There’s something special about Yeppoon. A little town with a very big soul, it offers an incredible mix of worlds. Spend days immersing yourself in the ocean, sailing at sunset, swimming, and snorkelling, lazing on the beach and spotting turtles. Then head into bushland where you can meet native animals, kayak creeks and explore the jungle. Feast on top-notch seafood, sip on fine wines, nibble mouth-watering cakes and enjoy the cafe culture. Yeppoon is a unique blend of experiences, perfectly set-off by the wonderful locals who call it home. To help you make the most of your holiday, or just inspire you to visit, here are some of the very best things to do in Yeppoon (and surrounds!).
Before we get started, here’s a great joke direct-messaged to me on Instagram by one of my best friend’s mum: “Hey, Phoebe – Where’s Yeppoon? Next to ya knife and fork?” – Brilliant! Oh, and one more thing, the order of this guide is entirely random and not, in any way, a ranking.
But first, watch this…
1. Sunset sailing with Sail Capricornia
Climb aboard Grace, a stunning catamaran owned by locals, Anthony and Vicki of Sail Capricornia. Set sail toward the sunset, wind in your hair, wine in your hand. Spot dolphins feeding and soak in the golden glow of the warm afternoon sun as it sets for the day. Then, if you’re lucky, turn around and watch the moon rise behind you. It’s a fantastic way to see the area from a different angle and have a truly memorable experience in Yeppoon.
2. Visit the Centenary of ANZAC Walk
I’ve visited many ANZAC walk memorials around Australia, but this one has to be my favourite. The Centenary of ANZAC Walk at Emu Park wraps around the coast, offering fantastic views of the area and an interesting path to wander. Most importantly, the memorial pays tribute to the ANZAC’s in a lovely way, offering visitors the chance to learn more about an important piece of history and remember those who have given their lives for us. Lest We Forget.
3. Dinner and live music at Ferns Hideaway
Locals told me to expect a great night at Ferns, but nothing prepared me for just how great it is. Owners, Marto and Gen, are absolutely lovely and their genuine passion and love for their business (and lives) radiates through every part of the property. The restaurant is open for lunch Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but it’s Saturday night’s live music that really takes the cake! Be sure to book a table and make the drive – the music is absolutely fantastic, the service is exceptional and the food is really good too. Definitely one of my favourite experiences in Yeppoon and an absolute must-do! Trust me, you’ll love it.
4. Breakfast at Flour
Visit gorgeous, local favourite, Flour, for fantastic service, yummy food, and fantastic coffee. The menu includes unique (and freakin’ delicious) options, like crunchy smashed potatoes or pumpkin fritters topped with perfectly poached eggs and creamy hollandaise. Do yourself a favour and get stuck into the incredible cake cabinet – you won’t regret it!
5. Spot turtles from the lookout
Take a trip to the southern end of Kemp Beach, turning off the main road onto a short gravel track. Here you’ll find a relatively easy, albeit steep, walking track, known as the Bluff Point Track. Work your way up 700 metres or so to Turtle Lookout where you can easily spot gorgeous green turtles popping up to the surface to grab a breath of air. Continue to the top for panoramic views of the perfect blue ocean and never-ending sky.
6. Low-tide at Kemp beach
Stop by stunning Kemp Beach at low tide and take a stroll along the perfect, pristine stretch of sand. It’s a great spot for photography as, at low tide, the water forms perfect glassy reflections, bouncing the scenery and sky off its pristine surface.
7. Dine at Vue
Pop into Vue Wine Bar & Restaurant for a fantastic dinner and really, really good wines! Set right along the main street, Vue offers gorgeous beachfront views of the ocean and is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We visited in the evening and got stuck into delicious tapas, the star of which was an out-of-this-world fried feta. You’ll love the stunning feature wall artwork, excellent service, delectable wine menu and tempting desserts.
8. Watch the sunset and sunrise
Wake up early, visit your favourite patch of beach, headland or lookout point and watch the sunrise. In the afternoon, make the time to get outside and watch the sky turn brilliant shades of pink, orange and yellow before transitioning to blue, green and dusty pink. The sunsets and sunrises in Yeppoon are magical, so make sure you plan your day around them.
9. Breakfast at Whisk
Start your day at Whisk, where you can get a great cup of coffee and delicious food, served with a friendly smile. Tuck into the smashed potato with gooey, poached eggs, avocado, and tomato relish or tuck into the insanely good banana bread waffles (they’re every bit as good as you want them to be!) It’s a popular spot, so get there early to miss the crowd.
10. Lunch at Keppel Bay Sailing Club
For a midday tipple look no further than the Keppel Bay Sailing Club. Offering sweeping views of the beach, it’s the perfect spot to get cosy with a cold drink (BEER!) and a delicious lunch. The seafood here is fantastic, just be warned the portion sizes are very generous so you’re probably going to need your stretchy pants (no complaints from me!).
11. Visit Great Keppel Island
Climb aboard the Keppel Konnections Ferry or Freedom Fast Cats from the Keppel Bay Marina over to Great Keppel Island. Spend the day swimming in the clear water, lazing in the sun or get stuck into fun activities like snorkelling, jet skis, stand-up paddle boarding, tubing, wakeboarding and more. The only problem? You may never want to leave. Check out Great Keppel Island Adventures and Keppel Water Sports for activity ideas.
12. Coffee at Lure Living
Stop in at Lure Living and get your hands on some of the best coffee in town, as well as freshly made counter-top treats, vegan bites and snacks to-go. If you’re keen to sit a while, grab a seat in the welcoming interior and get cosy, watching locals come and go. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet a few friendly dogs, keen for a belly rub or ear scratch.
13. Visit Nob Creek Pottery
Established in 1979, Nob Creek Pottery is home to Steve Bishopric and Sue McBurnie, two incredibly talented and passionate potters. Visit the galleries and explore the huge range of pottery, jewellery, artwork and more. It’s a great spot to learn about pottery and gain an appreciation for it as an art-form. I didn’t know what to expect before visiting but absolutely loved it, seeing how identical pieces can come out of the kiln totally different, impacted by the heat of the kiln, positioning inside, how often it’s stoked, by whom and what they’re drinking at the time (as Steve explains).
14. Coffee from Chapter
Love coffee? Be sure to visit Chapter for your morning cup of get-up-and-go. A low-key hidden spot, it’s adorned with warm lights and a chilled-out atmosphere. The constant stream of visitors let you know the coffee is great. Sit and while and sip your brew or take it to-go and start your day with a stroll on the beach.
15. Shop at Coastal Funk
Visit beautiful local boutique, Coastal Funk, and meet owners Chris and Debbie, creators of insanely good soy candles (seriously, I smelled each scent and loved ALL of them) and all round lovely people. The store is adorned with absolutely gorgeous homewares of varying shapes, sizes, textures and colours – the perfect spot to pick up something special for your home. For the full experience be sure to have Chris, a mountain of a man and absolute legend, talk you through his life as a ‘candle bitch,’ hand-making bath salts and soy candles – it’s great!
16. Explore the Capricorn Caves
Step back in time, hundreds of millions of years ago and discover an ancient world. From the outside, the Capricorn Caves seem pretty low-key, but step inside and you’ll learn an incredible amount about the history of the earth. Explore huge caves and winding passageways, learn about the coral reefs and jungle that once stood where you are and marvel at fossils. (This experience was a big surprise packet for me – I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! I learned so much!)
17. Meet native cuties at Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary
Location 15 minutes from the heart of Yeppoon, Cooberrie Park works tirelessly to provide sanctuary and rehabilitation for animals in need. All the animals you see and interact with have been rescued from bad situations and will live the rest of their very happy days at the park. Those animals you don’t see are being nursed back to health in preparation for their release back to the wild. It’s a great, family-friendly way to spend a few hours and the perfect spot for all animal and nature lovers! We LOVED it!
18. Go kayaking at Waterpark Creek
We spent a night at the fantastic Byfield Cabins and got up (reasonably) early for a spot of kayaking on Waterpark Creek. Guests of the cabins are able to kayak free of charge, with all gear easily available and in pristine condition. The water here is perfectly still and glassy, throwing all kinds of stunning reflections off the surface. There are a number of great accommodations in the area, so choose one that suits you and make the most of the great kayaking.
19. Live music and lunch at The Waterline Restaurant
While The Waterline serves great food daily, Sunday’s are when things really kick off. Book a table for lunch, where you’ll be treated to live music and a friendly, fun, laid-back atmosphere. The seafood here is fantastic and if you’re keen to try a steak while in the heart of cattle country, this is the spot to do it. The Waterline’s owners also own Banana Station, a cattle farm, so the eye fillet you see on the menu comes directly from their farm and is, by Matt’s account, extremely tender.
20. Peruse the local weekend markets
Visit the Yeppoon Community Market, held each Saturday from 6am to 10am, where you can unearth fresh produce and other yummy goodies (there’s plenty to see, do and eat!) You can also visit the Fig Tree Markets, held on the first Sunday of each month from 8am to 12pm, showcasing all things home-made, home-grown and home-baked.
21. Spot street art
It may sound strange, but take a visit to the local multi-storey carpark for a DIY street-art tour. You’ll find bright, beautiful artworks adorning the walls and hidden up, down and around different parts of the complex. Be sure to spot the large piece of a little dog being pushed in a child’s stroller, a tribute to a lovely local and her beloved pooch. Also, if you love art, be sure to visit The Mill Gallery, located in the heart of town.
22. Dinner at The Strand Hotel
An iconic part of Yeppoon for over 60 years, The Strand offers a friendly, laid-back atmosphere where the beers are cold and the food is delicious. Pop in during the day for lunch with a view, making the most of the pub’s beachfront location, or duck in for dinner and get stuck into the fantastic menu, bursting with seasonal favourites and fresh seafood options.
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