands. It is located 10km offshore from the mouth of the Russell and Mulgrave Rivers at Russell Heads, which is approximately 45km South-East of Cairns. The Normanby Island has an abundance of wildlife not only in the water, but also on the island itself. The island is pristine, and has its own rainforest and a fringing reef not far out from its sandy shores. There are also coral gardens located further out from the island for the those that want to explore the deeper waters.
This is not a blog, it is a pitch on how good this Great Barrier Reef 2 day 1 night liveaboard dive trip from Cairns is such good value. One of our team members wrote it because she thinks it is such an amazing good value Great Barrier Reef tour, she wanted to write about it and put it on our Barrier Reef Australia blog page. We were not sure it was appropriate to pitch a single tour but we decided on free speech and free opinions so read more if you are inclined, or go to another page now. From our wonderful Great Barrier Reef Tour Specialist Chelsea Are you looking for a good value liveaboard Great Barrier Reef scuba diving adventure from Cairns without the crowds? Do you want the best dive deal money can buy in Cairns? If your answer is yes, then check out what deals we have on offer with our Great Barrier Reef Tour 2 Day 1 Night Sail, Snorkel and Scuba Dive tour!
If you are scared of the water and the creatures that live there or have never been exposed to an aquatic life in your younger years, but still wish to live out that lifelong dream of seeing the iconic wonders of the world the Great Barrier Reef, then that is okay, we have a tour that will enable you to see the coral reef from above the water and also below the water’s surface without you even getting your hair wet!