Pumpkin Island Paradise - Mark Fitz

Pumpkin Island Paradise

I thought I had a pretty good idea of how to relax and what 'peaceful' meant. That was before I visited a serene little place called Pumpkin Island. Now I know what it really feels like and I’ll never be the same!

The uniquely named Pumpkin Island is a short 30minute boat ride from Keppel Bay Marina on the Capricorn Coast. Measuring in at just 6 hectares in total, the island is the perfect tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life on the mainland.

The island is home to seven eco-friendly cottages and bungalows which can accommodate up to 34 guests. There's also an option of booking out the whole island which is quite popular with family groups and weddings.

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In a stroke of luck for me, I was fortunate enough be able to tick off one of my bucket list items. For years I’d always wondered what it would be like to stay on an island and be the only guest. I finally got to live out that dream here on Pumpkin and it was absolute heaven!

Walking into to my magical beachfront cottage I was pleasantly surprised by just how homely it felt. This particular cottage is set looking out over the main beach and is aptly named 'Tropical Tides'. With a comfy lounge inside and a spacious balcony at the front, the hardest decision I had to make was whether I wanted to kick back and enjoy the views from inside or sit out on the deck listening to the waves lap up on the beach. I went with the latter option and sat out on my deck for a couple of hours unwinding in absolute paradise.

Completely relaxed and rejuvenated, it was then time to get out and explore the island and surrounding reefs. As it's a small island, the walk is relatively short around it. Don’t let the size fool you though, there’s plenty to take in. Pumpkin doesn’t have the typical flat landscape like a lot of other islands off the Queensland coast. There are three beaches and a number of hills and rocky outcrops which have fantastic lookouts including my favourite spot- with an amazing 360 degree view of the island and surrounding areas. From these lookouts it was easy to spot the fringing reefs and I was now very keen to get in the water and snorkel.

Wayne and Laureth have been the owners of the island since 2003 and they know all the best snorkelling spots. We headed off in their boat to check out the underwater world of Pumpkin Island.

As it turns out, Pumpkin Island’s underwater world is just as good as it’s stunning landscapes above the water. Even under the water here it feels calm and peaceful. The coral gardens and fish life were exceptional and well and truly exceeded my expectations. Healthy, thriving reefs stretched out in front of us with great water visibility. Large numbers and species of fish were in each of the places we visited and the snorkelling is so good that I’ve now added Pumpkin to my top five fringing reefs to snorkel in Queensland.

After a great afternoon in the water it was time to dry off and experience a famous 'Sunset Lounge' sunset and beach bonfire. Wayne and Laureth cooked up an absolute feast with the beautiful food provided by the Waterline Restaurant at Keppel Bay Marina and it was the perfect way to end an amazing day with a few drinks looking out over the ocean.

If you’d like to find out a bit more about this incredible destination be sure to head over to www.pumpkinisland.com.au Coming into the winter months now, Pumpkin is also a fantastic place to watch the whales as they migrate north. I think I’ll have to do another relaxing trip back again to see them too!