PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with Tourism and Events Queensland to let you in on Queensland's best-kept secrets.

Ever dreamed of hiring out a WHOLE tropical island and filling it with a (fairly large) bunch of only your favourite people, Leonardo Dicaprio-style? Yeah, so has everyone else. In truly shocking news, that dream is actually achievable even if you’re not worth a hefty $245 million and have your face plastered on billboards worldwide.

That dream is alive and well on Pumpkin Island. It’s nestled in the Southern Great Barrier Reef amongst the Keppel Group of islands and you can enjoy the whole place with 34 of your closest mates.

How is this even possible?

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Back in the 60s, the OG owner of the island lost it in a game of poker to Roger and Merle Mason. The couple paid £60, but STILL. I just need you all to know that this island was won in a BET. OK? Good. The Mason’s turned it into a tourist island and sold it to the current owners for $1.3 million in 2003.

Today, the island is one big eco-retreat. They’re committed to minimising their footprint on the unique ecosystem around them. Electricity is provided by wind and solar power, and guests will be drinking filtered rainwater. They even purchase sustainably and use environmentally-friendly cleaning products, plus a whole lot more.

They’ve won several awards for both eco-tourism and tourism in general – so yeah, they know what they’re doing.

What Are The Costs?

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Obviously you’re dying to know the price of renting an ENTIRE ISLAND – it’s not something you see every day, after all.

Whole island rental starts from $2,335 a night, based on two adults per five cottages. Yep, you don’t even have to camp. The island has five modern beach cottages the house four to six people each. You can add a couple of bungalows to those cottages for $3015 a night.

There’s a surcharge of $100 per each additional adult, meaning if you bring the max allowed 34 people, that’s only just over $147 each per night. I’m just saying, I’ve 100% stayed in hotels that cost more than that and I was surrounded by random people instead of nature and beauty.

How Do You Get There?

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Obviously, it’s going to involve a boat. Before that, you’ll want to fly into Rockhampton then catch a bus or airport transfer for the 45-minute drive to Yeppoon.

Once you get there, you’ll want to catch an adorably named Pumpkin Xpress boat over to Pumpkin Island. As always, check the schedule here before you go to make sure all your trips line up. Alternatively, you can organise a private charter with Freedom Fast Cats.

Of course, you could always glam it up and skip the boat for a casual helicopter transfer. Rockhampton Helicopters and Stock-Air Heliworks can make this happen for you.

What Is There To Do?

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Well, first of all, you are in the middle of the world’s largest coral reef –  this bad boi can be seen from space. The Keppel Island area alone is home to dugongs, whales, dolphins, turtles and giant clams – not to mention an endless array of colourful fish and other marine life.

So obviously snorkeling and/or scuba diving needs to be on your itinerary. The resort has snorkelling gear for guests to use, but if you want to go deeper organise a scuba trip with Barry’s Dive.

If you’d prefer to stay on top of the water the resort has free paddle boats, kayaks and SUP boards for guests, or you can hire their completely see-through glass kayak and peep the depths while staying (mostly) dry.

Take the wildlife spotting on land with a walk around the island and even on to Little Pumpkin Island which joins the main Pumpkin at low-tide. There’s plenty of birdlife in the area, including Ospreys (those ones dive-bombing the ocean for food), Sooty and Pied Oyster Catchers (who yes, will be hunting the rocks for oysters), and Beach Stone Curlews.

If you’re after a little adrenaline boost, you can organise a jetski tour to chek out the surrounding islands with Yeppoon Jets. Don’t worry, they’ll come find you on Pumpkin.

Of course, lazing on the beach with a good book the whole time is also 100% a legitimate option. 

What can you eat?

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It’s a completely self-catering island, so that means hitting up the grocery store for some BYO. If planning ahead gives you hives, you can get Waterline Restaurant in Yeppoon to make a bunch of gourmet meals to take across to the island with you. The place has won some tourism and dining awards and all, so you’ll be well fed.

There are plenty of shoreline and deep-sea fishing spots on the island, if you’re in the mood to supplement your grocery haul. Or just casually go harvest your own oyster right of the rock (!!) which seems so delightfully rugged and ‘Bear Grylls‘.

Image: Provided by Tourism And Events Queensland