Welcome to the Capricorn Coast, home of Rockhampton and Great Keppel Island, and gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Northern Queensland coastline.
Great Keppel Island is located within the Great Barrier ReefOpens external site in a new window World Heritage area along the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland. It lies 15 kilometres off the coast off Yeppoon and is the largest of the eighteen islands in the Keppel Group.
Rockhampton - or 'Rocky' as it is affectionately known - is proudly referred to as Australia's beef capital because of its close proximity to some of the country's larger cattle stations. It is a coastal town situated on the Tropic of Capricorn in Darumbal country, traditional home of the Darumbal Aboriginal peopleOpens external site in a new window.
Planning on staying in Rockhampton on your way to Great Keppel Island and the Great Barrier Reef? Here's what you should see and do while you're here.
- Visit the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and venture into the Rockhampton ZooOpens external site in a new window, home to more than 250 native and exotic animals.
- Make your way to Koorana Crocodile FarmOpens external site in a new window and see powerful estuarine crocodiles shoot vertically out of the water to catch their food.
- Watch the various wildlifeOpens external site in a new window such as birds, dolphins or whales at play on Great Keppel Island.
- Book a snorkel or dive trip, a sunset cruise or an island drop off - or bring your own gear and adventure out to the 17 pristine beaches with water skiing, wake boarding and tubing trips also offered.
- Camp in the Keppel Bay Islands National ParksOpens external site of North Keppel Island.
The Capricorn Coast is where bush meets beach. From Rockhampton's bustling streets to Great Keppel's remote island beaches.
With a warm climate and over 300 days of sunshine each year, this is a great city to explore
Originally a port city, today Rockhampton is renowned for its charming streetscapes and historical architecture. You can see examples of this history at St Joseph’s Cathedral, the Post Office and Customs House. Be sure to drop into one of the local restaurants for some of the best steak around - after all this is the ‘beef capital’ of Australia.
Attractions in this region range from the informative to the adventurous, and from the mainland to the deep sea. They include the Rocky Arcade Markets held every Sunday, the Mount Archer LookoutOpens external site in a new window, the Gardens TearoomsOpens external site in a new window and Zoo located in the botanic gardens, Capricorn CavesOpens external site in a new window, Byfield National ParkOpens external site in a new window, Cooper Downs Cattle Station, Blackwater BHP Coal Mine and the Rockhampton Art GalleryOpens external site in a new window.
Great Keppel Island
Great Keppel IslandOpens external site in a new window is one of the Coral Sea's stunning unspoilt gems, boasting a generous spattering of remote sandy white beaches with pristine aqua waters.
With many modern facilities added in recent years, you'll find eco luxury villas, golf course, a premium retail village, day spa and research centre all now available or soon to be launched.
Great Keppel Island is home to 90 species of birds, and dolphins, and whales play in its waters during the winter months. Divers and snorkellers can visit 40 dive locations and see tropical fish, hard and soft coral, friendly turtles, sea snakes, dolphins and giant manta rays.
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Rockhampton has a subtropical climate with dry humid summers and mild winters. Divided by the tropic of Capricorn, the region is south of the tropics and therefore doesn't experience heavy monsoon seasons or rainfall. It's also far enough north to escape the cold fronts of the south east coast. Average temperatures reach a maximum of 32°C and a minimum of 22°C in summer with temperatures falling to 23-9°C in winter.
From the airport
Rockhampton Airport is located only 10 minutes' drive from the city centre.
Book a taxi or organise a shuttle to get you to the city centre. Contact your accommodation provider for transfers to the islands.
Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.
** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.
~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.