Pumpkin Island Ahoy! Kick off those shoes, grab a hammock and slip into ‘island mode’ as you are not going to want to leave this gorgeous eco island paradise. Pumpkin Island is a little hidden treasure located on the Southern Great Barrier Reef and just a short 35 minute boat ride from Yeppoon in Queensland. And, it’s safe to say, it is one of the most amazing places our Blondie tribe has visited in Australia!
Just like a fairytale
It all started one early morning as we channelled our inner ‘Cinderella’ and jumped aboard the ‘Pumpkin Xpress’, (but instead of a pumpkin shaped carriage, we enjoyed a comfy 34 seater boat). As we cruised along, we took in the sparkling views from the rising sun, spotted a pod of dolphins and watched a short welcome movie that explained the unique features of this award winning island. This was when we realised we are in for something special.
The island is powered entirely by the wind and sun, making it Australia’s first carbon positive island resort as it offsets 150% of its annual carbon footprint – how cool is that!? There’s only 7 beach cottages to choose from with a maximum of 34 guests allowed at one time.
Speaking of footprints, it wasn’t long before our Blondie tribe was barefoot and fancy free, exploring every corner of the island finding the most amazing beach treasures of red coral and shiny shells, you couldn’t wipe the smiles off our face!
Take it at your own pace
Our cottage accommodation was just perfect for our family, nothing too fancy and it didn’t take us long to kick back and soak up the ocean views. With a great little play park not too far from our ‘Coral Cove’ cottage, the kids were happy making us ‘mud pies, sand pizza and coconut milkshakes’ which gave us ‘big kids’ some down time, and a moment to soak in the magic together.
As a self catering island we packed our own food for our stay which suited us just fine, keeping the costs down and allowing us to simply grab a bite to eat between activities.
It wasn’t long before we answered the call of the ocean and jumped in for a snorkel. We were blown away by what we found, the abundance of vibrant soft corals and schools of neon fish happily swimming about made this one of the most diverse, colourful and healthiest reefs we have ever seen. Knowing there was a huge anemone and clown fish to find, Marli also jumped in for an explore of this underwater wonderland.
Island life is good for the soul
The rest of our stay had us enjoying the complimentary kayaks and stand up paddle boards, fishing for squid and shucking our own oysters right from the rocks – which, as you guys may know is Ziggy’s favourite thing to do. To top it all off, mother nature treated us to the most amazing light shows each night as we watched the sun set over the ocean.
Our favourite spot to chill at the end of a busy day adventuring was at the beach bar and the communal campfire. We indulged in a cocktail or two from the bar as the kids roasted a few cheeky (pre dinner) marshmallows. Can it get any better?!
If you are seeking some time away from all ‘the busy’ and just want to chill with your tribe and mother nature, this eco island paradise is for you. There’s no TV or technology distractions, just the sound of the birds and the waves. It definitely stole a piece of our hearts and we’ll be sure to head back again soon.
What you need to know:
- Yeppoon is approximately 650 kilometers north of Brisbane and 1,100km south of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. The closest airport is Rockhampton.
- Pumpkin Island is privately owned and open only to guests. You will need to transfer to the island via the Pumpkin Express which operates 4 days per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at a cost of $45/adult (one-way) and $35/child (one-way).
- Ferry times vary depending on tides so best to check the boat schedule when planning your trip (flights, transfers etc). You are also welcome to bring your own boat if you have one.
- It’s a self catering island meaning there are no shops or restaurants so you have to bring all your own food. Your cottage will have an oven, grill, stove top and BBQ to cook with, or you can arrange to use the wood fire pizza oven.
- There is a bar serving drinks and cocktails, opening times may vary.
- We stayed in the cottage called Coral Cove and children under the age of 16 stay free! Here’s a run down of our costs for the cabin, but there are a range of options you can view here.
~$440/night for 2 adults for a 7+ night stay
~$465/night for 2 adults for a 5-6 night stay
~$490/night for 2 adults for a 3-4 night stay
~Children under the age of 16 years stay free
- You can also hire a tinny if you want to enjoy a fish, snorkel and explore the surrounding islands. Kayaks and stand up paddle boards are free.
- As this is an eco retreat, power is limited but you can charge your tablets and phones through the 12v chargers in your cottage. If you would like to charge a computer or camera, staff can give you access in the Sunset Lounge.
- Make sure you visit Mermaids Cove – it’s a hidden little bay full of mermaid treasures and a swing, a great place to take the kids or go on your own to read a book.
- Snorkel the nearby soft coral reef – it’s some of the best in the world. You will need a boat or if the swell allows use a kayak.
- Enjoy a fire as the sun sets over the water and treat yourself to a cocktail or two!
Checkout our video of our adventures here:
Pin this post to Pinterest:
You may also like: