Keppel Bay Islands National Park and Keppel Bay Islands National Park (Scientific) Woppaburra Country Capricorn | Gladstone

Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Be inspired: Snorkelling, seabirds and sightseeing—3 sensational reasons to visit the southern Great Barrier Reef!

The southern Great Barrier Reef is one of the world’s most iconic travel destinations… and little wonder why! Here you can snorkel amongst delicate corals and colourful fish, share your island ‘solitude’ with thousands of seabirds, and enjoy sightseeing on a scale second to none! Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

About Keppel Bay Islands

    Park features

    Keppel Bay is studded with islands. The two largest islands, Great Keppel (1454ha) and North Keppel (627ha), are surrounded by 16 smaller islands and several prominent rocky outcrops. Keppel Bay Islands National Park includes 13 islands, although it does not include Great Keppel Island. Barren and Peak islands form the Keppel Bay Islands National Park (Scientific). Steep hills and cliffs, which plunge into the sea, are features of the islands but there are also sheltered bays and quiet sandy beaches. Vegetation ranges from open grassland and heathland to tall, shady forests and dense, low rainforests.

    The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park surrounds the Keppel Bay islands. Together they form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the world's largest reef and island system. It is of exceptional beauty and biological diversity, protecting many endangered animals and plants.

    Looking after the park

    Parks and forests protect Queensland's wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Please help keep these places special by following the rules when visiting.

    • Return your rubbish to the mainland. Please do not burn or bury it on any island.
    • Fires: Prohibited (open and closed) in the park and surrounding beaches. Cooking is restricted to gas or liquid fuelled stoves. See the Fires prohibited regulatory notice (PDF, 63.6KB) .
    • Tent sites should be at least 7m back from the high water mark to avoid damaging the fragile foredune vegetation.
    • Do not damage island vegetation. Bring your own poles to support tents, tarpaulins and showers. Do not tie ropes to trees.
    • All island features are protected. All animals (living or dead), sand and rubble are protected. Firearms, axes, machetes and saws are not to be used.
    • Use toilets. If toilets are not provided, bury human waste and toilet paper at least 15cm deep and 100m away from water bodies and camp sites to guard against pollution and the spread of disease. For more information watch the bush toileting practices web clip.
    • Don't bring potential pests. Ensure all equipment and clothing brought to the islands is free of insects, rodents and plant material. Be sure to shake out your tent and check tent pegs for no soil.
    • Leave your pets at home. Dogs and cats are not permitted on national park islands.
    • Be Reef Smart Don't throw food scraps or fish waste into the water from the beach, at anchorages, or where people are swimming. Don't swim where fish are being cleaned.
    • Help preserve the tranquility of island settings. Engine-driven equipment such as generators cannot be used. Air compressors are permitted only at the far southern end of Considine Beach on North Keppel Island.
    • Respect Indigenous sites. North Keppel Island has some of the most culturally significant sites in the Great Barrier Reef. They represent thousands of years of living culture and are highly significant to Indigenous people. They are easily damaged and irreplaceable. Look at, enjoy, but do not touch these sites.

    Be pest-free!

    Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! (PDF, 573.6KB) before your visit.

    Before you visit, please check that your boat, clothing, footwear and gear are free of soil, seeds, parts of plants, eggs, ants and insects (and their eggs), spiders, lizards, toads, rats and mice.

    Be sure to:

    • Unpack your camping gear and equipment and check it carefully as pests love to hide in stored camping gear.
    • Clean soil from footwear and gear as invisible killers such as viruses, bacteria and fungi are carried in soil.
    • Check for seeds in pockets, cuffs and hook and loop fastening strips, such as Velcro.

    While you are on the islands, remove soil, weeds, seeds and pests from your boat, gear and clothes before moving to a new site. Wrap seeds and plant material, and place them in your rubbish.

    Everyone in Queensland has a General Biosecurity Obligation to minimise the biosecurity risk posed by their activities. This includes the risk of introducing and spreading weeds and pests to island national parks.

    See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

    When snorkelling or diving please take care of the reef.

    • Be careful with your fins. Careless kicking can damage coral.
    • Don't rest or stand on coral. If you must stand up, make sure it is on sand or use rest stations if available.
    • Don't stir up sand or sediment. Murky water can stress plants and animals.
    • Return boulders to their original position if over-turned. Many animals and plants shelter on the undersides of boulders and will soon die if exposed.
    • Don't pick up or remove animals attached to the reef flat. They won't survive!
    • Be aware of marine park collecting restrictions.

    See Caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

    Park management

    Keppel Bay Islands National Park forms part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Its exceptional natural beauty and the presence of rare and endangered species contributed to its World Heritage listing.

    Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service manages the marine park and islands in conjunction with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

    The Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park zoning plan has been introduced to manage the waters and coastline not covered under Commonwealth legislation. Where fishing is permitted, Queensland fisheries legislation applies.

    A management plan for the Keppel Bay Islands National Park will be developed in the future.

    Tourism information links

    Capricorn Coast Information Centre
    Ross Creek Roundabout Scenic Highway, Yeppoon QLD 4703
    Phone: (07) 4939 4888 or 1800 675 785
    Fax: (07) 4939 1696

    Capricorn Tourism Information Centre
    Tropic of Capricorn Spire Gladstone Road, Rockhampton
    Phone: (07) 4927 2055 or 1800 676 701
    Fax: (07) 4922 2605

    For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

    Marine zoning and fishing

    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
    Phone: 1800 990 177

    Qld Boating and Fisheries Patrol—Yeppoon
    Rosslyn Bay Boat Harbour
    Phone: (07) 4933 6404

    For information about fishing regulations:
    Phone: 13 25 23

    To report illegal fishing:
    Fishwatch Hotline
    Phone: 1800 017 116

    To report marine animal strandings:
    Phone: 1300 130 372

    Marine safety

    Australian Volunteer Coastguard
    Yeppoon Flotilla QF11
    Rosslyn Bay Harbour
    Phone: (07) 4933 6600
    Fx: (07) 4933 6606

    Frequencies monitored
    27MHz, VHF Ch.16
    Repeater Ch. 20, 21 & 22
    MF/HF 2182, 2524, 4125, 6215 & 8291

    Call sign: VMR 411

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.