The question’s I’ve been asked the most are ‘Did you get sick of it?’ Or ‘Is it still paradise when living and working there, rather it being a holiday?’ My answer – It is paradise, having the opportunity to explore all the reasons people call it paradise makes you fall in love with it even more. How could you get sick of waking up in the morning and only having to take 5 steps outside your door before your standing on soft white stand, overlooking the crystal clear, calm water, knowing that when it comes to your lunch break that’s where you will be floating, or tanning in the sun? You don’t! What’s even better is that IT GETS BETTER! Ever chance that I had, I was exploring more of what the island has to offer, including the laid back, stress free lifestyle and I ended up making some of my favourite memories by doing so.
6 Top Great Keppel Island Must Do's
1. Watch the Sunrise from Mount Wyndham
Watching the sun rise from somewhere beautiful is something that I’ve had on my bucket list since I was 13. Watching the sun rise over the oceans horizon from the top of Mount Wyndham allowed me to tick that one off my bucket list. It was quite a hike but so incredibly worth it! Sunrise time changes depending on the time of year, simply Google on the night ‘what time is first light for Great Keppel Island’. It takes approximately 2 hours to hike there. There are 2 options; a) Hike to Mount Wyndham in the afternoon and watch the sun set just as you reach the top, set up camp and enjoy the roof of stars then wake up to the most incredible sunrise. It is good to set an alarm for half an hour before hand to give yourself time to set up a camera (or simply wake up). This is the option I chose because for me camping just added to the experience and I was lucky enough to encounter heaps of wildlife including being woken up by a mysterious animal enjoying their midnight snack close to where I was sleeping and having a cockatoo come and land on my head while I enjoyed the sun rise. Keep the weather in mind and be aware that it is quite exposed at the top so there is minimal protection from wind.
b) Wake up early in the morning and get your walking shoes on. Make sure your alert for this one because the track is quite slippery and rugged with loose rocks that are hard to see in the dark. Get to the top with enough time to catch your breath and take in the view before watching the golden sun peaks over the ocean.
There is a medium to high level of fitness required for this hike as the track is rocky and very steep in some parts with limited-no access for vehicles and limited cell phone reception. It is a good idea to let someone know that you are going in the case of an emergency.
2. Get Nude at Long Beach
One of Australia’s most Beautiful Beaches also happens to be the only nudist beach on the island. It’s only about a 40 minute hike from the main tourist area but does require a medium fitness level as the hike back involves a long, slightly steep hill climb on loose rock. Don’t forget your sunscreen for this one! Long beach really lives up to its name with its long beach giving you plenty of space to call your own. The water is crystal clear and the perfect temperature in summer, making it great for swimming.
3. Watch the Sunset at Monkey Beach
The sun sets over the mainland which you can just see the outline of, far off in the distance. Monkey beach has the best view with the colours from the sun reflecting off the ocean as it sets. Just to make it even more picturesque this is also where a few local and passing Yachts and small boats will anchor to escape the weather creating a beautiful outline against the suns colours highlighting the sky and sea. The snorkelling is great here but be aware of the current as you swim out to the reef as it can be strong sometimes. The bright coloured fish and corral are gorgeous in this area. Turtles, stingrays, dolphins and small sharks are known to be seen all around Great Keppel Island so you can expect to see lots of ocean wildlife.
4. Do a Jet Ski Island Tour
There are 2 water sport companies on the island, both in the main tourist area that do Jet Ski Tours of the island where you not only get to ride a Jet Ski but see parts of the island that can’t be found on foot, cliffs, caves and secret beaches that you can only get to from the sea. You don’t have to have any experience riding a jet ski to do this; it is for all skill levels.
5. Visit the Homestead
Majority of the land on the Island used to be leased and used as a sheep station which no longer runs but is now the home of hundreds of wild goats that roam freely around the island. You can enter Leek’s homestead, but be aware that it is a very old building and not 100% structurally sound. It gives an amazing insight into how people lived back then with all the old furniture still inside, preserving history and telling the story of an incredible woman who used to live there.
6. Climb the Sky Net at Second Beach
If you don’t like heights then this one is not for you. It is a simple net in a tree but makes the coolest Hammock, overlooking the ocean. The climb is daunting as the steps are just bamboo tied to the tree and I will admit the net itself made me nervous, because you can see straight down! I soon overcame the fear though when I realised I had the best seat in the house, with the most incredible view! No hammock has ever been able to live up to the Sky Net since so it was so worth the experience.
Although the Sky Net is THE must-do, you can’t leave Second Beach without also checking out the swing and ‘ball tree’ just to top off the experience.
Living on Great Keppel Island in Australia is the perfect mixture of party, relaxation, people and nature. Everyone who lives on the island is like one big family. Resources are limited but it provides all the essentials and has ferry’s that run from Roslyn Bay 3 times a day that makes it easily accessible, especially when it is only a 30 minute Ferry ride from the mainland.