Why You Should Visit the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water

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It’s the perfect combination of north and south.

The tropical climate of the north of Australia – warm winters and hot summers- but with a rain level more on par with south.

It has stunning beaches, nearby islands and reefs like Far North Queensland, but it has surf – the last place on the Queensland coast to have it.

The Town of 1770 and Agnes Water are a little diversion from the main highway between Brisbane and Cairns so it doesn’t see the high volume of traffic and tourists.

It’s sleepy and quiet and undeveloped. Only a few houses sit on the side of the hills with magnificent views of Round Hill Creek and the well-known stunning sunsets.

The Town of 1770 is one of only three places on the east coast where you can see the sun set over the water.

Sunset at the Town of 1770, Queensland

The Town of 1770 is a protected area so all future building has ceased.

It’s almost in the pristine condition it was in 1770 when Captain Cook first sailed past Round Hill Headland to rest his ship the Endeavour.

The discovery of Australia by Cook is obviously one I know well. But, it’s a hard one to connect to as the shores of Botany Bay are now covered with high rises, large highways and planes flying overhead.

The same with Sydney Harbour. I try to imagine what it must have looked like when the First Fleet arrived to start the penal colony in 1788. It’s a murky visualization as there is far too much concrete now covering the view.

Except when you get to the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water and you explore the nearby beaches and creeks and headlands that Cook and his crew sailed past. Its natural state has been unchanged for thousands of years.

I could imagine the wonder they felt meeting furry animals hopping along the beach guided by their tails, stingrays gliding along the sandy floor of the river, and dolphins guiding the nose of the Endeavour into a safe anchorage.

I could imagine Joseph Banks’ confusion and awe as he came across hundreds of species of plants he’d never seen before: pandanus palms, banksias, Eucalypts, hibiscus flowers, and small forested valleys filled with beautiful blue butterflies.

This is the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water.

The longer I stayed the longer I wanted to stay. There’s a beauty and rawness here that gets under your skin.

It has everything a traveler will need, yet not many venture here.

Now we don’t want to send you there in droves, but we can’t keep this a secret from you. We think you should definitely be pinning it to your Australian Bucket List.

We first heard of it years ago from friends who visited and stayed awhile. They say it’s their favorite place in Australia.

Then after that, we heard about it several times from more travellers who stumbled upon it and were amazed at how beautiful and magnetic it was.

What’s the difference between the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water?

I’m glad we weren’t the only ones confused!

Agnes Water is about 8 km south of the Town of 1770. Agnes Water is the ocean town where you’ll find the surf and a fantastic beach. It also has most of the cafes and shops and room for development.

Agnes Water - Queensland, Australia
Agnes Water

The Town of 1770 is on the Round Hill Creek and is much quieter and smaller. This is where you jump on your cruises and do your water tours and activities.

Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia
Town of 1770

They each have their unique points, but I think we slightly preferred to stay in Agnes Waters near the beach and drive into the Town of 1770.

Things to Do in the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water

Kayaking with Liquid Adventures

1770 Liquid Adventures is owned by a German and Aussie couple, Janina and Simon, who are adventure travelers who met diving in the Caribbean.

They totally understood our vibe and what travelers are really looking for in an experience, especially with kids. We chose the best day to kayak on Round Hill Creek – barely a ripple, crystal clear and the sun was shining down.

Kayaking in the Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia

We joined Janina for a guided family kayaking adventure paddling up the creek to Butterfly Beach where we stopped for morning tea, a play with the butterflies and a good old bubble busting fun on the beach.

Kayaking in the Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia

Kayaking in the Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia

I loved how Janina catered for the kids with games and with an awesome animal spotting chart tied to the kayak.

Kalyra loved identifying the birds we met along the way like the Oyster Catcher and black headed tern.

Both the girls loved paddling and were disappointed when the tour ended.

Kayaking in the Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia

Kayaking in the Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia

We’re really keen to return one day to experience their sunset tour – a paddle up the creek followed by a glass of wine on the beach with a magnificent sunset.

The time of the day where you’re most likely to kayak alongside dolphins. Magic!

Kayaking in the Town of 1770 - Queensland, Australia
credit: Liquid Adventures

The Town of 1770 LARC Tour

Easily a highlight of this area was our LARC Paradise Tour.

We saw and experienced so many amazing things on the water and the land.

LARC tour of the Town of 1770

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It was a lot of fun and Kalyra now has a new hobby – sand boarding!

LARC tour of the Town of 1770, Queensland

This tour is noted down as one of my favorites of our Australia road trip so far.

Read More: Adventure in the Town of 1770 – LARC Tastic

Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave Island - Queensland, Australia

It was a rough 75-minute boat ride out there and back, but Lady Musgrave Island was worth it.

The Town of 1770 is on the doorstep of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, and Lady Musgrave Island is your own piece of paradise.

Lady Musgrave Island - Queensland, Australia

We moored up at the floating pontoon and enjoyed a glass bottom boat tour and snorkeling in the protected Lagoon. We went ashore for a guided island walk and never wanted to leave!

Lady Musgrave Island - Queensland, Australia

Read more: How to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

Sunset in the Town of 1770

Come early with your chair, a drink and some cheese and dips, and join the crowds. Sunset in the Town of 1770 is the place to be. It’s truly spectacular, so serene and really not too crowded.

Susnet in the Town of 1770, Queensland, Australia

Sunset at Agnes Water

If you want something a little different, Agnes Water has a beautiful sunset from the beach. You won’t get it setting over the water, but dropping behind the small hill is equally as beautiful and the colours in the sky light up Agnes’ prettiness.

Susnet in Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia

Surfing Lesson

Surfing lessons in Agnes Waters are some of the cheapest you’ll find in the country.

The waves on Agnes Water Beach look pretty good to learn on. They were clean and small when we were there and there were a few learners nailing the standing up technique.

Surfer at Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia

Surfer at Agnes Water Beach, Queensland, Australia

We didn’t have the chance to take up a lesson here, but we heard they’re cheap and a lot of fun.

Check out

Paperbark Forest Walk

We were alerted to this by a fan on our Facebook Page. It’s only newly opened about 3 kms south of Agnes opposite Springs Beach.

It’s an easy 400m walk through the Paperbark forest but is mystical and magical.

Paperbark Forest, Agnes Water, Queensland

The girls loved pretending they were witches riding on their broomsticks down the wooden boardwalk and hopping along the stepping pylons above the swamp.

Paperbark Forest, Agnes Water, Queensland

1770 to Round Hill Head walk

There’s a beautiful 2km walk from the 1770 campground along the headland through the forest to the Round Hill Head.

Headland walk in the Town of 1770

There’s one section of the forest that’s filled with beautiful blue butterflies (just above Butterfly Beach).

Butterflys in the Town of 1770

The views along the way across Eurimbula National Part to Bustard Head way are pretty special.

Headland walk in the Town of 1770

Places to Eat in Agnes Water and Town of 1770

Agnes Beach Cafe

We had a couple of breakfasts here. We could have sat in this beach front cafe all day. It’s one of our favourite cafes in Australia so far.

The views are just incredible, it has a really laid back vibe and the coffee is sensational! It’s perfect for families as the kids can play on the beach in front of you while you relax.

Agnes Beach Cafe, Queensland, Australia

The Tree

The Tree Restaurant is a little on the expensive side, but the food is good and the views are amazing. Catch the sunset first and have a drink in the Tree Bar before moving into the restaurant.

Tree Restaurant, Town of 1770, Queensland, Australia

Getaway Garden Cafe

The Getaway Garden Cafe is in a beautiful little spot tucked away behind the town of Agnes.

There’s a large grassed area which is perfect for the kids to play while you sit back and enjoy a delicious rosella tea and peach tart. Yum!

Getaway Garden Cafe - Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia

Where to Stay in Agnes Water

We stayed at the Agnes Water Beach Caravan Park in a Treetops Chalet. They were really cute and if you can get one right on the beach you will be in for a good stay.

Agnes Water Caravan Park - Queensland, Australia

They are a little small though, so if you have a large family or need a lot of space, you might want to look at a cabin or camp site. We had to keep most of our luggage in our car.

Our fave cafe, Agnes Beach Cafe is located within the campground. The position of the campground is unbeatable, right on Agnes Water Beach.

We preferred the location of this site to the campground at 1770, which is more basic and quite popular for being right on the bay and front row seats for the sunset.

The Details

Location – The Town of 1770 and Agnes Water is in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region of Queensland, a 6 hour drive north of Brisbane:

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27 thoughts on “Why You Should Visit the Town of 1770 and Agnes Water”

  1. No doubt, sunsets are beautiful at Agnes Water! I agree concrete takes a lot away from a place. I wish this place remains as quiet and beautiful as it is today! You guys were lucky to have discovered it.

    1. Love the sunsets there Renuka. We’re hoping we’ve inspired more people to visit these towns and I’m sure they’ll remain their vibe!! 🙂

  2. There is also a little hidden treasure behind the 1770 camping grounds right on the water front to dine. Beachcombers family bistro. Food is amazing the sunsets are beautiful and the staff extremely friendly. Perfect prices for families with their most expensive meal only $21.00 and the amazing pizzas $14.90 the are massive and one did feed my family of 3. It’s BYO. We had wine on the sand watched the sunset then 3 steps and we were at our table. We recommend this little treasure to everyone. They did all day breakfast, coffee, milkshakes,burgers, chips, fish, pizza, meals like rump snitzels pork local fish and my personal favorite honey spun potato prawns and lots more. Go check them out.

  3. Fantastic account of Agnes Water and the Town of 1770. We were only there last week and I have to agree with everything you said. The butterflies in the rainforest were magical, weren’t they? Gorgeous pics of your family too!

  4. Maurice Nicholson

    The 1770 Music Festival (the 1st edition) will be held on the 27th -28th & 29th of November 2015.
    The Festival will be held in the seaside township of Agnes water / 1770 this was the first landing for James Cook and his crew in what is now Queensland.
    1770 Music Festival will encompass a wide range of music, bringing you mixed genres of music, including a whole lot of our super talented local acts. This will be one of the best (all ages) events you will find on the Discovery Coast. The venue for the festival will be the Discover Coast Sport & Recreation Grounds. 1770 music festival will be run over two days. , 27th, 28th 29th November 2015 (Licensed Venue)
    The festival will also coincide with Year 12 students celebrating the end of school 2015 (Schoolies Celebrations). The 1770 music festival will provide a ticketed & supervised event for school leavers to enjoy. Along with our beaches, their aesthetic appeal, free space, and sociable atmosphere may to a degree encourage and emphasise the very rite of passage that school leavers come to celebrate in our region.I have been a Local community member in the Agnes Water Region for 16 years, ITS THE ONLY PLACE TO LIVE.

  5. Maurice Nicholson

    could you please advise if you will be posting my previous comment please or advise on why it was not posted. thank you.

    1. We just hadn’t gotten around to approving comments yet. We usually prefer our comments to not be just about advertising, but I’ll let this one go as it sounds like a great event for a fab area! We’re happy to help bring awareness to it.
      Can you share your top local tip for the area?

  6. Both towns sound wonderful and I love the idea of a kayak tour at sunset plus the sand boarding looks great fun. But the walk through the forest sounds absolutely magical and I’d go nuts for those butterflies!

  7. Hello :-).

    I just found your awesome article online. You have inspired me to seek out more to do in Agnes Water – which is a credit to you as I have been to Agnes Water many, many times :-).

    Along with my husband I own the caravan park that you stayed at while visiting Agnes. We are very proud of our park and feel so privileged to share our beautiful beach with the rest of the world.

    Our Park is actually called Agnes Water Beach Holidays and my tip to your readers is that if they need more space for a family trip (as do WE when we stay in the Park with our three boys) then one of the two bedroom apartments along the beach may be better. The safari tents have charm but the Beach Houses let you really spread out.

    The tenants in our onsite cafe have outgrown our little space and they are now moving just 200m down the road to a bigger venue. They will continue to make great coffee and Chef Kelly’s amazing food. We are currently re-furbishing the cafe space and we will be open again for the September school holidays to serve yummy food, coffee, ice-cream & milkshakes to all guests and beach go-ers.

    Thanks again for your review and gorgeous photos. I get so excited when I read things like this – it makes all the effort worth it.

    Kind regards,
    Angela Murphy

  8. looks amazing….Im wondering if theres a need for high school private tutors LOL. is there dog friendly camping places? such fab beaches , and dog friendly beaches …..so glad to have found it.

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