Great Keppel Island

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For The Falkland Island's island, see Keppel Island.
Great Keppel Island
Queensland
GKI ShelvingBeach.jpg
Shelving Beach on Great Keppel Island
Great Keppel Island is located in Queensland
Great Keppel Island
Great Keppel Island
Coordinates 23°10′30″S 150°57′40″E / 23.17500°S 150.96111°E / -23.17500; 150.96111Coordinates: 23°10′30″S 150°57′40″E / 23.17500°S 150.96111°E / -23.17500; 150.96111
Postcode(s) 4700
Time zone UTC+10 (UTC)
Location 15 km (9 mi) from Yeppoon (W)
LGA(s) Shire of Livingstone
State electorate(s) Keppel
Federal Division(s) Capricornia

Great Keppel Island (also known as Ganumi Bara[1]) lies 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the coast off Yeppoon along the Capricorn Coast of Central Queensland, Australia.[2] The island is the largest of the eighteen islands in the Keppel Group, and covers an area of more than 14.5 km². It is within the local government area of Shire of Livingstone (between 2008 and 2013, it was within the Rockhampton Region).

The tropical climate and numerous beaches attract tourists from all points, and a number of accommodation houses cater for them including Keppel Lodge and various houses. There are 17 white sandy beaches with some of the highest cover of hard coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef. The coral diversity of these reefs matches that of the Whitsundays with clear waters most of the year around.[3] The island is served by ferries and aircraft.

History[edit]

The islands were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 after the then First Lord of the Admiralty, Admiral Augustus Keppel.[4]

Prior to European settlement, the island was home to the Woppaburra and Ganumi people of the Darumbal nation, with centuries old middens testifying to the quantity of seafood found in the surrounding waters. European settlers killed or removed most of the indigenous population by the end of the 19th century.[1] During its early European history, the island was used to raise sheep, however it is now a tourist destination.

Heritage listings[edit]

Great Keppel Island has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Resorts[edit]

Ferry service from Yeppoon deposit passengers directly to the island's main beach.

The first resort on the island was operating in 1967.[6] There are no high-rise resorts on the island.[7] The resort is now closed however there is still accommodation on Great Keppel Island which ranges from tents and cabins or even a private beach house on the water's edge. Ferries depart most days to Great Keppel Island from Pier One, Rosslyn Bay. A number of charters, and full day cruises, sailing adventures, and extended tour options are also available from Keppel Bay Marina.

Great Keppel Island once boasted a resort owned by Contiki, dedicated to making it a "backpackers' island", though has recently been taken over by Mercure Resort, making it more of a family resort.

After purchasing the lease for the resort and that of Lot 21 which covers about 80% of the island, GKI Resort Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the privately owned Australian company Tower Holdings, closed the facility. They then unveiled a $1.15 billion revitalisation plan for the island. The plan, which has been declared a "significant project" by the Queensland Government, includes a 300-room resort hotel, 300 resort apartments, 1,700 villas, a 560-berth marina and ferry terminal, a championship golf course, yacht club, sporting ovals, childcare facilities, chapel and cultural centre. The plan includes 1,300 acres (545 hectares) of environmental parkland on Lot 21 which is currently public land for recreation purposes. This land has already been recommended for a conservation park by the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

Tower chairman Terry Agnew did not have the support of the residents of Central Queensland or the Environment Department. The proposal was rejected by the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett in October 2009 on the grounds that there would be 'unacceptable' impacts to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef values of the island.[8][9] Unfazed by the objections and in spite of several other Great Barrier Reef Island resorts closing[10] Tower Holdings submitted a third proposal early in 2010.[11] The federal Tourism Minister, Martin Ferguson, announced his support for Agnew's proposal on 22 February 2012.[12]

Environment[edit]

Great Keppel Island Beach

Great Keppel Island is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island is surrounded by 27 kilometres (17 mi) of beaches,[7] as well as extensive coral reefs. The island is known for its fish diversity.[13]

Swamp mahogany, a species with a limited topographical range, grows on the island.[14]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rowland, Michael Myths and Non-Myths: Frontier 'Massacres' in Australian History — The Woppaburra of the Keppel Islands The Australian Public Intellectual Network (originally published in Colonial Post: Journal of Australian Studies no 81, 2004)
  2. ^ "Great Keppel Island". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government. 
  3. ^ Alison M. Jones, Ray Berkelmans & Wayne Houston (19 July 2011). Species Richness and Community Structure on a High Latitude Reef: Implications for Conservation and Management. Retrieved on 28 February 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Leeke Homestead (entry 15980)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Agarwal, Sheela; Gareth Shaw (2007). Managing Coastal Tourism Resorts: A Global Perspective. Multilingual Matters. p. 144. ISBN 1845410726. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Hughes, Holly; Alexis Lipsitz Flippin; Sylvie Murphy; Julie Duchaine (2010). Frommer's 500 Extroadinary Islands. John Wiley & Sons. p. 287. ISBN 0470500700. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Ari Sharp (30 October 2009). Tourist resort on Great Keppel Island knocked back.
  9. ^ Care For Keppel. Retrieved on 28 February 2012.
  10. ^ Josh Bavas & Kirsty Nancarrow (2 December 2011). Dunk Island resort sold. ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved on 28 February 2012.
  11. ^ (24 November 2009). Third Development Plan for Great Keppel Island Announced. Capricorn Enterprise. Retrieved on 28 February 2012.
  12. ^ (23 February 2012). Ferguson backs plans for Great Keppel eco resort. The Australian. News Limited Retrieved on 25 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Great Keppel Island Marina and Tourism Development". Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  14. ^ Boland, DJ; MIH Brooker; GM Chippendale; N Hall; BPM Hyland; RD Johnston; DA Kleinig; MW McDonald; JD Turner (2006). Forest Trees of Australia. Csiro Publishing. p. 298. ISBN 0643098941. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Great Keppel Island at Wikimedia Commons