Before flying out to Keswick Island we spent a couple of days in Mackay, where we met up with Ben and the crew when they sailed in from Percy Island. We were staying in the Mackay Marina Hotel where our room had a magnificent view overlooking the marina and out to the offshore islands. Shane Bowman the manager of the hotel arranged a welcome party for us all, and we enjoyed some warm hospitality as well as delicious oysters, soft shell crabs and other tasty nibbles accompanied by chilled white wine!
Shane is the proud owner of a 1928 Dodge vintage car, which at some stage had been used as a hearse, but has now been converted back to it’s former glory. He took us for a ride in ‘Dodgee’ and with the Queensland flag on the front we felt like royalty!!
The weather for our flight over to Keswick Island was just perfect, we met Glenn from Island Air at Mackay Airport, and we were soon airbourne for our 15 minute flight, keeping a look out for Ben in his kayak and the Sunrise yacht as they raced below us on the water while we flew overhead.
Our hosts at the Keswick Island Guesthouse, Lyn and Brian, welcomed us as we arrived and took us in golf buggies, the eco-friendly transport on the island, to their beautiful house where we stayed for a couple of nights. The house has the most breathtaking views from the deck overlooking the Coral Sea and the neighbouring islands, and the guest bedrooms, each with kingsize bed and en-suite bathroom, enjoy the same beautiful vista.
A narrow strip of water, Egremont Passage, separates Keswick from St Bees Island, where around 200 healthy koalas live within the protected National Park. We saw hundreds of beautiful butterflies and dragonflies flying in the sunshine and enjoyed some delicious honey for breakfast produced by the colonies of bees that live on Keswick Island.
Lyn and Brian have a great knowledge of the island and told us about the beaches and the walks we could take for great panoramic views and the best places to swim in the sheltered bays around the island. Lyn is an excellent cook and the meals she prepared for us all were out of this world especially the lime, lemon and orange cake we had for dessert!
It may only be a short plane ride away from the mainland, but we certainly found it a place of peace and tranquility.