by Jeni Bone
Hailed as the most significant tourism development in Queensland in 20 years, the $600 million Great Keppel Island resort and marina project received federal government approval earlier this week.
Great Keppel Island
WATG and Greg Norman Golf Course Design collaborated on the designs for the GKI Revitalisation Plan (under developer Tower Holdings) which is likely to include a new 250 room low-rise hotel at Fisherman’s Beach including restaurants, conference rooms, day spa and a range of recreation activities, a golf course, accommodation facilities, airstrip and importantly for the boating, sailing and marine industry, a marina precinct comprising 250 berth marina, a ferry terminal, barge ramp, retail shops, café’s, restaurants and Research Centre.
GKI Marina plan
Also central to the GKI Revitalisation Plan will be 575 hectares of Environmental Protection Area and a significant commitment to the use of renewable energy.
GKI is aiming to be Australia’s first carbon positive island resort through the installation of over 24,000 solar panels on the rooftops of the tourism accommodation. In total the solar panels will generate over 12,400 megawatt hours of clean renewable energy each year. The Resort will therefore generate more green power than it can use, allowing additional energy to be fed back to the mainland through a submarine cable. Through this activity, additional green energy will be fed back into the Central Queensland grid.
Its beaches and boating assets previously overshadowed by a reputation as the party island - with the branding 'Get Wrecked on Great Keppel', the new facilities, marina precinct and island development will be a boon for yachties in the region, or heading north to The Whitsundays.
Great Keppel Island is about 8.5nm from Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon, and makes up part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island is surrounded by 27 km of beaches.
More at www.gkiresort.com.au