One Day on Great Keppel Island, Queensland, Australia

By: sachilefever on February 15, 2006 - 8:24pm


A few nights of staying in the cheapest backpacker places possible (I think we’re well versed in distinguishing drag racing engine sounds at 3AM) allowed us to splurge a little at the Mercure resort on Great Keppel Island (USD$126) – a room without A/C.

Snorkeling was our morning activity and I was excited - Warm clear waters and a sunny day. The girl at the water sports hut gave us fins and snorkel gear and said “you guys won’t be needing stinger suits – we’ve had no reports of stingers (jellyfish) in 5 weeks and there’s only 14 days left in the season. I’ll show you the secret - how to get to the really cool coral.” Despite another vacationer advising us “just in case”, we decided on no stinger suits.

So we headed on a 45 minute dry and sandy trek across to Long Beach. It was in the mid-90’s with a blazing sun, very humid, and the last section was slow in super heated sand. We saw a broken sandal left in the path and wondered how that guy survived without severe burns. Eventually it opened up to an almost deserted beach from one of those brochures… 

In preparing to snorkel, we took a few strokes in the cooling water and I saw something that was familiar from Hawaii – A Man O’ War jellyfish. Aussies call them Blue Bottles. This sight would make our steaming 45 minute trek meaningless.  There we were, hot and sweaty with beautiful water in front of us, all geared up and no where to go- without stinger suits.

So back we went for another 45 minutes trek through the hot sand dragging our snorkel gear and water. Now it was close to high noon. Ugh!

As it turned out, all the snorkeling we wanted wasn’t 45 minutes away but only a 4 minute swim from our back door. This time, we wore the very flattering suits and saw rainbows of coral, fish and even a few stingrays scurrying along the bottom. Not one transparent jellyfish in the lot.


By: Mom (not verified) on February 16, 2006 - 10:38am

They have  something like chicken wire to keep these bats away from some of the more valuable trees. they are really a pest from what I learned.

Sachi, How did you stand that trip across the  bug ridden outback. Did the bugs not carry you away?thank goodness for OFF.

Sorry it wasn't sucessful. Great pics anyway. Looks beautiful.