The tiny seaside towns of Agnes Water and Town of 1770 are steadily increasing in popularity with backpackers for their unspoilt beaches and lush green national parks. Captain Cook touched down here in 1770 (hence the name), for the first time in what is now called Queensland. This stakes the area’s claim as the birthplace of Queensland.
Agnes Water is Queensland’s most northerly surf beach and it has some spectacular breaks. Agnes Water also has the three backpackers’ hostels, all of which are good accommodation options. There are a couple of small shopping centres and a good surf shop where you can rent longboards. The Town of 1770, just minutes away, is nothing more than a laid-back coastal settlement good for fishing, boating and cruising to the southern cays of Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot Islands for diving. Overall, this area of the Discovery Coast is just a quiet rural hideaway with little in the way of tourist attractions but tons of charm.
Shop 12, Endeavour Plaza, Agnes Water
Tel (07) 4974 7002
Open 9am-5pm daily
Greyhound (tel 1300 473 946) and Premier Motor Service buses stop at the 1770 turnoff on Fingerboard Road about 30km outside town, however some Greyhound buses also go right into town with a stop opposite Cool Bananas.
Ocean Beach Resort, Captain Cook Drive, Agnes Water
Tel (07) 4974 7099
2 Springs Road, Agnes Water
Tel 1800 227 660
15 Webster Court, Agnes Water
Tel (07) 4902 1770
2694 Round Hill Road, Agnes Water QLD 4677
Tel (07) 4974 7225
There literally are not many places to eat in Agnes Water and Town of 1770.
If you are staying in one of the hostels here, it’s a good idea to make a trip to the Foodworks (Round Hill Road, Agnes Water) or IGA supermarket in Endeavour Plaza (Captain Cook Drive, Agnes Water) to buy supplies for a barbecue with some fellow travellers. There is not much going on in Agnes Water, so eating in will probably be an easy choice.
There is a nice café in the small shopping centre on Captain Cook Drive plus a low-key Thai restaurant. Kahuna’s Italian restaurant (40 Captain Cook Drive, Agnes Water) has a Tuesday night $13 all-you-can-eat dinner special that draws a crowd. For an easy dinner in, go to the butcher in that same shopping centre and ask for the pre-made chicken stir fry.
There are also not many nightspots, but the Agnes Water Tavern (1 Tavern Road, Agnes Water) has cheap pub food, good beer and a relatively lively bar. Otherwise, there is a bottle shop in the main shopping centre.
Many travellers visit 1770 and Agnes Water for its easy access to Lady Musgrave Island, but there are also amphibious LARC trips and cruises to Pancake Creek and Fitzroy Reef Lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef.
1770 Environmental Tours (tel (07) 4974 9422) have a couple of pink amphibious vehicles that they use to run day tours to Eurimbula National Park, Bustard Head Lightstation and Middle Island. Day tours cost $121.50 ($115 plus $6.50 national park charges) and the shorter sunset cruises are $28.
The Reef Jet (tel 1800 177 011) run trips to the relatively accessible Pancake Creek and Fitzroy Reef Lagoon. Both reefs offer excellent snorkelling. Trips to Fitzroy Reef Lagoon go every day except Wednesdays and Pancake Creek day trips run on Wednesdays and when weather conditions prevent travel to the outer reef.