As the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Yeppoon is a burgeoning destination in its own right, offering exceptional dining experiences, market and boutique shopping and a vibrant arts scene.
Sitting on the traditional lands of the Darumbal people, Yeppoon has evolved from an agricultural region in the 1860s to a classic coastal village that charms visitors with its laid-back atmosphere and seaside vibe.
It’s a destination rich in produce and renowned for its pineapples, beef and seafood, which feature on local menus at smart restaurants and chic cafes.
With a population of around 7000, Yeppoon is the largest town in a string of villages along the Capricorn Coast and provides an excellent base for exploring the islands of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and nearby inland rainforests.
Yeppoon is a seaside gem just begging to be discovered.
How to get to Yeppoon
As the vibrant heart of the Capricorn Coast, Yeppoon sits on the Tropic of Capricorn, around 672 kilometres north of Brisbane and about 40 kilometres north-east of Central Queensland’s largest city, Rockhampton. Rockhampton airport is serviced by daily flights from Brisbane with Qantas and Virgin Australia (flight time around one hour) and direct flights with Bonza Airlines from both Melbourne and the Sunshine Coast are due to commence late 2022. A bus service operates between the airport and the towns of the Capricorn Coast. Queensland Rail also runs services between Brisbane and Rockhampton.
When to visit
Yeppoon is a great year-round destination. Winter is the most popular tourist season, when the sub-tropical climate means warm dry days of around 23°C (June to September). In summer (December to March), expect some rain, and daytime temperatures between 22°C and 32°C.
The sub-tropical climate in Yeppoon makes it a great year-round destination. (Image: Tourism Events Queensland)
Things to do in Yeppoon
Stroll down Yeppoon’s main street or the esplanade to browse beach-chic boutiques and surf stores and keep an eye out for one of the many street art murals adorning local walls.
Duck into the Jet James Art Gallery to see original works, prints, clothing and giftware by this established Australian artist and designer, and Yeppoon local. Or if markets are your thing, Fig Tree Markets, run by the Keppel Coast Arts Organisation, are held on the first Sunday morning of the month, offering handmade, locally-designed arts and crafts and local produce.
Acquaint yourself with the artworks of Yeppoon local Jet James, an established Australian artist and designer.
Street art enthusiasts will find much to admire in Yeppoon. Look for it near the Keppel Bay Sailing Club, near the Yeppoon foreshore, the town centre car park, and in atmospheric Pie Alley. On the foreshore, take a dip in the infinity-edge lagoon, a favourite for families with its water fountains, children’s play area, dining areas and sunset views to the islands, and wander along to nearby Keppel Kraken zero-depth water park.
To explore the Reef, take the 30-minute ferry ride from Rosslyn Bay to Great Keppel Island, an ideal day trip. Stay longer in paradise at Great Keppel Island Hideaway and picture yourself sipping cocktails, snorkelling among reef found directly off the beach, and strolling kilometres of uncrowded pristine beaches – there are 17 stretches of sand to choose from.
Head to Great Keppel Island to snorkel among the reef found directly off the beach. (Image: Tourism Events Queensland)
Back on the mainland, beach-lovers are spoiled for choice. Apart from Main Beach, the most popular are Lammermoor, Cooee Bay and Kemp beaches. From Kemp Beach, take Bluff Point Track to Turtle Lookout for panoramic views and whale-watching (July to October).
Take the Bluff Point Track to Turtle Lookout for panoramic views of the coast.
Drive roughly 25 minutes north of Yeppoon to discover the lush rainforests of Byfield and spectacular scenery of the surrounding parks and forests.
Discover the lush rainforests of Byfield National Park just a short drive from Yeppoon. (Image: Tourism Events Queensland)
Stay in one of the boutique rainforest retreats and explore Byfield National Park, Conservation Park and State Forest, which is home to an infinite variety of cool waterholes and creeks, rolling sand dunes, beaches, and rugged mountains. Artists, craft workers and nature lovers have made the village of Byfield their own.
Cool off in one of the many waterholes and creeks in Byfield National Park. (Image: Tourism Events Queensland)
Best places to eat in Yeppoon
For such a small town, Yeppoon punches above its weight when it comes to dining. Local chefs turn out some sophisticated offerings and diverse flavours designed to make the most of high-quality beef, seafood and tropical fruit widely available in the Capricorn region. There is a wide range of smart restaurants, cafés and clubs catering to all tastes and budgets, and a great craft brewery.
Among Yeppoon’s top restaurants are multi-award-winning Waterline Restaurant at Keppel Bay Marina, and Beaches Restaurant, where the menu offers fresh local seafood and produce direct from its nearby permaculture farm.
For something more casual, head to The Alley, a coastal café that oozes an inner city Melbourne vibe and one of the hottest hangouts in town. The menu features plenty of homegrown produce and celebrates the region’s local flavours. Does it get more Queensland than that?
Another way to explore Yeppoon’s culinary treasures is by following the Taste Capricorn Coast food trail which will lead to the many farm gates, markets and producers in the region.
Best places to stay in Yeppoon
Whatever your budget or style, Yeppoon has plenty of attractive accommodation options, from camping grounds to luxe holiday apartments, many offering easy access to the beach and views of the Keppel Island Group.
For families looking for space, Oshen Holiday Apartments and Echelon Apartments are among the newest apartments, both with views of Great Keppel Island.
Enjoy the views from your private balcony at Oshen in Yeppoon.
At Salt Beachfront Yeppoon, every one of the 50 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments has ocean views across beautiful Rosslyn Bay. Located in the heart of the town, a short walk from the Yeppoon Lagoon, the resort also has two pools to choose from.
Salt Beachfront Yeppoon combines ocean views with apartment-sized accommodation and is in the heart of all the action.
The family-friendly resort-style Beaches on Lammermoor Holiday Apartments across the street from Lammermoor Beach has panoramic views to the islands. It’s only a few minutes from Keppel Bay Marina for those wanting to take the boat trip and explore the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Kids will love Yeppoon Lagoon in town.
Families looking for budget options have several holiday parks to choose from. The Beachside Holiday Caravan Park lives up to its name, while just one kilometre from Yeppoon’s main shopping strip, and Discovery Parks Coolwaters Yeppoon and Island View Caravan Park are perfectly positioned on nearby beaches.
For more information about Yeppoon head to visitcapricorn.com.au