Tucked away between Gladstone and Bundaberg on the Queensland Discovery Coast, is the fabulous twin towns of Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770.
Rich in aquatic wildlife and unspoiled natural beauty, both towns boast one of the most relaxed and quiet lifestyles equal to anywhere along the Queensland coast.
If your looking for a quiet holiday destination on the Queensland Discovery Coast, you must consider stopping at either The Town of 1770 or Agnes Waters.
Both towns are small enough to forget about your cares, yet have enough services, shops, restaurants and accommodation to suit everyone’s individual needs. Just 5 hours north of Brisbane, the Town of 1770 and Agnes waters is an aquatic wonderland of fabulous seaside fun and a unique holiday destination.
Locals around the Town of 1770 are a relaxed, laid back bunch of people, and it’s easy to become just like the locals as you kick off the shoes, put on the shorts and enjoy fabulous clean beaches, great fishing spots and easy way of life.
There are many things to do in the area from fishing, surfing, nature tours, beach activities, walks, an environmental tour aboard the unique craft LARK, or the famous Lady Musgrave Island cruise aboard the Spirit of 1770. Here at funtours we are going to introduce you to just a few of the great activities in and around the Town of 1770 – Agnes Waters.
If you are after accommodation there are many choices to suit individual needs. From beachside caravan parks, backpacker accommodation, motels to superb luxury apartments. All accommodation is just minutes to shops and beaches, at very reasonable rates.
Heritage Headland is a popular place for easy bush walks, with sweeping panoramic views of the Coral Sea on one side and Bustard Bay on the other. Take a walk to Wreck Point, just south of Agnes Waters, and marvel at the view, with rugged rocks just waiting to snare an unfortunate ship. Sit awhile and enjoy the scenery, watch terns diving for a meal or listen to the peaceful rhythm of breaking waves.
The Town of 1770 is famous as the area Captain James Cook made his second landing along the east coast of Australia, on May 24, 1770. Cook, in the company of Joseph Banks and DR Solander, landed at Round Hill and after shooting a large bird, named the area Bustard Bay and Bustard Head.
Regarded as the birthplace of Queensland, the historical significance of the area is easily lost in the glorious beauty of the region. Quietly secluded from mainstream traffic, the Town of 1770 was officially named as such in 1932, yet it wasn’t until 1973 that the first shop opened for business in the town.
Today the Discovery Coast, the Town of 1770 and Agnes Waters are popular holiday destinations with fast growing fame. As the northern most surfing beach in Australia, with safe waters for swimming, Agnes Waters has become a Mecca for those seeking the perfect wave.
The calm waters around 1770 are ideal shelter for large vessels used to make cruises to the Great Barrier Reef, in particular Lady Musgrave Island, sourrounded by a coral quay on the southern end of the Barrier Reef.
There are many shops, 2 supermarkets, fish and chip stores, Thai restaurants, pizza shops and you must have a meal at the Manna Cafe on the wharf at 1770. Food shouldn’t taste so good! Other sports include golf and bowls, there is an amazing art gallery and you must visit Agnes Waters Museum, with memorabillia of James Cook’s visit in 1770.
Don’t be put off by the remoteness or smallness of either town. Place Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770 high on your list of must see destinations.
Things to do in the Town of 1770
Spirit of 1770 Lady Musgrave Island Cruise
Hop on board the luxurious catamaran Spirit of 1770 for a fabulous cruise to the Great Barrier Reef and Lady Musgrave Island. An uninhabited island paradise awaits surrounded by a tropical coral cay within Capricornia Cays National Park.
This is an awesome day trip to the most southern coral quay on the Great Barrier Reef. Spirit of 1770 captain and crew will give you an enjoyable day cruising from the Town of 1770 to Lady Musgrave island, for snorkeling, coral viewing and guided tour of the island.
Just 90 minutes cruising from the Town of 1770 lies the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and a coral cay paradise called Lady Musgrave Island. Each day, weather permitting, the luxurious, fast catamaran, Spirit of 1770 takes passengers on one of the best day cruises to the Great Barrier Reef and moors within the calm waters of this picturesque coral cay.
Having a narrow deep-water entrance into the coral cay, enables small vessels to enter or leave the cay at any time of the tide, making this ideal for cruise vessels such as the Spirit of 1770.
Spirit of 1770 departs for Lady Musgrave Island at 8.00am and returns around 5.30pm. Included with the cruise is morning and afternoon teas, a delicious, all you can eat, buffet luncheon and many water sports and activities. The crew actually spoils you with scones, jam and cream for afternoon tea. This is a cruise that will be remembered forever.
The Spirit of 1770 ties up to Reef Sanctuary, a floating pontoon with an underwater viewing chamber. There are an unbelievable number of fish to be seen from the underwater viewing chamber and one could spend hours watching the fabulous fish show. From the Reef Sanctuary pontoon, day guests can snorkel over nearby reefs, enjoy glass bottom coral viewing, feed fish and participate in other water activities with most equipment supplied.
One of the highlights of the day cruise is a guided tour of the island, conducted by a very helpful and informative crew member who truly enjoys her work and the various flora and fauna on Lady Musgrave Island. The island is uninhabited and primarily covered by Pisonia Grandis rainforest, She-Oak and Pandanus palms. Surrounded by the largest navigable coral lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef, the waters are crystal clear, ideal for snorkeling and coral viewing.
In season there are thousands of nesting birds, White-capped Noddy Terns, Bridled Terns, Black-naped Terns and Silver Gulls are in abundance at breeding times, as are Eastern Reef Egret, Pied Oyster catchers and Sooty Oyster catchers all year round. There are many turtles seen during glass bottom boat tours over the coral reefs within the cay, and Lady Musgrave Island is home for up to 200 nesting female green and loggerhead turtles from late October to February.
This cruise can be rough at times, as you do travel 35 nautical miles from the Town of 1770 to Lady Musgave Island. We made this cruise recently and the sea was quite rough with many passengers becoming sea sick.
Preparing for any voyage is essential and you can purchase motion sickness tablets from the cruise office before departure. We also strongly suggest that you take one or two pills and continually suck on peppermints or lollypops which helps to ward off sea sickness.
The crew are extremely couteous and helpful throughout the day. They are dedicated to your service and among the best we have every had the pleasure to meet. We have no hesitation in recommending the Spirit of 1770 Lady Musgrave Cruise to all.
There are optional scuba diving and fishing tours, which are additional and must be pre-booked.
Lark Nature Tours Town of 1770
Fabulous informative fun awaits visitors to the picturesque Town of 1770 with LARC Tours. Full day tour or shorter evening tours are available to see the natural beauty and wildlife of Bustard Bay and Eurimbula National Park.
Come to the Town of 1770 and make sure you experience the LARC Tour yourself. LARC Tours are certainly unique and definitely fun. You travel in a funny looking amphibious vehicle and are entertained and informed by the best nature tour guide in the area.
This tour is a must do activity.
A LARC is a rather odd looking vehicle that seems to be home on either land or water, it is a cross between a large four wheel drive bus and a boat. The pink Larcs of the Town of 1770 are ex U.S. Army amphibious vehicles technically called a Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo Vessel, hence the shortened name LARC.
The Larc tour is certainly unique, as in this remarkable vehicle you are able to travel along the coast line or in the water, crossing several tidal creeks, to see some country rarely seen by others. The Larc takes you along the shores of Eurimbula National Park, then engages 4WD to climb the steep slope to Bustard Head Lighthouse, with the most spectacular views of the Coral Sea and Bustard Bay.
Built in 1868, the light station was manned for over 100 years. Demanned in 1986, the Bustard Head Lighthouse was abandoned and was slowly deteriorating due to the elements and vandalism. Luckily the Bustard Head Lighthouse Association, a nonprofit community group, applied to lease the area in 2002 and are restoring the lighthouse and outbuildings for tourism and historical value.
You will have a guided tour of the lighthouse keepers cottage, which has been transformed into a museum and some time to reflect on the harshness of being a lighthouse keeper as you visit the light station graveyard. An additional $5.00 charge is applied to all Larc Tours, which is passed directly to the Bustard Head Lighthouse Association to pay for ongoing restoration work. There is also a small additional charge which pays for entry to the National Park levied by the Qld Parks & Wildlife Service.
Educational and informative, the guides have first hand knowledgeable of the area and the environmental aspects of the Eurimbula National Park.
Joseph Banks, who visited the area with Captain Cook in 1770, remarked about the change in vegetation and landform that is truly unique in Central Queensland. By the way, the LARCS are actually named after Sir Joseph Banks and Dr Solander, two remarkable botanists who traveled with Cook’s Endeavour along the Australian east coast.
Now for the fun part of the Larc Tour. You have the option of trying your hand at sandboarding.
Middle Island is the site of a steep and spectacular sand dune which is ideal for some fun. At high tide you can sandboard down the dune and skim across the water. If you are a little old for this fun, don’t worry, grab your camera and enjoy the scenery, perhaps get a few video clips for Funniest Home Videos, or just sit back and take in the fabulous views of this spectacular region.
You will love a Larc Tour which includes morning tea and picnic lunch. Keep your eye out for kangaroos, sea eagles, turtles and other aquatic creatures. More information can be found on the Larc website or at the Town of 1770 Marina.
Nature Walks around the Town of 1770
Just through the Town of 1770 is a wonderful natural area of grassy hillocks, spectacular cliff drops and fabulous sea views called Joseph Banks Conservation Park. The park has several features that make the area more than a must see place while in the Town of 1770 – Agnes Waters region, plus the nature walk is one of the easiest and finest you can find along the coast.
To get to Joseph Banks Conservation Park, travel through the Town of 1770, past the marina and 1770 caravan park, up the hill and turn left at the T-junction , then follow the road the short distance to the carpark. From the carpark you can follow the walking tracks that take you to fenced lookouts, with the middle track taking you out to the point of Round Hill. The views are spectacular and the walk is an easy 350 meters.
There is a rough track from the carpark down to a fabulous small bay, ideal for fishing or great photos. It is well worth the effort but the walk up can leave the unfit a little puffed. There is a rock cairn dedicated to Captain Cook and the famous botanist Sir Joseph Banks, who made the second landing on the east coast of Australia near this point during their voyage in 1770.
Just behind the fenced weather station, a monument has been erected to the shipwreck memory of the Countess Russell, a 96 tonne sailing vessel which ran aground at Wreck Point in 1873. The Countess Russell’s anchor has been mounted on a slab of concrete as a lasting reminder of the difficulties shipping had along the rugged coastline. There are fabulous views over the Coral Sea past the monument, but please be careful, as the cliffs are steep and unfenced. Do not venture too close to the edges as danger awaits those who do not heed safety regulations.
The man-made boardwalk along the edge of the inlet, near the 1770 caravan park, is a fabulous place to see some amazing estuary wildlife, mangroves and birds. Good fishing can be experienced along the foreshore and the park is a pleasant spot for a picnic or BBQ.
Agnes Waters has a fabulous beach that stretches some 5 kms along the shore line. Beach walks along this stretch are very popular, while you enjoy a stroll along this pristine beach, keep an eye out for many species of terns, sea eagles and turtles.
Touted as the most northern surf beach along the east coast, Agnes Waters town beach has developed a cult following among surfers of all ages. Before a sealed road opened up the area to tourists, dedicated surfers made the sometimes heartbreaking journey over atrocious roads to experience the secluded beach conditions.
They were real legends, and fittingly there are now 2 surfing competitions held at Agnes Waters, the Cult, Reef 2 Beach Women’s Surfest, held in February, and the wildly popular Reef 2 Beach Longboard Classic held in March, that can be directly contributed to those intrepid legends of yesteryear.
There are many quiet areas around the Town of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Waters where you can be close to nature. Enjoy your moments in the area and tell everyone you can about the wonderful natural beauty of this secluded holiday paradise.