Our Capricorn Coast social getaway just got even better!

(Photo credit: Emu Park, Funtastic Cruises, Capricorn Caves)

Did you know Starts at 60 holds regular social holidays all across Australia? 

These dedicated over-60 groups are designed especially for Aussie Boomers looking for an easy, relaxed way to explore more of their own backyard — and make some like-minded new friends along the way.

Far and away, the most popular trip in recent years has been our regular Yeppoon & Capricorn Coast roundtrip from Brisbane, featuring:

  • A return Tilt Train journey to Rockhampton,
  • Five nights of beachside accommodation in Yeppoon at Bayview Towers, and
  • A hugely varied lineup of daily activities.

This trip has more than a dozen departures across the year — many selling well in advance — and the itinerary keeps getting bigger and better.

We spoke to Simon Frost, General Manager at Bayview Towers, about what you can expect on this holiday.

Simon is among the most passionate people you’ll ever meet when it comes to the Capricorn region. Since he and his wife started running the motel six months ago, he’s taken an already popular getaway to an amazing new level, serving as friendly host and tour guide each step of the way.

To make it even more special, he’s helped us put together a special one-off “VIP” version of this popular itinerary, departing this October — which expands the much-loved existing itinerary with added experiences, more in-depth exploration, and hidden gems hand-picked by a proud  local who knows the region inside out. 

Read on for a preview of what to expect…

Meet your fellow travellers at Roma Street Station (Photo: Travel at 60)

Day one

Setting off from Brisbane, you’ll have a day of comfortable Tilt Train travel to get to know your fellow over-60 travellers. (For guests on the October VIP departure, you’ll get to enjoy Business Class seating with a range of added perks.) 

You’ll be met at Rockhampton Station by a friendly Bayview representative and taken to your accommodation in Yeppoon, where you can expect the warmest of welcomes.

“You’ll arrive to a lovely platter and a bottle of wine up in your room,” says Simon, “so your trip will be off to a really good start.”

The poignant memorial walk commemorates our ANZACs with unique art installations. (Photo: Emu Parks)

Day two

“On the first morning we do a nice home-cooked breakfast,” says Simon. “We’ll introduce you to Anne, who hosts the restaurant, and then we’ll set off on a tour of Yeppoon so you can get to know the area.”

You’ll start with a trip to the famous “Singing Ship”. This 12-metre high monument makes a unique whistling sound as the wind blows.

“This is a real highlight for a lot of guests,” says Simon. “The cameras always come out here.”

This is followed by the Emu Parks “Centenary of ANZAC” memorial walk: a poignant and reflective experience along a scenic coastal boardwalk, featuring beautiful art pieces and installations that bring the past to vivid life.

“On Monday night we have dinner at the restaurant by Yeppoon’s most famous chef — yours truly — and we put on a nice spread.”

Added experiences in the October VIP departure:

“We’ll go to Shell World. It has a display of more than 20,000 shells, which is just spectacular. We’ll go down to the Yeppoon Lagoon, which is an absolutely spectacular $18 million pool right on the ocean.”

This is followed by a trip to Wreck Point, an impressive lookout marking the spot the missing Selina mysteriously washed ashore in 1948 without a crew, mast or sails.

“We’ll go to the crocodile farm , where we’ll have a unique lunch with the crocodiles for something a little bit different. They’ll take us behind the scenes — not just the normal tour most tourists get, but a private look behind the scenes at how they care for the crocodiles, how they breed them, what they do with the leather… a really special day.”

For dinner that night, you’ll be treated to one of the finest dining experiences in town: a newly launched restaurant at heritage-listed Yeppoon Railway Station, which has been renovated into a thriving town hub. “It’s just a sensational meal… it will blow your socks off.”

Guests on the October VIP departure can enjoy a broader, more personal journey across the Keppel Archipelago (Photo: Funtastic Cruises)

Day three

“On Tuesday we go to Great Keppel Island,” says Simon. “We know it’s a place on a lot of people’s bucket lists.”

“We’ll spend full day there. It’s wonderful over there, and I’d say probably a highlight for many guests.”

“That night we’ll go to Footlights,  which is a local theatre company. They’re always great fun and good for a laugh. They’ve been running for about 40 years, so they know what they’re doing!”

Added experiences in the October VIP departure:

This VIP version of the Great Keppel Island trip isn’t just a ferry to the island, but a full-blown exploration of the broader region aboard a purpose-built boat, the Funtastic. There are 18 islands among the Keppels, and this will be a wonderful opportunity to see the less-visited areas.

“It’s a beautiful 30-seat boat, and it will just be our group that day — no one else — with the tour guide, the captain and myself. We’ll have all the equipment you need: all the snorkelling gear, underwater photography gear, everything you need to make it a special day.

“We’ll go right around the back of Great Keppel Island, which not many people get to see, and we’re going to Monkey Island, which is just the most spectacular coral reef. You can literally put your hand in the water from the boat and you’ll have a tropical fish swimming around — it’s just amazing.”

“You might recall Pumpkin Island, which was once known as XXXX Island… We’ll also go to Mile Island, as well as a famous diving site Man and Wife, which is a little further out.  It’ll be a real adventure day.”

The Cathedral Caves — an extra destination on our October VIP departure — have to be seen to be believed. (Photo: Capricorn Caves)

Day four

“We spend Wednesday in Rockhampton, and it’s my personal favourite day. The museum at Archer Park Rail Station is something guests tend to find pretty fascinating. Yesterday we were lucky enough to visit when they had the steam train running, so we got to enjoy a ride.”

Other highlights include the Rockhampton Zoo and Botanical Gardens, plus many wonderful opportunities to explore the the city’s beautiful heritage architecture.

Added experiences in the October VIP departure:

The Capricorn Caves are among the region’s best kept secrets, says Simon. “I don’t want to say too much, because there are some nice surprises when you get there.”

“Our tour guide will take us on a 45-minute walk through the caves. It’s all very safe and comfortable — there’s no crouching over, no narrow pathways.

“They’ll tell us all about the history of the caves, they’ll take us into ‘The Cathedral’. It’s basically a church-type setup, and in fact a lot of people get married there. They even have a famous opera in the caves twice a year“

And while we’re in there they do something spectacular which I don’t want to give away. It’s the most amazing experience that you’ll ever have in a cave. It’s just terrific and will leave you feeling really tingly and happy — but I’m not definitely not going to spoil it.”

To cap the day off, October VIP guests will enjoy an evening of games and trivia with complimentary drinks and live entertainment from renowned local singer Ken Jones.

Byfield Rainforest and National Park will ensure you end the experience on a beautiful note. (Photo: Visit Capricorn Coast)

Day five

On Thursday the group heads north to Byfield National Park. This rich, fertile rainforest is home to the rare Byfield Fern which can only be found in this region. You’ll also enjoy a leisurely boat tour along Waterpark Creek and a visit to the Waterpark Farm tea tree plantation.

“For our finale we end up at the Byfield General Store, which is a shop in the middle of nowhere. They have the most beautiful food, lovely service and real ambience.”

“A lot of people tell me the Byfield day is their favourite.”

Day six

After a light breakfast you’ll board the Tilt Train back to Brisbane, returning home with a great group of newfound friends.

Keen to join the fun? Phone Travel at 60 on 1300 414 198 for a quote (for the cost of a local call anywhere within Australia), or choose a holiday below to learn more: