1770 and Agnes Water: Untouched Coastal Beauty

Coasting gently down into the main cluster of shops in Agnes Water is the main road that connects the town to Bruce Highway, which runs up much of the Australian East Coast. The fact that both the town of Agnes Water and 1770 (also referred to as Seventeen Seventy) don’t have a McDonalds between them is a good indicator of how small these two places are. The unimposing nature of the two settlements allows the breath taking beauty of this place to dominate the scenery and it isn’t surprising that it’s popular on the backpacking trail, especially considering the history attached to the place.

image source: http://www.discovery-campervans.com.au/catalogue/article_agneswatersandthetownof1770_296.php

This was Cook’s first landing in Queensland over 200 years ago, and (luckily for us) it remains much as he would have seen it. What is surprising is that many places where settlers arrived in Australia usually involved them promptly setting up camp and eventually development would get underway. How Agnes Water and 1770 escaped this is puzzling as they boast coastal beauty that even in Australian terms is pretty impressive. The vast coastal area is stunningly picturesque, with undulating bays, rocky formations, lush vegetation and lively bird life. The typical call of the Cuckoo doesn’t let you forget that you’re in Australia, and the odd runaround Possum is a regular sight.

Located on the ‘Discovery Coast,’ 1770 is a significant location in Australian history, and combined with its near perfect temperature and natural surroundings it is puzzling how you are not enveloped by throngs of tourist crowds when you visit here. It is often referred to as the east coast’s best kept secret, even though it is sandwiched between Frazer Island and the Whitsundays, two well-known tourist locations in Australia. As flights to Australia are incredibly long for many visitors, trips that incorporate several destinations are popular and these two towns, in close proximity, are a great addition to any itinerary. There are facilities for camping and hostels in the area, with Greyhound Australia serving the towns making it easy to factor into any holiday that may be visiting nearby tourist attractions.

Agnes Water is significant as the last most Northerly point where you can surf in Eastern Australia. As a sport so central to Australian character, coming here to learn to surf is a major reason for visiting. Learning to surf in Australia can be difficult as you have to fight for space amongst crowded waves of occasionally unfriendly locals, but the vast expanse of often deserted beach at Agnes Water is a brilliant learning ground. There’s also a surf school here so if you’re looking to splash out on a few lessons to start perfecting your technique then you can do. For those not looking to surf, the beach at Agnes Water is incredibly long and boasts golden sand with a backdrop of a national park. This is great for extended beach strolls or simply taking in a view that isn’t blighted by urban development.

From Agnes Water, Captain Cook Drive leads round to 1770. This is the spot where Captain Cook first landed, naming the bay Bustard Bay. The area is to this day dominated by untouched vegetation, with a stunning creek and estuary as well as four nearby national parks. These parks offer the opportunity to walk and camp or for the more adventurous you can also go on 4wd tours of the parks. If you’re keen on taking life at a slower pace, then the marina is a relaxing place as are the many coves around Round Hill Head that you can explore.

Both Agnes Water and 1770 offer a choice of restaurants catering to the area’s visitors, and there’s also a general store if you need to stock up on anything. As well as surfing, exploring and lazing about on the magnificent beaches, the area is known for its good fishing and range of organized trips. These include the already mentioned 4wd tours of the national parks, but there are also excursions to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Lady Musgrave Island and an amphibious vehicle that explores the shore and creeks.

Author Bio: Matt has seen much of the East Coast of Australia on an extended road trip. He enjoys blogging about his adventures and is planning his Maldives holidays for this summer.