I’m almost loathe to tell you about this place – in case you come and visit…but then again, I can’t not tell you about it – it truly is an absolute gem. Imagine the coastal town of your childhood: quiet streets, friendly locals, holiday homes, beachfront van park, fabulous beach… Imagine that and you have Agnes Water.
Taking its name from a pastoral holding which had, in turn, been named after the coastal schooner Agnes, which was lost at sea in the area, the town of Agnes Water is relatively new.
The Mango Tree Motel was, in 1982, the first commercial building in town. There were six rooms and a shop and the owner had to travel twice a week (down a mostly dirt road) to Bundaberg to pick up supplies. According the the Discovery Trail spiel he also had to bring back tonnes of ice as the town didn’t have power connected until 1987.
Until the telephones were connected in 1986 guests wanting to make a booking at the motel would need to ring the post office in 1770 and have the message relayed. True story.
In any case, it wasn’t until the 1990’s when the roads were sealed that the town took off. Even now, being about 80kms off the Bruce Highway, it’s still a bit off the beaten track – and that’s part of it’s charm.
We walked the beach each morning and on both occasions had it almost to ourselves – aside, that is, from the occasional dog walker and kangaroo.
The beach stretches about 6kms, all the way to the headland at 1770, and I think I read somewhere that this beach is the last surf beach before the Great Barrier Reef – not that the surf was up while we were there – which would make it the most northerly beach on the East Coast.
The dunes are worth a look, and apparently during turtle nesting season you have to keep an eye out for nesting mothers.
Where Agnes Water is quite young, 1770, or the Town of 1770, or Seventeen Seventy, was the second place in Australia that Captain Cook set foot on back in, you guessed it, 1770. There’s even a monument to mark the spot.
There’s also a fabulous walk around the headland track with views that made me stop constantly for photos.
Just check out the colour of the water #nofilters.
You can, if you want, drive to the Headland where there are another couple of short walks that are worth doing.
There is a hotel and cafe at 1770 and day tours leave from here for Lady Musgrave Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Given that we only had a short time in the area, though, we chose to give that a miss…this time…and spent our time wandering. Next time…
Where we stayed
While this is a caravan park it also has beach-side cabins, luxury beach cabins, and clamping tents. And it’s all beachfront.
We stayed in a Treetops Safari Tent and with a queen-bed, ensuite bathroom, deck and some basic cooking facilities (a hotplate and a mini-barbecue) it was super comfortable – and we could see the ocean.
We could also hear the ocean which, surprisingly, was all we did hear at night.
There’s a cafe on-site that’s open for breakfast and lunch (7am-4pm)
and the beach itself (patrolled) is just a few steps away.
Where we ate
Agnes Water has a number of cafes and restaurants (just check out Trip Advisor) but we ate a few minutes walk away at Codie’s Place. It’s got a great beach-side coast-town vibe to it – and the food is pretty good too.
Agnes Water is located about 400 kms north of where we are on the Sunshine Coast, so approximately 5 hours north of Brisbane, 120km north of Bundaberg and 175km south of Gladstone. The town of 1770 is just a few kms north of Agnes Water.
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