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Sandy Bay

Rockhampton and Great Keppel Island

The Capricorn Coast is home to Rockhampton and Great Keppel Island, where the bush meets beaches and is also the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Northern Queensland coastline. Visit ‘Rocky’, Australia’s beef capital located on the Fitzroy River in Central Queensland, then explore the remote islands of the Keppel Group.

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Places to stay

The Queensland architecture, grand sandstone pubs and gold rush era influence can be seen through the styles of accommodation in Rockhampton. Stunning boutique hotels and motels are centrally located in town, not far from the railway station, restaurants and shopping mall. Overlooking the Fiztroy River is a range of modern hotels and apartments to call home during your stay.

If you’re on a camping holiday, with family or a group, there’s a range of campsites and holiday parks to rest in while you’re in town, some with views of majestic Mount Archer. If you’re passing through on your way to Great Keppel Island, opt for one of the one bedroom villas or comfortable bed and breakfast options, a short distance to the Kepple Bay Marina.

For those that prefer a farm-stay, unwind at a farm retreat and take a tour of a working cattle property, or book a cabin near The Caves to experience a tranquil bush retreat. Wherever you stay be sure dine at one of the local restaurants for a delicious steak - after all this is the ‘beef capital’ of Australia.

Things to do

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 Lookout, the Gardens Tearooms, Capricorn Caves, Byfield National Park, Cooper Downs Cattle Station, Blackwater BHP Coal Mine and the Rockhampton Art Gallery.

With a warm climate and over 300 days of sunshine each year, Rockhampton is a city with plenty of outdoor activities on offer. You can fish for barramundi, explore the botanic gardens or feel the dust at a cattle show. Kids and nature lovers will love the Rockhampton Zoo, Koorana Crocodile Farm and watching the wildlife such as birds, dolphins or whales at play on Great Keppel Island.

Originally a port city, 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.


Where to go

See more islands to visit in the Keppel groupOpens external site in a new window Great Kepple Island view out to water

Great Keppel Island

Great Keppel Island is located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area along the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland. It lays 15 kilometres off the coast off Yeppoon and is the largest of the eighteen islands in the Keppel Group.

Home to 90 species of birds, dolphins and whales, it’s a divers and snorkelers paradise. In the pristine aqua waters you can visit 40 dive locations and see tropical fish, hard and soft coral, friendly turtles, sea snakes, dolphins and giant manta rays.

See more islands to visit in the Keppel groupOpens external site in a new window
Car hire information Woman in car

Getting around

From the airport: Rockhampton Airport is located only 10 minutes' drive from the city centre. Book a taxi , hire a car or organise a shuttle to get you to the city centre.

To the Islands: Great Keppel Island is a half hour ferry ride from Yeppoon, 30 kilometres north-east of Rockhampton. Rockhampton is a major transport hub, with plane, bus and Tilt Train connections to Brisbane and other cities. Alternatively contact your accommodation provider for transfers to the islands.

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Important information

Disclaimer: ^ Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 3 Qantas Points per A$1 value unless otherwise specified, for hotel stays booked through, except Classic Hotel Rewards and Airbnb bookings. Points Club members will earn 25% more Qantas Points, and Points Club Plus members will earn 50% more Qantas Points. Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least 8 weeks after check-out. Qantas Points may be earned by the member in whose name the booking is made. Members will not be able to earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable).  

Disclaimer: ++ Status Credits are earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar, oneworld® member and oneworld connect® airlines only - see the Airline Earning Tables and Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions for details. Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes. 

Disclaimer:  Meals, beverages, entertainment offerings vary between flight times.

Disclaimer: + The number of destinations is correct as at 26 April 2023, but is subject to change. Before booking and departure, ensure you check the latest travel requirements.

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.