On Friday morning we leave Mooloolaba by 8.30 in the morning, after packing the night before - we know we have a long day of driving ahead of us. We are hoping to get as far as Yeppoon (580 kms and 8 hours plus away) but if the travelling gets tough then we are prepared to stop off at 1770/Agnes Waters after 309kms (about 6 hours).
The first two hours is quite slow going, but the traffic thins as we get to Maryborough. We stop briefly to refuel and end up picking up a backpacker who is heading to Townsville. Jane is initially not too sure about it but after meeting David and warning him that it will be a cramped few hours in the backseat squeezed between two carseats we offer him a ride. Coincidentially he is originally from Yeppoon and gives us a few tips on the area. He keeps the kids entertained and regales us with stories from his overseas backpacking adventures and somehow the hours fly by so we push on to Yeppoon.
Yeppoon is a beachside town, 20 mins from inland Rockhampton and is the mainland access for Great Keppel Island - the Southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. It is located on a very pretty coastline.
We know we are much further North as the weather is devine. When we first arrive in Yeppoon we are not sure whether we will stay for 3 nights and push on to get closer to Airlie Beach (which we need to reach by July 1) or whether to stay for 6 and do another longish drive on the 1st. After a day we realise that the weather is good and that there aren't many options between Yeppoon and Airlie; besides Yeppoon is a nice little place to chill out. We also have some great accommodation in a new apartment complex right on the main beach of Yeppoon. It overlooks the beach with views to Great Keppel Island and is around the corner from the main shopping street of Yeppoon.
We spend our days at Yeppoon relaxing on the beach, walking and hanging out around the apartment's rooftop pool. We also decide to do a daytrip to Great Keppel Island. We spend some time checking out the coral and fish on a glass-bottom boat and then spend the rest of the day swimming on a deserted tropical island beach! The island itself is virtually deserted. Even though its school holdiays there aren't many who make the trip over for the day and there are minimal accommodation options for people to stay overnight as the main resort has been closed for 2 years. We don't complain though, as we had the beach to ourselves!!