Looking for the best things to do in Yeppoon in Queensland? If you’ve not heard of Yeppoon before, we think it’s a proper hidden gem located on Queensland’s Capricorn Coast! We had read that it’s a cool little underrated seaside town, but we had no idea how fab this place really is. Located next to Rockhampton, it blows my mind why anyone would miss this area on a lap around Australia.
With plenty of Yeppoon attractions and places to visit nearby, including some of the best islands in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, you could easily spend a week here ticking off loads of your Australia bucket list in no time!
With sandstone cliffs dotted around Yeppoon, it actually reminded us a little of Krabi in Thailand! Look out to Great Keppel Island and the rest of the Keppel Islands from Yeppoon Main Beach and I doubt you’ll find anywhere else like it in Australia!
We’ve visited a fair few times now, so we feel it’s only right to share some of the best things to do in Yeppoon.
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Where Is Yeppoon?
Unsure where Yeppoon is? It’s located a 30-minute drive from Rockhampton which is the beef capital of Australia. Funnily enough, the two towns are like chalk and cheese. While Rockhampton is a very traditional regional town in Australia, Yeppoon feels more modern with cool cafes and hip locals.
Although many people doing a ‘Big Lap of Australia’ or travelling the East Coast Of Australia tend to miss Rockhampton, you really shouldn’t! There are some proper hidden gems here! Think magical national parks, crystal clear swimming holes, fantastic Great Barrier Reef Islands which are cheap to get to (think Great Keppel Island), and of course the largest privately owned cave system in Australia, the Capricorn Caves.
You can easily catch a flight to Rockhampton from all major airports, or if you’re driving, it’s an 8-hour drive from Brisbane. We recommend breaking the drive up with a stopover in our beloved town of Agnes Water & 1770! There are so many things to do in Agnes Water, you won’t be disappointed!
When To Visit Yeppoon
We’ve always visited Yeppoon in the cooler months from June – September and it’s still pretty hot and summer clothing weather. If you visit in the Summer months, it will be very hot and humid here. If you visit on public holidays or during school holidays, make sure you book accommodation in advance.
Things To Do In Yeppoon
1. Yeppoon Lagoon
Yeppoon Lagoon is a surprisingly awesome FREE swimming pool in the middle of town. Bring the kids here and hang out for the day while looking out to the Keppel Islands. You’ll feel like you’re at an infinity-edge pool, yet it’s free! There is a cafe on site serving up healthy food like smoothies and acai bowls too. We always thought this would make a great spot to work from if you need to find a coworking space in Yeppoon or you’re working from home.
2. Byfield National Park
When we asked the locals in Yeppoon where we should visit, everyone told us to go to Byfield National Park. We hadn’t even heard of it, and after a little bit of research, we made a beeline to there during our first visit to Yeppoon. And, I must say, it doesn’t disappoint! Although you need a 4×4 to go to the beaches there, we managed to go to a couple of awesome spots in our 2wd, which we’ll mention below!
We couldn’t believe how amazing Stoney Creek in Byfield National Park truely is. It’s a remarkable emerald green swimming hole that you can only dream about in this hidden oasis. When we got there, we saw a freshwater turtle swimming in there too. It came right up to us to say hi!
Make sure you come when it hasn’t been raining to see it as clear as we did. There’s a rope swing in there too! Around the corner from Stoney Creek, there’s a campground you can stay at as well.
Watch Our Video To Byfield National Park
4. Visit Nob Creek Pottery
Nob Creek Pottery was an unexpectedly awesome place to visit. We loved the place and ended up buying some mugs which have become our favourites. Make sure you go and check the pottery kiln, it’s really impressive.
5. Spend The Day On Great Keppel Island
While it’s easy to think that getting to a Great Barrier Reef Island is expensive, getting to Great Keppel Island costs just $45pp return on the 30-minute ferry with Freedom Fast Cats.
We love this island for its ruggedness and the fact that it has a really authentic feel to it. There are no roads on the island and so many things to do in Great Keppel Island you need to know about.
Watch Our Great Keppel Island Video
We recommend walking to the beautiful Long Beach which is one of the best beaches in Australia! Honestly, it’s absolutely beautiful! Snorkel at Monkey Beach and end the day by having a drink and something to eat at Great Keppel Hideaway. You can camp on the island or stay in the cabins at Great Keppel Hideaway. We could easily spend a couple of days here, relaxing in paradise.
Or you can book a Great Keppel Island Day Trip tour which will take you around the island to secluded beaches and hidden snorkelling spots on a glass-bottom boat tour. We would totally do this tour next time for sure. If you are looking to spend the entire day on Great Keppel Island, check out our What To Do On A Great Keppel Island Day Trip guide.
6. Stay On Pumpkin Island
Although it’s the only island we haven’t visited in Southern Great Barrier Reef yet, we’ve heard Pumpkin Island is one of the best which is located near to Great Keppel Island. It’s a self-contained accommodation island where you’re given food to cook yourself as there’s no restaurants there. Stay in the beautiful accommodation and you could even end up staying there by yourself if you’re lucky. It’s on our bucket list for sure!
7. Yeppoon Markets
The first thing we did when we arrived in Yeppoon visited the Yeppoon Markets which are held between 6am-10am at the Yeppoon Showgrounds. We quickly realised that the Yeppoon locals are super friendly and this is when we found out that the number one thing to do in Yeppon is Byfield National Park. I think this is where they go to the beach because while the beaches in Yeppoon are beautiful, the water isn’t very clear.
8. Capricorn Caves
I’m so glad we finally went to visit Capricorn Caves during our recent visit to Yeppoon. Located 30 minutes from Yeppoon, these are the largest privately owned cave systems in Australia. Did you know Capricorn Caves were also the first tourist attraction in Australia?
We absolutely love our experience at Capricorn Caves. The tour guide called Phil is fantastic, having run tours all around the world, he’s a complete natural and made the tour so entertaining. You can choose from a few tours. When we turned up, the Cathedral Cave Tour was about to start so we jumped on that one, although I wanted to see the Flower Pot, it wasn’t on the tour we did.
Thankfully we did the Cathedral Cave Tour because the other tours are much more adventurous where you climb through small holes. When we asked the ladies at the reception about the tours, they said everyone is always a bit apprehensive about the other tours, but they are very inclusive and supportive, and more than anything they are the most fun.
Back to the Cathedral Cave Tour. It really is spectacular where you get to see the famous cathedral which is home to weddings and opera performances. Apparently, the cave is as close to perfect as you’ll ever get for opera acoustics. We experienced an in the dark performance of ‘Hallejuah’ which include a light show. It was a very special moment we loved!
9. Splash Around Keppel Kraken
The Keppel Kraken is a fantastic place for kids to enjoy water fun when it’s hot in Yeppoon, especially as it’s a free aquatic playground. If you’re looking for things to do in Yeppoon with kids, look no further! This splash park in the middle of Yeppoon has to be one of the best I’ve seen in any town in Australia!
10. Kershaw Gardens
Another one of the best things to do in Yeppoon with kids is to visit Kershaw Gardens. It’s a fantastic playground full of slides and climbing frames. You could easily spend a few hours here while the kids burn off some energy.
11. Go On A DIY Street Art Tour
Whenever we visit Yeppoon, we’re always wondering why every town in Australia doesn’t have the same street art as this town has. Go on a DIY street art tour and discover the vibrant art on the side of buildings, down alleyways and even in the car park in town. It totally gives the town life and really makes you feel like there’s a fantastic community here.
12. Bluff Point Walking Track
Make sure you walk up the Bluff Point Track which is a short 2.3km walk up to the top of the hill at the southern end of Kemp Beach. We attempted to the Bluff Point Walking Track but we had our pooch with us and couldn’t do it as it’s not dog friendly. At the top of this popular Yeppoon walk, you’ll come to turtle lookout to hopefully spot some turtles in the ocean!
13. Drive between Yeppoon and Emu Park
I love the scenic highway drive between Yeppoon and Emu Park. The coastal drive takes you past limestone cliffs and beautiful beaches. You don’t even necessarily need to stop on this drive, but just enjoy it for what it is.
14. Emu Park
Make sure you visit Emu Park during your visit to Yeppoon. There’s a lovely playground and picnic benches overlooking Great Keppel Island and with a small street to stroll around, you could grab breakfast or lunch here. One of the best things to do in Emu Park is the Centenary of ANZAC Walk which is a walking path that meanders around the coast with the Anzac memorial of the singing ship at the beginning of it.
We spoke to some locals in Emu Park and we found it funny how there seemed to be a divide between there and Yeppoon, even if it’s only a 20 minute drive between the two.
15. Go For A Walk Along Yeppoon Main Beach
Yeppoon Main Beach is made for long walks! It’s a stunning beach you could spend the morning going on a long walk before heading over to the many excellent cafes to choose from on Yeppoon’s main street.
16. Visit Cooee Beach
We stayed in Cooee Beach in Yeppoon during our recent visit and loved it! It feels like a little gem in Yeppoon as you could easily miss it on the drive from Yeppoon to Keppel Bay Marina. The beach is gorgeous and there’s a fab cafe nearby called Two Sisters. Check out the nearby Wreck Point Lookout as well.
17. And Lammermoor Beach
Lammermoor Beach in Yeppoon is one of our favourite Yeppoon beaches! It’s a gorgeous bay that is probably the most swimmable beach in the town. You can get here on the drive from Yeppoon to Keppel Bay Marina.
18. High Valley Dawn Farm
We tried to visit High Valley Dawn Farm thinking we could just turn up and see the farm in action but it’s gated. Fortunately, you can do a tour on a Sunday morning at 9am to see how they grow sustainable food in Yeppoon.
They were running retreats here which have been put on hold since Covid at the time of writing. It’s definitely somewhere we’re super interested in learning more about.
Luckily we visited their restaurant nearby in Rosslyn Bay called Beaches which we’ll talk more about later in this post.
19. Koorana Crocodile Farm
The Koorana Crocodile Farm in Yeppoon is a crocodile farm for crocodiles who may have been faced with death from farm owners in the area. The owners have saved over 100 crocodiles and it’s certainly a place you won’t find in many other towns in Australia!
20. Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary
Another Yeppoon tourist attraction is the Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary kids will love. Get up close to rescued animals such as koalas, crocodiles, parrots and kangaroos!
21. Mount Archer National Park
Mount Archer National Park is between Rockhampton and Yeppoon with four walking tracks to choose from. The longest Mount Arch National Park walk is the Zamia Walk which is 14km one way which will take you to the top of the mountains. As one of the best Rockhampton walks to do, it takes around 5 hours.
If 14km Mount Archer hike sounds like too much, why not try the Sleipner Lookout Walk which takes you to the first section of the Zamia Walk and is only 2.4km. It’s suggested it takes about an hour to do this walk.
22. Watch The Sunset From Breakwater Drive
We spontaneously watched the sunset from Breakwater Drive in Rosslyn Bay Marina and it felt really special as there was no one there. Watching the sunset over the water is hard to come by on the East Coast of Australia, so make sure you check out this spot.
23. Surf Lakes In Yeppoon
Although it’s not open to the public yet, we had to include Surf Lakes in Yeppoon on this guide because it looks mind-blowing! Located between Rockhampton and Yeppoon, Surf Lakes is literally the biggest break in surf innovation. Expect to catch 2,000 waves per hour at this epic wave park in Yeppoon. Keep up to date when it opens because I’m sure it will bring surfers from around the world to the area.
Where To Eat In Yeppoon
With loads of awesome places to eat in Yeppoon, here are some of our favourite Yeppoon restaurants you need to try.
24. Whisk Cafe
Whisk Cafe is probably the most popular cafe in Yeppoon! Located on the main street in Yeppoon, come here early as it gets really busy. The menu is unique, serving up different breakfast options like karage chicken eggs benny! We even saw a waitress carrying a plate of hot chips with ice cream!
25. Vue Wine Bar
Vue Wine Bar is a local favourite for dinner in Yeppoon, and if there’s one place you should book for dinner, it’s here. While it is expensive, the food is fresh and the curry is fantastic!
26. The Waterline Restaurant In Rosslyn Bay
The Waterline Restaurant in Rosslyn Bay Marina has been voted as one of the best regional restaurants in Queensland. When we visited, we loved the outdoor setting on the water of the marina with picnic benches to sit on. The vibe is lovely with live music and it’s dog friendly too. Order the bao buns, they are fantastic!
27. Pie Alley
Pie Alley is a great place to visit for a drink as you can people watch from the window! The vibe is nice and the alleyway is cool with a backdrop of street art.
28. Beaches Restaurant
We made a beeline to Beaches Restaurant in Keppel Bay which is run by the High Dawn Valley Farm. This farm to plate restaurant serves up fantastic, fresh food we would recommend visiting in a heartbeat. I ordered the chicken curry and it is amazing!
29. Eat at the beautiful Lure Living
Lure Living is a really cool cafe located on Anzac Parade. It’s the kinda place you could come to and work from if you’re working from home.
30. Ferns Hideaway
We didn’t have a chance to visit Ferns Hidaway but we totally would have done so if we had more time. Located in Byfield National Park, the rainforest resort is home to live music on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re not staying here, make sure you come to the restaurant and enjoy a fun atmosphere.
31. Go To The Rodeo At Great Western Hotel
If you’re looking for a proper Rockhampton experience, make sure you visit the Great Western Hotel in Rocky. They run rodeos once a month, showcasing some of the best bull riders in the world. We went to check it out but we didn’t realise at the time they only hold a rodeo on specific dates.
Places To Visit Nearby
There are so many hidden gems to visit nearby Yeppoon. Here are some of our favourites you should consider if you’re looking for day trips from Rockhampton or day trips from Yeppoon.
32. Blackdown Tablelands National Park
Blackdown Tablelands National Park is absolutely mind-blowing! Located 3 hours from Yeppoon, make sure you make the effort to visit here. It’s home to the famous Blackdown rock pools which must be some of the best rock pools in Australia! Walk down to the bottom of Gudda Gumoo Falls (Rainbow Falls) which is one of the most incredibly special places I’ve ever seen in Australia.
I don’t know how to say that Blackdown Tablelands is one of the most incredible hidden gems you need to visit!
Watch our video to Blackdown Tablelands below!
33. Visit The Gem Fields In RubyVale
We went to check out the gem fields in Rubyvale to find my engagement ring and it was such a fascinating place. There are a few stores which are more like shacks in the middle town selling sapphires here. Although it’s a good four hour drive from Yeppoon, it’s a experience like no other. You’ll certainly feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere here! We even saw wild camels hanging out by the side of the road here.
34. Agnes Water & 1770
Head three hours South of Yeppoon and you’ll come to our little town of Agnes Water & 1770. This is a fab stopover if you’re coming up from Brisbane. This remote town is the last stop on the East Coast where you’ll be able to surf. With so many secluded beaches to choose from, you’ll have the pick of jaw-dropping beaches all to yourself.
Make sure you go on the 1770 LARC tour out to Bustard Head Lighthouse, walk in the Insta famous Paperbark Forest and eat at the gorgeous 1770 Getaway. Don’t forget to catch one of the legendary sunsets at 1770. I doubt you’ll find better sunsets anywhere else in the world!
35. Cape Hillsborough
If you’re heading north from Yeppoon head up to the gorgeous Cape Hillsborough which is a stunning National Park famous for being able to spot kangaroos on the beach at sunrise. One thing I hadn’t read about Cape Hillsborough before is the fact that it’s absolutely stunning here. There’s a caravan park next to the famous beach which looks excellent. Bring mosquito spray if visiting in Summer.
We hope our guide for the best things to do in Yeppoon has helped you plan your next getaway!