Capricorn Visitor's Guide

Welcome to the place where cowboy culture meets the coastal lifestyle, a wonderful slice of Queensland that’s unlike anywhere else. Starting at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef and straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, the region covers a short length of coast lined with white-sand beaches and stretches inland through the rural centre of Rockhampton (Australia’s beef capital) into central Queensland. Just 15km offshore is beautiful Great Keppel Island, a place where the sand is so clean it squeaks underfoot.

Things to do in the Capricorn Region

Dive into the Southern Great Barrier Reef, discover the charms of country Queensland or marvel at incredible natural wonders. Click here to discover more things to do in the Capricorn Region. 

Get back to nature

In a relatively small area you’ll find a remarkable diversity of national parks. Walk through ancient rainforests, hike sandstone gorges, splash in crystal-clear waterfalls, explore 400-million-year-old caves and look out for ancient rock paintings. 

Discover the Southern Great Barrier Reef 

One of the natural wonders of the world lies just off the Capricorn coast. The Southern Great Barrier Reef has stunning islands, white-sand beaches and great snorkelling and diving.

Visit the zoo

See 70 species of native animals as well as exotic creatures, rainforest and outback exhibits, and conservation projects at the Rockhampton Zoo. It’s free of charge and open from 8am daily.

Try your hand at Fossicking

Unearth a gem in Rubyvale’s sapphire mine, tour The Willows Gemfields or pan for gold at Mount Morgan.

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Places to visit 

From historic towns to secluded islands, there’s no shortage of places to visit in Capricorn.


One of Queensland’s most charming rural centres, Rockhampton (or Rocky as the locals call it) is known for its beef, classic country pubs and good old-fashioned rodeo.


The gateway to the Capricorn Coast and Southern Great Barrier Reef, Yeppoon is an oversized village set along a sparkling esplanade and home to great restaurants and boutiques.

Great Keppel Island

Thirty minutes off the coast from Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island's 17 white sand beaches are fringed with coral reefs and its lush forested interior is teeming with native birdlife. 

Pumpkin Island

The perfect private island escape, Pumpkin Island sits 14km off the coast of Yeppoon. It’s made for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding or just swinging in a hammock.

Local Tip

What started out as a holiday with friends many years ago, Pumpkin Island has since become my happy place for our family to escape city life and get lost in this simple yet stunning (and private) island oasis that we can rent all to our selves. Cheryl Walson
Pumpkin Island

Where to stay in the Capricorn Region

Choose a hotel, resort, holiday park or apartment on one of the Capricorn Coast’s beaches and islands or spend your nights in the region’s capital, Rockhampton. Click here to find out where to stay in Capricorn. 

Island Accommodation

On Pumpkin Island you’ll find just five cottages and two beach bungalows, all self-catering and eco-friendly. You can book individual rooms or rent the whole island for up to 34 people.

There are a couple of resorts on Great Keppel Island with accommodation ranging from campsites and basic cabins to luxury glamping bungalows and beach houses great for families or groups.

Rockhampton Accommodation

In Rockhampton, you can choose a budget-friendly motel or holiday park, a stylish self-contained apartment or get a taste of the rural life with a farm stay or a cabin in the bush.

Getting there

Just 10 minutes outside of town, Rockhampton Airport has direct flights from Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, the Gold Coast and other regional centres, with connections on to all capital cities. Hop aboard the Tilt Train and travel from Brisbane to Rockhampton along the coast and through rolling countryside. The journey takes about 7.5 hours. Rockhampton is just over 600km north of Brisbane and the drive will take you about seven hours. The route travels along the Bruce Highway, through the Sunshine Coast and then inland, passing through a number of small rural communities.

Getting around

Ferries depart for Great Keppel Island every day from the Rosslyn Bay jetty just south of Yeppoon. The journey takes about 30 minutes. Small planes can also be chartered from Rockhampton Airport for a 30-minute flight to the island. For Pumpkin Island, scheduled boat transfers leave from Yeppoon’s Keppel Bay Marina on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

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