If Cinderella’s carriage had turned into Pumpkin Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef instead of the edible kind, she would have been laughing at her evil stepsisters.
The only footprints on the beach outside my eco-friendly hut at on the six hectares of paradise known as Pumpkin Island are mine.
There are others on the island, but it feels like I have it all to myself, and I am loving the seclusion. My afternoon has been filled with lazy beachcombing and picking small but sweet oysters off the rocks.
I’m not the only one who appreciates this island. It also is the 2018 winner of the Australasia’s Most Sustainable Hotel award presented by Boutique Hotel Awards in November.
PUMPKIN ISLAND IS PART OF THE KEPPEL GROUPI’ve got my favourite beach swing chair just a few metres from the water’s edge, a bed where I am lulled to sleep by gentle waves lapping the beach. There’s also a plunge pool if I don’t want to take the few steps down to the water for a swim.
The island, located 14 kilometres from Yeppoon in Queensland’s Southern Great Barrier Reef, is part of the Keppel Group. It once was XXXX Island where people came to drink, drink and drink. Now it’s a 34 person (maximum), seven self-catering unit holiday island.
SUSTAINABLE PUMPKIN ISLAND ACCOMMODATION You’ve probably already thought, “this sounds like the perfect place for a wedding/party/celebration” and you would be right. That means hiring the whole island, and that is perfectly possible too.
The eco cabins are very beach chic and powered by sun and wind. The cottages only have sustainable 12 volt solar and wind power which keeps the water pump, fans, lights and fridge going. There is a USB port where you can charge your phone.
Rainwater keeps the tanks filled. It’s the sort of play where you want to curl up with a book or play board games with the kids after a day of water and beach activities.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH PUMPKIN ISLAND?If there is one flaw here, it is that the phone reception is excellent, although you could pretend otherwise. All this bliss does come with the proviso that you bring your own food, although the managers will stock it up for you if requested.
Although small, the island is big enough and hilly enough to provide interesting walking. There are a few secluded spots for swimming and some great diving available.
The Pumpkin Express leaves from Keppel Bay Marina and takes about 45 minutes to reach the island.