Keppel Bay’s islands and reefs
Each of the 19 magnificent islands in the Keppel group is fringed by coral reefs and rocky shores. Many have white sandy beaches.
The islands and surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area [PDF]. The Keppel region is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Thirteen of the islands are National Parks.
The numerous rock formations that break the surface and are scattered throughout Keppel Bay are also surrounded by thriving fringing reefs. Many more lie beneath the surface, providing plentiful habitat for corals to grow.
Fish life abounds around the reefs and rocky outcrops, making them popular fishing, diving and snorkelling spots.
Reefs are protected by zones that have different rules for the activities that are allowed, the activities that are prohibited, and the activities that require a permit.
Outer reefs – worth the trip
Most of the outer reefs—Barren Island, Child Island, Outer Rock, Man and Wife Rocks, Egg Rock—have 100% coral cover of mostly branching corals, typically brown but occasionally with tips of brilliant blue.
The weather can restrict access to these outer reefs, but the trip is usually worth it as they are more protected from Fitzroy River floodwaters than the reefs of the inner bay. They have clearer, nutrient-free waters, less algae and faster-growing corals.
of Keppel Bay
Outer islands of