Moderately hazardous: 4-6
Highly hazardous: 7-8
Extremely hazardous: 9-10
Keppel Sands is a quiet beach settlement located 15 km off the Emu Park Road and 40 km from Rockhampton. The road ends at the Sands and, apart from the locals, not many tourists make it out to this quaint, older style settlement. The Sands are surrounded by wide Cawarral Creek to the north, extensive tidal flats to the east and the long, swampy beach ridges of Cattle Point to the south, while mangrove-filled tidal creeks make up much of the backing land. It is essentially a land island by the sea.
The main Keppel Sands beach (1386) is 1.3 km long, faces east and is bounded by the northern 40 m high, conical headland and a southern protruding, 30 m high headland. The beach is backed by the bulk of the settlement, two rows of streets, then the backing mangroves and Pumpkin Creek mouth at the southern end. The beach has experienced some erosion and a rock seawall lines much of the beach. Between the seawall and the road is a narrow foreshore reserve which widens a little to the northern end, where there is a car park. Toilet blocks are located at each end of the beach. The beach consists of a narrow high tide beach fronted by several hundred metres of tidal flats. Waves average less than 0.5 m and calm conditions are common.
Keppel Sands is the most popular beach but only useable at high tide, while the point beach can be used at high and low tide.
Keppel Sands is a fishing community, with most fishing taking place in the creeks and the bay. The best boat access is via Pumpkin Creek, where there is a boat ramp and a few jetties. You can only fish from the shore at high tide.
An out of the way, older style settlement, with a caravan park for visitors.
- Formal parking area