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 ParkThirteen of the islands are National Parks.

The islands are uninhabited except for Great (South) Keppel, North Keppel (the two largest islands), Pumpkin and Wedge islands.

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 reefsBarren 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.

Let’s go

Select an island or rocky outcrop below and explore its reefs. We’ll tell you:

  • how to get there
  • where to anchor
  • where to dive and snorkel
  • what you might see. 

Inner islands

of Keppel Bay

Cave Island

Corroboree Island

Divided Island

Girt Island

Great Keppel Island

Halfway Island

Humpy Island

North Keppel Island

Miall Island

Middle Island

Mother Macgregor Island

Peak Island

Pelican Island

Pleasant Island

Pumpkin Island

Sloping Island

Wedge Island

Outer islands of

Keppel Bay

Barren Island

Child Island

Rocky outcrops

Inner Keppel Bay

Butterfish Bay Rocks

Conical Rocks

Halftide Rocks

Passage Rocks

Square Rocks

Sykes Rock

Rocky outcrops

Outer Keppel Bay


Islands and rocks


Best dive sites