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Yeppoon (photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland)
Crystal clear waters of Yeppoon are a huge drawcard for Grey Nomads

Yeppoon has long been a bit of a grey nomad hotspot … and it’s very easy to see why. Situated about 40 kilometres east of Rockhampton it’s a great place to take a breather as you head up or down the coast. It’s got some great caravan parks, is right next door to a stunning national park, state forests and conservation area, and its 1.5 kilometres of safe beaches are just a great place to relax. Oh, and to put the icing on the cake, the town with a population of 7,000 or so is friendly and well serviced.

The first settlers arrived in the Yeppoon area in 1865 and the land was used for timber, cattle and growing pineapples. It was perhaps inevitable that, with the industrial city of Rockhampton so close by, people would eventually realise Yeppoon was a top place to commute from and to come home to. Tourism soon followed. And how! Today the village has grown to service the needs of the multitude of visitors and ever-welcoming locals. There are a healthy collection of cafes, restaurants and shops … and the beaches are as sensational as ever.

The town itself has retained its friendly village atmosphere and the surrounding countryside and islands has more than enough to keep you interested … and eager to stay ‘just one more night’.

As you do head south from Yeppoon, you are afforded magnificent views out to sea. From Wreck Point Lookout you can see all of the major islands, including Great Keppel and North Keppel islands. And if you are keen to visit the palm-filled paradise isles you can take a boat from Roslyn Bay Boat Harbour. It takes about half an hour to get across.
But before you rush to get off the mainland, make sure you have a through exploration of all that the Yeppoon area has to offer. About 30 minutes or so north of the town is along the sealed Yeppoon-Byfield Road is the Byfield State Forest and Byfield National park. Access to the national park is very much four-wheel-drive only and navigating the 15 kilometres of soft sand tracks from the park entrance to the coast may take more than an hour.
Byfield National Park covers some 15,000 hectares and boasts massive sand dunes, as well as rugged granite pinnacles like The Peaks and Mt Atherton. In the eucalypt woods and rainforest areas, birdlife is abundant, so twitchers don’t forget your binoculars.

The state forest is actually far more accessible than the national park and it offers excellent camping as well. The area has about 7,000 hectares of exotic pine plantation and 17,000 hectares of native forest, as well as pockets of rainforest along Waterpark Creek.

So, if you’re into spectacular coastal scenery, great camping, bushwalking, birdwatching, fishing or four wheel driving this spot is for you. Oh, and it’s a nice place just to pass the time of day with your fellow nomads, as well. Put it this way. If Arnold Schwarzenegger were a grey nomad pulling out of Yeppoon he would probably says something like: “I’ll be back.”

Explore the wonders of Byfield National Park; hit the high seas and head across to Keppel Island; treat yourself to a cafe coffee; put on plenty of sunscreen; just relax!

There are several great caravan parks, including Beachside Caravan Park which is as close to the sands as it sounds. It’s also just a short stroll into the town, which boast cafes, restaurants, clubs and cinemas. The Blue Dolphin Caravan Park is also in town and has permanents as well as catering for tourists.

There’s also the Poinciana Tourist Park a few kilometres south at Cooee Bay; a little further along the Scenic Highway is Big 4’s Capricorn Palms Holiday Village which is within walking distance to beautiful Mulambin Beach; and then a little further south is Causeway Caravan Park at Causeway Lake; and Top Tourist’s Island View Caravan Park at Kinka Beach. Basically, you are spoilt for choice.

Byfield State Forest park offers the Red Rock camping area which is suitable for caravans. It is set in an open grassy site with flat sites. There are toilets, barbecues, picnic tables and the rest. Elsewhere some sites at Upper Stony Creek and Waterpark Creek camping areas are suitable for campervans.

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