Castaway on Keswick Island // The Whitsundays (QLD)


  • A true castaway experience in Australia
  • Hunt, gather, cook
  • Kayaking, SUP, snorkelling, hiking

With no rowdy tourists, crowds, retail stores, chain motels, bustling restaurants or bars, this little-known slice of paradise tucked away in the southern Whitsundays made us feel like castaways on an episode of Survivor.

Watching the reality TV show accentuates just how much we all want to have the raw experience of being a castaway. But let’s be honest, many urbanites cringe at the thought of having no hot water, no shelter and having to start a fire with two sticks without the guidance from YouTube and Google because of no phone reception is unimaginable.

Therefore, with the choice of a villa/studios, glamping or plain ol’ camping, access to hot showers (although sometimes having to boil your own water), the option to hire a golf buggy and having to bring absolutely everything you want to tantalise your tastes bud with, unless hunting for fish is your forte, Keswick Island is an island where the castaway experience can be as raw or as luxurious as you please.

6 “Castaway” experiences on Keswick Island

1) Fly with Island Air
Although only 15 minutes from Mackay, the exhilarating scenic flight will feel like you have landed in an isolated part of the world.

2) Beachcomb
It is not hard to understand why the island is affectionately called ‘The Treasured Island’. There is a lot of untouched natural beauty to be discovered, with plenty of bays and the reef becoming completely exposed during low tide.

3) Hunt & Gather
Being surrounded by reef, the island is a sea-foodie’s paradise. Spearfishing and line fishing is permitted in most areas surrounding the island and with no shortage of coral trout, parrot fish and other tasty reef fish, lunch and dinner will be sorted for days. You may even get lucky and score an entrée of fresh oysters while beachcombing the bays.

4) Kayak & SUP
Step up the hunt and gather game and venture out further in to the crystal-clear waters or just enjoy the thrilling paddle. Watch the fish, turtles and the occasional curious reef shark swim around underneath you.

5) Bushwalk
Wind through tropical vegetation and share the paths with the resident monitors while looking out over the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Beat the heat of the North Queensland sun and go for a sunset or sunrise walk.

6) Snorkel
The Whitsunday Islands are defined by the water around them. Keswick Island’s 50 shades of blue are bound to seduce you within seconds. Snorkelling at mid-tide is so overwhelming. After seeing the reef completely exposed and looking like a war zone, the abundance of marine life and coral comes to life and finding (not eating) Nemo will become a daily ritual.

So, with all the above in mind, what will you choose? The raw castaway experience or the luxurious castaway experience on Keswick Island?

Essential Gear Required

  • Unless you are opting for the raw experience, you must bring ALL food
  • Snorkels and masks
  • Spearfishing gear
  • Swimwear (optional) unlikely you will share the swimming spot with someone else
  • If camping, your own camping gear
  • A hat and sun cream! Cannot reinforce this enough, that NQ sun is ridic!!

How to get there

Either by boat or plane. Visit for further information. HIGHLY recommend the scenic flight with Island Air.