Welcome to the Capricorn Coast, home of Rockhampton and Great Keppel Island, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and northern Queensland's unspoiled coastlines.
Great Keppel Island is located within the Great Barrier Reef world heritage area along the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland. It lies 15 kilometres from the coast off Yeppoon and is the largest of the eighteen islands in the Keppel Group.
Rockhampton or, 'Rocky' if you're a local, is proudly referred to as Australia's beef capital. It takes this title because of its close proximity to some of the country's larger cattle stations. Rocky is where local farmers come to trade. It is a coastal town situated on the Tropic of Capricorn in Darumbal country traditional home of the Darumbal Aboriginal people.
Planning on staying in Rockhampton on your way to Great Keppel Island and the Great Barrier Reef? Here's what you shouldn't miss.
- Visit the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens and venture into the Rockhampton Zoo, home to more than 250 native and exotic animals.
- Koorana Crocodile Farm to experience the powerful estuarine crocodiles shoot vertically out of the water to catch their food.
- Watch the various wildlife 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.
- Camping is also allowed in the Keppel Bay Islands National Parks of North Keppel Island
The Capricorn Coast, where bush meets beach. Rockhampton's bustling country-town streets to Great Keppel's remote island beaches brings the best of two worlds.
Founded in 1853, the city of Rockhampton is located on the Fitzroy River, and originated as a port city. Today, it's renowned for its charming streetscapes and historical architecture, such as St Joseph’s Cathedral, the Post Office and Customs House. With its warm climate and over 300 days of sunshine each year, it's a great city to explore. Be sure to drop into one of the local restaurants for some of the best steak around - to be expected from the ‘Beef Capital’ of Australia.
Attractions in this region range from the informative to the adventurous, from the mainland to the deep sea. They include the Rocky Arcade Markets held every Sunday, the Mount Archer Lookout, the gardens tearooms and zoo located in the botanic gardens, Capricorn Caves, Byfield National Park, Cooper Downs Cattle Station, Blackwater BHP Coal Mine and the Rockhampton Art Gallery.
Great Keppel Island
Great Keppel Island is one of the Coral Sea's stunning unspoilt gems. Boasting a generous spattering of remote sandy white beaches with pristine aqua waters. Up until recently the amenities have been basic but change has come to these parts with additional accomodation, activities and facilities following in its wake. Think eco luxury villas, golf course, premium retail village, day spa and research centre all proposed to be coming soon.
Great Keppel Island is home to 90 species of birds that call the island home. Dolphins and whales play in its waters during the winter months. Divers and snorkllers can experience 40 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 quite centrally located, and only 10 minutes from the city centre which makes it relatively easy affair to get there.
If you're visiting the region the best option is to hire a car so you can explore and take in the sights in your own time. Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn Qantas Points^ when booking with Avis and Budget, while you can enjoy great rates and no booking fee with all our car rental partners.
The alternative option is to book a taxi to get you where you need to go.
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.