Day 83 Tuesday 17/8/21 Mulambin, perfect 24
Great Keppel Island
We have an early start today as Silicon and MV have organized a ferry trip out to Great Keppel Island with their extended family. There’s a herd of us sisters and brothers, kids and grandkids, old friends and new, toddlers to toddling septuagenarians. He couldn’t have picked a more perfect day, bright and sunny with no wind. The catamaran ferry whisks us out of the Rosslyn Bay marina and across the bay in 30 minutes. Behind us we have great views of the Capricorn Coast and its good to get our bearings from this angle.
To our surprise there is no wharf, the ferry runs up onto the wide sandy shore and we disembark via a gangplank on the bow to the beach below. We’re anxious to see what is here as this was once a dream destination that has fallen victim to a cyclone. Behind the dune is a pub of sorts. We have coffee in a garden setting and break into two groups. Half pack a trolley full of gear and take the kids swimming, the rest of us set off to explore what is left of the resort.
Remember the old advertising slogan “I got wrecked on Great Keppel Island” Well it seems that the resort too got wrecked. We walk past a couple of private businesses that run small BnB type operations because, this is indeed an idyllic tropical island. It is great to have our mate W with us as he has worked on several projects on the island. We find the airstrip which is brought into service whenever the Rockhampton airport is inundated by floodwaters. In an emergency people and cargo can be moved by barge and light plane out of Keppel. One wonders why a city airport would be built on a floodplain. The Keppel airstrip is currently populated by large, long haired and very healthy-looking goats. These goats are the descendants of those left on coastal islands as an emergency food source by forward thinking mariners back in colonial times. The main building of the resort still stands and a number of villas have been left as worker accommodation in the likelihood that the place is rebuilt. Currently the only movement is that of a slow-moving echidna sucking up ants from between the concrete pavers.
Beyond the wreck that is the resort we find several privately owned palm fringed holiday homes with absolute beach frontage. We can’t help but imagine sitting on the deck here of an evening, when everyone else has scurried back to the mainland, wine in hand watching the sun set over the distant coast.
On the beach we meet a couple who have sailed their Beneteau out from the US via Mexico and are slowly making their way up to the Whitsundays. All of us have sailed in our younger days and are green with envy.
Our $60 boat fare included a $20 lunch voucher so we wander back up the beach to the pub and meet the beach crew. Lunch is basic and tasty and we can’t complain about the price as even adding extra prawns is inclusive and there are free beers too! Silicon is about to take the last bite of his steak sandwich when a kookaburra swoops down and snaffles it. Obviously not to his liking (maybe it was the chipotle mayo) he drops it on the next table where one of the diners, shouts “Hey, do you want your meat back?” We’re told that this cheeky little kooka regularly sits in the rafters waiting to swoop on free tucker.
We return this time on a larger ferry, a sleepy bunch after a great day in the sun.
Towing Kms: 0