HOP AROUND THE REEF

A fast guide to the South­ern Great Bar­rier Reef

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - DESTINATION QUEENSLAND - CHRIS­TINE RETSCHLAG

The Great Bar­rier Reef is some 2300km long and con­sists of many is­lands and atolls. But, with a lit­tle imag­i­na­tion, you can ex­plore the South­ern Great Bar­rier Reef, be­tween Rock­hamp­ton and Bundaberg, in less time than you think.

DAY 1

For­get about “get­ting wrecked”. These days, Great Kep­pel Is­land is all about re­lax­ation. The is­land, which was no­to­ri­ous back in the ’80s for its par­ties, has wound it back a notch or two. Catch an early-morn­ing flight from Bris­bane and you can be in Rock­hamp­ton by 7.30am. A trans­fer ser­vice will take you right through to Great Kep­pel Is­land, via Kep­pel Bay Ma­rina, and with Free­dom Fast Cats you can be on the is­land faster than you can say glass-bot­tom boat tour.

Gawk and snorkel be­fore you check into your ac­com­mo­da­tion, with a to­tal of 300 back-to-ba­sics beds here.

Great Kep­pel Is­land Hide­away boasts 48 rooms from self-con­tained beach cab­ins to mo­tel-style rooms. Next door, Great Kep­pel Is­land Hol­i­day Vil­lage is a 2.5 star “old­world” hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence of­fer­ing two-bed­room cot­tages, cab­ins and tents with beds. GREATKEPPELISLANDHIDEAWAY.COM.AU; GKIHOLIDAYVILLAGE.COM.AU

DAY 2

There are no pump­kins on Pump­kin Is­land. What you will find is an is­land shaped like a pump­kin (not a Hal­loween-type pump­kin but a But­ter­nut pump­kin). And plenty of peace. Catch a wa­ter taxi from Great Kep­pel Is­land and you can be on Pump­kin Is­land 20 min­utes later.

Home to five cot­tages and two bun­ga­lows, you can rent this en­tire is­land for $2220 a night which, if you care to share this par­adise with 25 other friends, breaks it down to a mere $85 a night. If that’s not enough to tempt you, the fact it’s the Great Bar­rier Reef ’s only re­sort which is com­pletely off the grid, may.

Mea­sur­ing just 450m long and 150m wide, this is an idyl­lic is­land to ex­plore. Done with the land, grab a snorkel and nav­i­gate the pris­tine coral off the is­land where you’ll swim with fab­u­lous fish and tur­tles. PUMPKINISLAND.COM.AU

DAY 3

If catch­ing a boat called the Pump­kin Ex­press back to the main­land doesn’t scream South­ern Great Bar­rier Reef, how about a fire truck-red he­li­copter over blue rib­bons of reef ? This is one case when the trip from Gladstone, a two-hour drive from Rock­hamp­ton, is as de­li­cious as the des­ti­na­tion it­self.

Marine He­li­copters will take you

PIC­TURES:TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENS­LAND

Re­lax, ex­plore and learn about mag­i­cal marine life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.