An attractive resort and residential centre situated to the east of Rockhampton, Yeppoon is the step-off point to the Barrier Reef resort of Great Keppel Island.

Where is it?: Queensland: Capricorn Coast. Yeppoon is 681 km north of Brisbane; 40 km north east of Rockhampton.

Things to see and do

The Capricorn Coast is a coastal strip of deserted beaches, sparkling white sands and small seaside villages between Yeppoon and Emu Park. The Capricorn Coast region is spared the higher temperatures and humidity of North Queensland. As a result visitors in summer often find the more temperate climate easier than the extremes further north.

Rosslyn Bay

Protected from the elements behind an enormous volcanic outcrop, Rosslyn Bay is just seven minutes' drive south of Yeppoon on the beautiful Capricorn Coast. The steep volcanic outcrop that shelters the bay was formed over 70 million years ago and is one of the most fascinating geological formations in the area. A short, but vigorous walk to the summit reveals magnificent views of the Keppel Islands, the surrounding coastline and volcanic formations.

Rosslyn Bay Harbour is a hive of activity with ferries regularly departing for Great Keppel Island, along with Keppel Bay cruises, local fishing trawlers, bareboat charters and recreational fishing cruises.

North Queensland's largest marina, Keppel Bay Marina, is also located at Rosslyn Bay, boasting 400 berths. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch at the Marina cafe as you look out over the cool blue waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Nearby Statue Bay and Double Head are renowned fishing destinations where you'll find Black Jewfish, Cod, Tuna and Mackerel.

Emu Park

Emu Park (18km south) is home of the famous Singing Ship Monument, a musical sculture. It sings almost constantly because of the on-shore breezes. The Singing Ship was created to celebrate the bi-centenary of James Cook's exploration of the Australian east coast in 1770. The small, peaceful town of Emu Park is a popular tourist spot overlooking the islands of Keppel Bay, including the Great Keppel Island.

Byfield State Forest

North of Yeppoon is the Byfield State Forest and National Park. The State Forest consists largely of pine plantations and is home to the Byfield Fern (Bowenia Serrulata). The National Park is largely coastal and sand dune based geographical areas. It is popular with Four Wheel Drive enthusiasts.

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Great Keppel Island

Just a 30 minute glide across the waters from Yeppoon lies Great Keppel Island, one of the most famous islands on the Great Barrier Reef and the biggest of the Keppel group of islands. Fringed by stunning, coral gardens, turquoise waters and sun drenched beaches. The island's interior abundant with native wildlife and acres of bush land scattered with winding walking trails. The island has a Resort and Holiday Village.

Capricorn Coast National Park

This park is ideal for bushwalks where you may encounter some Australian native animals. The six coastal reserves of Capricorn Coast National Park protect a wide range of coastal plant communities including heath lands, open eucalypt forest, vine thickets and open tussock grasslands. Each of the four sections open to visitors - Double Head, Rosslyn Head, Bluff Point and Cocoanut Point - has something different to offer. There is no formal access to Rosslyn Head section but the area may be accessed on foot.


Rockhampton (40km south west), the centre of a prosperous agriculural and mining region, is a city of considerable charm, with many fine stone buildings dating back to the late 19th century.

Brief history

Yeppoon is an Aboriginal word from the Darambul tribe, either meaning 'wetlands' or being the Aboriginal name for the wetlands here. The first European settlers, the Ross family, arrived in 1865. The town of Yeppoon was surveyed in 1867 but the road from Rockhampton was completed until the 1870s. The Yeppoon Sugar Company was established in 1883. By 1910 the railway arrived.

Yeppoon developed as a seaside resort in the late 19th century, being particularly popular with working-class people from Rockhampton, in contrast to Emu Park, 20 kilometres south along the coast, which had a more select reputation. Many large company picnics and day outings organised by Rockhampton businesses, such as the Railway workshops and administrative staff, Lakes Creek Meatworks and James Stewart & Co. were held at Yeppoon, particularly after a branch line of the Rockhampton - Emu Park railway was opened in 1910.

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