Sail up to the Southern Great Barrier Reef

Lahana - Club Marine Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race
Suellen Hurling
The Capricorn region is gearing up to host the next event on Queensland’s Season of Sailing calendar, giving holidaymakers a great excuse to head north.

Now in its fifth year, the Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race gets underway on Friday, August 5 – and you don’t need to be a serious sailor to be part of the fun.


Join the friendly locals to watch the racing yachts dock. A fleet of up to 50 yachts are expected to , cruise along the shorelines of Fraser Island before crossing the Tropic of Capricorn bound for Keppel Bay Marina at Rosslyn Bay.

This fabulous winter racing event is the perfect excuse to gather a crew to warm up – and chill out in the Capricorn region.

This beautiful region has much to offer – from the pristine reef of the Southern Great Barrier Reef to the peaceful Keppel Group of islands, easily access to the Outback and the best steak you’ll ever eat in Rockhampton, Australia’s beef capital.

Choose from a range of accommodation including beachfront apartments at nearby beachside communities along the Capricorn Coast, motels, family-friendly resorts and caravan parks and even a heritage boutique hotel in Rockhampton complete with its own 1938 Rolls Royce for stylish transfers!

With sailing in the spotlight, don’t miss the chance to get out and about on the warm tropical waters. From Keppel Bay Marina, there’s a range of options including a day sail on Grace, or getting a group of family and friends together for a fishing charter.

If you choose the day sail on Grace, you’re assured of a memorable day on the water. You’ll sail to one of the many beautiful beaches in Keppel Bay, where the boat anchors so guests can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, beach combing, kayaking and fishing. A buffet lunch, morning and afternoon tea is included, and cost is $115 per adult and $75 per child (under 16 years). Sunset cruises are also available, starting from $55 per person.

If you’re keen on fishing, get a group together for a day out with Keppeluna Fishin Mission, also based at the Keppel Bay Marina. The boat will visit favourite locals’ fishing spots, with the opportunity to snorkel, swim and paddle glass bottom kayaks. A full day of fishing for up to 10 people, including gourmet barbecue lunch costs from $2,490 plus $5 per person reef tax. For more information on both tours, visit www.keppelbaymarina.com.au

Rockhampton is also home to the recently-opened Padi dive operation, Mantaray Dive Centre. With more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, owners David and Michelle are well-equipped to show diving enthusiasts some superb diving sites in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. The centre offers Padi courses from beginner through to professional levels. Mantaray’s facilities include a custom-built dive boat and a fully-equipped retail store and education centre Explore the reef day trips cost from $90 (divers) and $80 (snorkelers). Visit www.mantaraydivecentre.com.au

So whether you enjoy a sunset sail cruise and accommodation at a beachfront resort or want to gather some friends together for a tropical break, Queensland’s Season of Sailing is the perfect time to discover Capricorn’s sailing playground.

Visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au/sailing and www.brisbanetokeppel.com.au

Getting There
The Capricorn region is accessed via Rockhampton. Rockhampton is an eight hour drive north of Brisbane. Direct flights are available to Rockhampton from Brisbane (Qantas, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways) and Sydney and Townsville (Virgin Blue and Qantas) with connections from other major cities.

2011 Queensland’s Season of Sailing events (still to be conducted):
Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race: August 5-8
Airlie Beach Race Week: August 12-18
Hamilton Island Race Week: August 19-27
Magnetic Island Race Week: September 1-6

2012 Events already being planned:
Sail Paradise Gold Coast: Jan 7 – 12
Brisbane to Gladstone: April 6-8
Etchells Australasian Winter Championships (Sunshine Coast): June 7-10

For media information and images please contact:
Susan Fuller, (07) 3303 9966, Mobile 0411 463 693
Email: susan.fuller@synergypr.net.au