Monday, June 20, 2011

Turkey Beach to Great Keppel Island (17th to 21st June)

With a name like Turkey Beach, how could we resist.  We did the short hop from our overnight anchorage around to Turkey Beach.  Yes it really does exist and to prove it we have a stubby holder that says so.  There is a small township of mainly fishing shacks and a general store.  It is a really tidy little place although we did notice a lot of places are for sale which is apparently because of the close proximity to the ever growing area of Gladstone. 

We were very happy that Sally comes fitted with some excellent fly screens as they once again proved there worth as the back of the boat was covered in sand flies when we arose on Saturday morning. 
Cape Capricorn
As it is a fair old hike to Cape Capricorn (~45NM) we left Turkey Beach bright and early.  The weather has been stunning with cool nights but sunny, warm days with light South Westerly (offshore) breezes.  Today is the day when we get to cross the Tropic of Capricorn at
23degrees 30' S) - YAY!!
As the forecast was for stronger winds from the SW during the evening we decided that Cape Capricorn wasn't going to be the best spot for the night so headed over to a beach approximately 5NM west and had a very comfy night there and shared a bottle of Moet Chandon to celebrate our arrival in the tropics.

Hummocky Island
With some recommendations from the Bundy locals Hummocky island is our destination for Sunday - this was all of 6NM from our overnight anchorage.  Hummocky island was quite spectacular and rugged and reminded us a little of the Bass Strait Islands.  The water is amazingly clear and blue with a beautiful sandy bottom.  After having a chat to a couple of fisho's who were enjoying a coffee break on the beach we went for a wander around the rocky headlands as the rest of the island looks a bit rough for a bush walk followed by a snorkel in the afternoon.

A bit of R&R for Juddy
on Great Keppel
Monday morning and we are off to the well known Great Keppel Island which is approximately 20NM NW of Hummocky Island.  We dropped our anchor in Leekes beach as this was a little quieter than the more popular Second Beach - this is one of the busiest anchorages we have been in for quite some time but luckily there is heaps of anchoring room for all.  As Carlton had such a good win over the Swans yesterday we decided that Juddy was due for a bit of R&R and a sun bake at Great Keppel to recover. 

We wandered over to the resort side of the island although the resort was shut down some time ago so it is all looking a bit dejected these days but they do have some excellent white sandy beaches so it is easy to understand the attraction for tourists and resort goers.  There is still some rental accommodation, a back packers and a little shop where we stopped for a cool drink and ice cream before heading back to the boat

Map of Great Keppel Island

Tuesday morning and we are off for a bush walk around the North and Eastern parts of the island.  On our trek we went past the Great Keppel Homestead, Second Beach, Svendsen's Beach and Eco Resort,  Butterfish Bay and then across the island to Wreck Beach.  After a spot of lunch under the shade of a really old Quinine Tree we went along the Light House track and back down to our starting point at Leekes Beach.  Doesn't sound like much but it took us around 5hours to do the circuit.  As you can see from the photo the beaches are certainly a big hit and very popular spot to hang out when at Great Keppel.

Butterfish Bay
Local Sign Post on Great Keppel

At this stage we might end up spending another day at Great Keppel as the weather is great and there are some more walks that we are considering but all will depend on the updated weather report at 17:00H.

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