Though little more than a few scattered properties nowadays, the township of Joskeleigh has a rich and special place in the history of Central Queensland.
First settled in the 1860’s, the town would later become a haven and home for South Pacific Islanders who fell victim to the sugar slave-trade of the late nineteenth century.
Any attempts by me to do justice to Joskeleigh’s past on this page would be sadly insufficient, but this article on the history of the Yeppoon Sugar Company will give you a good insight.
The Joskeleigh Museum, housed in the old primary school, is well worth a visit.
I had the pleasure of living in Joskeleigh and Keppel Sands for about ten years, and raised my young family there. Many of our neighbours were direct descendants of those early residents, and very friendly and welcoming people.
Joskeleigh is 5kms south of Keppel Sands and 42kms from Rockhampton and 46kms from Yeppoon. Joskeleigh Road branches off Keppel Sands Road, which in turn branches off Emu Park-Rockhampton Road at Tungamull. Coming from Yeppoon-Rockhampton Road, you can go via Cawarral which brings you at the Tungamull intersection.
There is no official road to Long Beach. There used to be a very boggy track through the mud flats at Struber’s Creek, but I would suggest you seek local knowledge either at the museum or Keppel Sands Hotel before attempting it. Countless vehicles have been lost there over the years to the fast incoming tide. You have to drive through Struber’s at dead low tide, and even then, it is about half a metre deep with a bed of boggy sand.
Once there however, Long Beach is breathtaking. You have 21kms of pristine beach that stretches all the way to the mouth of the Fitzroy River. The view south goes on forever to Curtis Island and beyond.
Some of the dune areas afford space for a tent. Take everything you need with you as there are no shops or supplies, and make sure that you plan to arrive and leave on the low tide. Once you’re on Long Beach, you can’t get out again until the tide goes down.
At night, King Salmon run in abundance on Long Beach, so take your surf rod – The fishing is excellent.
Photo Gallery: Joskeleigh & Long Beach
If you enjoy this type of article, you can find more on the Central Queensland Places page. Feel free to leave any related comments at the end of this page.
Andrew Thompson, editor | historian