The hidden secrets of CQ's treasure island
IT'S only six hectacres in size, but this tiny island packs a big punch when it comes to luring tourists.
Just a few years after ending its era as XXXX Island, Pumpkin Island is one of three outstanding local operators competing against the state's best in this year's annual Queensland Tourism Awards.
Pumpkin Island Manager Laureth Rumble said about 2000 guests a year stay at the island which is vying for the Unique Accommodation title at this year's awards.
Pumpkin Island offers eco-friendly accommodation for up to 34 guest guests in seven beach cottages and bungalows, which are powered by the wind and sun.
"Happy guests and providing an authentic island experience is our highest priority," Ms Rumble said.
"There is so much to do on this little island treasure. The wildlife will delight you - see dolphins, turtles and whales in season.
"Fish the rich waters, snorkel or experience the coral reefs from a glass bottom kayak or stand up paddle board, harvest your own oysters off the rocks or simply wander the secluded beaches."
Ms Rumble said the island offered a unique opportunity to unplug from the daily hustle and bustle of life, where even doing nothing was considered an activity.
Pumpkin Island, which is nestled in the Southern Great Barrier Reef 14 kilometres off the coast of Yeppoon, has operated as a small retreat since 1964 including it's brief foray as XXXX Island.
Other award nominees from the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast regions include the Empire Apartment Hotel, Rockhampton and The Waterline Restaurant, Keppel Bay Marina.
There are more than 160 nominations in this year's awards, which are presented by Queensland Airports Limited in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland.
Gold, Silver and Bronze winners from the 28 Queensland Tourism Awards categories, along with the new RACQ People's Choice Award, will be announced on Friday, November 10 at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
QTIC Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said the 33rd Queensland Tourism Awards had attracted an outstanding array of tourism operators across all award categories, which include tour and transport, ecotourism, adventure tourism, food tourism, accommodation and festival and events.