Agnes Water and the town of 1770 are located in Central Queensland not far from the Southern Great Barrier Reef. These two sleepy coastal towns brought us calm and beauty during our east coast road trip. I’d read awesome things about Agnes Water so made sure I included it in our road trip itinerary and I’m so glad. Road trips in Australia are epic but also exhausting. Drives are long with not much to look at in-between destinations. We’d driven for 8 hours to reach Agnes Water from Airlie Beach, which FYI I do not recommend doing, and we were welcomed by a charming town with a heavy sense of relaxation in the atmosphere. We spent two perfect days in these towns so I’m sharing the best things to do in Agnes Water in this post.
Where is Agnes Water?
Agnes Water is found in Central Queensland on the coast about 80 kilometres from the Bruce Highway. If you’re driving the east coast of Australia then you’ll get to know the Bruce Highway very well. Basically, two-way traffic for miles and miles and miles and miles, get the picture? The easiest way to get to Agnes Water is to drive. In fact, the best way to see the east coast is to self drive the whole thing. We rented a campervan for 6 weeks to drive from Cairns and Sydney the experience was epic, it was our first experience of van life and not one I’ll ever forget. The nearest cities from Agnes Water are Bundaberg a little further south and Gladstone/Rockhampton slightly north.
If you don’t drive then the Grey Hound coach does stop in Agnes Water. The Grey Hound coach is a popular way that travellers backpack around Australia. It’s popular with those looking to save some $ on accommodation as they have a lot of services running through the night. For more information on the Grey Hound experience take a look at this post. Unfortunately, I can’t comment as I’ve never been on board!
Why Visit Agnes Water and 1770?
These two coastal gems are a beautiful getaway from the busy tourist areas of the Australian east coast. Don’t get me wrong, these places can be busy and are still popular with tourists however, a lot of travellers tend to skip past these beauties. Don’t be one of them because there are plenty of fun things to do in Agnes Water. If you enjoy relaxing, wildlife spotting, markets, beach days, surfing, cute cafes, then Agnes Water and 1770 will be worth popping your Australian bucket list.
I also found it a great spot to regather myself during our road trip too. Since arriving in Cairns our road trip was epic and we did amazing activity after amazing activity. Swam the Great Barrier Reef, Explored the Daintree Rainforest, Sailed The Whitsundays and drove over 1000 kilometres. Though we were having the time of our lives it was a weekend of a slower pace which was essential. It’s a great stopping point after the Whitsundays and before the likes of Fraser Island and Noosa.
Things to Know Before Visiting Agnes Water
Okay, this is just one thing to note but I think it’s pretty important there is ZERO mobile. phone reception. It’ll depend on what network you are within Australia but we were with Vodafone, a popular network and we got nothing. Nada, zilch. Which was wonderful and meant we could totally switch off and have a present weekend! But I just thought I’d mention so that of you planning on working or need a mobile phone reception, you can do some research before visiting Agnes Water.
19 Things to Do in Agnes Water
So what is there to do in Agnes Water? Well, from relaxing on the beach, bushwalking and sailing to fishing and explore boutique shops, there is something for everyone to enjoy! It’s also a great little spot for families wanting to enjoy a weekend on the coast. Agnes Water is a popular holiday spot for local Aussies as well as tourists.
1. Relax on the Beach!
Agnes Water has a great main beach which is perfect to spend an afternoon in the sun on. The sand is golden brown and actually reminded of the UK beaches for a little moment. Most of the beaches in Queensland we’d seen so far were bright white giving them that tropical feel. Australia has some of the best beaches in the world and the beach at Agnes Water is definitely a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
2. Hire a Surfboard
Hire a board and go into the waves. Agnes Water is the most northerly surf in Australia where the water is considered ‘safe’ for surfers. Make sure you check the weather report before deciding to hire a surfboard if you’re surfing on your own out there. But for those experienced surfers, Agnes Water has some epic breaks to enjoy. It’s also great fun to watch the surfers on the waves. Imagine a row of campers with surfers walking around surfboard under the arm and wispy hair flowing – honestly, I’m not being stereotypical there were so many blond Aussie surfers around!
3. Take a Surf Lesson
If you’re not a pro surfer then why not. Join in any way and take a surfing lesson! The shops I mentioned above all run surf lessons too! We didn’t learn to surf in Agnes Water but we did on Bondi Beach and it was a great experience! I’m a little scared of deep water and I HATE saltwater in my eyes but surfing has completed wiped those fears! It’s so much fun and I can’t explain how awesome I felt about myself once I stood up on that board!
Learning to surf is one of the best things to do in Agnes Water especially if you’re travelling on a budget. Surfing isn’t a cheap experience and on Bondi Beach, we definitely paid for it at just under $100 each for a couple of hours! At Agnes Water, you can learn to surf for just $25 for three hours with Reef 2 Surf – big sigh from me as I type that! Expect whichever lessons you take to start from $25 and be as expensive at $100 depending on what kind of surf lessons you opt for.
4. Visit 1770
1770 is a small town just minutes along the coast from Agnes Water. It will literally take 15 minutes by car. The walk is about 1.5 hours so doable if you do want to visit 1770. 1770 is actually written as Seventeen Seventy in the town not in number form so I guess I’m writing it all completely wrong on here but it’s a lot easier in my opinion! I always see it written like ‘1770’ online too – perhaps it’s the lazy internet age taking over?
5. Grab a Morning Coffee and Cookie at the Marina Cafe
The Marina Cafe in 1770 is the perfect spot for a morning coffee. We sat outside and it just felt so local and authentic. We had a giant cookie which was delightful but honestly, the breakfasts looked so good too! We had to fight it not to order – budget travels and all that!
6. Take a trip on the LARC!
LARC tours are a unique thing to do whilst in Agnes Water and 1770! Imagine gliding through the waves on a big pink boat and you’re halfway there! The crew at LARC run various around the southern reef. Choose from a full day tour or. Just an afternoon cruise with lunch included. The tours aren’t cheap starting at around $140 per person. But still one of the most fun things to do in Agnes Water!
7. Visit Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary
This was my favourite part of Agnes Water. Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary is run by Agnes Water locals at their beautiful home on the top of a pretty impressive hill. Kangaroos are everywhere around these coastal towns. If you’re driving at night or even walk I can guarantee you’ll see some bopping around. Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary takes in orphaned and injured joeys and nurse them back to health before realising them back out into the wild. It’s so beautiful.
We actually stayed at the campsite at the sanctuary which they run in their back garden to help fund the work they do for the joeys. It really is heartwarming and waking up with joeys was just incredible. I can’t recommend this place more if you’re camping or in a camper van!
8. Enjoy the Boutique Shops
Agnes Water has plenty of cute boutique shops to enjoy during your visit. the fancy clothes shops are of which are way out of my travelling price range, is one of my fave things to do in a new town! The shops in Australia are all super gorgeous especially the boohoo chic style you find in the coastal towns. Bondi Beach in Sydney is HEAVEN for any fashion/accessories shopaholic out there!
9. Take a Trip to Lady Musgrave Island
Lady Musgrave Island is just a short boat ride away from Ages Water. Lady Musgrave Island is one of the only islands in the Great Barrier Reef where you can snorkel and then sleep overnight onboard vessel in the same spot!
10. Dive on Lady Musgrave Island
Always wanted to dive on an Australian drop-off? Well, Lady Musgrave Island might be just your place then! Personally, I’m too much of a chicken too dive but if I wasn’t and one day when I decide to conquer my fear of being in deep deep water with only an oxygen tank to save me, I’d go all out and visit the Musgrave Drop-off! The drop-off on Lady Musgrave Island sounds incredible. The reef drops from 10 metres to 25 forming a beautiful wall of coral life.
A bonus about visiting this spot as opposed to the Great Barrier Reef for diving? Well, do I really need to go into it? The Great Barrier Reef is amazing. The marine life, the coral and the tours are fantastic but it gets so much traffic, and by traffic I mean other tourists who want in on the action, myself included! We spent a full day on the Great Barrier Reef departing from Cairns and we loved it, I was amazed at the sight of the coral and I thought it was sparkling despite what people may say.
It wasn’t until we sailed the Whitsundays and snorkelled a little further down the coast that I realised just how much traffic the reef nearer to Cairns gets. My previous definition of a ‘sparkling’ reef has been outshone massively by. What I got to experience in the Whitsundays! What I’m trying to say is here, sorry about all the ramble, is that less visited reefs are the better to enjoy! For memories, experience and of course the impact that we humans have on the coral life. I honestly think parts of the reef need shutting down to tourists for a while.
12. Butterly Walk in 1770
The Butterfly Walk in 1770 is perfect for the nature lovers amongst us. Starting at the Captain Cook Monument this walk follows the. Headland around to spectacular views of the ocean and coastal bays. The walk is fairly easy at just 1.2 km in distance but the main attraction is the blue tiger butterflies who visit seventeen seventy during their migration.
13. Paperbark Trail Agnes Water
This trail is also a fairly easy walk and one of the most interesting! It’s only 400 metres but you’ll enjoy stepping stones and broad walks. Along the way! Again, keep your eyes peeled above and on the ground for Aussie natives hanging around!
14. Red Rock Walking Trail
If the hiker in you is literally bursting at the seams then tackle the Red Rock walking trail! You’ll need an afternoon to complete the track and maybe even longer in the summer heat. It’s only 2.5 kilometres but does cover some difficult terrain. That compared with hot Aussie days and this trail might just take. A little longer than your average 2.5-kilometre stroll.
15. Kayak the Ocean
Kayaking is also very popular in 1770 and Agnes water and you can even take a kayak tour if you wish. There are multiple companies that hire and run kayak tours including a sunset tour! I actually wished we’d had enough time to do t his on our trip to Agnes Water! The tours aren’t too expensive either starting at $30 per person depending on which tour you select. For more information on hiring a kayak or taking a tour then check out this website and tour company.
If you do plan on taking a kayak tour make sure you check the weather before hitting Agnes Water because sometimes they. Won’t run if the weather isn’t up to scratch!
16. Visit the Agnes Water Museum
I wouldn’t get too excited about this one but if you’re a history buff or maritime fanatic then you might want to check out the Agnes Water Museum. The museum pays tribute to the rich aboriginal past at Agnes Water and the Discovery Coast. Agnes Water museum has been collecting maritime pieces since 1952 and even includes a copy of Captain Cooks log book. It costs just $3 per adult and children go free!
17. Take a Scooteroo Motorcycle Tour
During our weekend in Agnes Water on both days, we watched what felt like hundreds of motorcycles whizz around on the roads. At first, I presumed it was a bike club enjoying the open coastal road after all the views of the Queensland coast are awe-inspiring. Turns out you can actually take a motorcycle tour around Agnes Water and 1770! Starting at $85 a day I can’t think of a much better way to enjoy the views than with a bit of adrenaline pumping through your veins too!
18. Cycle Hire
If you don’t have a car then hiring a bicycle in Agnes Water could be perfect to go between the main beach and seventeen seventy. Hiring a bike starts at $20 for 4 hours and just $30 for all-day which I don’t think is too bad for Aussie prices!
19. Eurimbula National Park
Just a short 14 kilometre drives from the main towns is Eurimbula National Park. Find more sublime beaches and bushwalks in the national park. If you’re flash and have your own boat then you can take it out from the national park if you fish. Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are also allowed inside the park. But make sure you proceed with care because there are crocodiles in the water and marine stingers so make sure you do your research first and check this website for any wildlife alerts!
Where to Stay in Agnes Water
There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from in both 1770 and Agnes Water. When choosing accommodation to think about the things to do in Agnes Water and how close to the beach you want to be. We stayed at Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary which was about a 15-minute drive from the beach which was perfect for us. But if it’s likely you’ll want an ice-cold beer after a long day in the Queensland sunshine then perhaps somewhere a little more central might be better!
Agnes Water Hostels $
There are plenty of hostels to choose from even for such a small coastal town! You’ll find your usual YHA is very popular with travellers as is, Cool Bananas and Backpackers at 1770. The prices for different rooms vary as always. For a bunk in a dorm, you’re looking at $23 upwards per night.
Camp Sites $
There are a few campsites around for those enjoying the Australian east coast by campervan too! The only one I can recommend if Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary because it’s the only campsite we stayed it. It costs just $20 which was one of the cheapest sites we stayed on in Australia. Staying there also helps the owns keep their joey rehabilitation programme going which is so important!
Hotels and Air BnB $$
If you’ve got a little bit more cash to play around with then there are plenty of hotels, bed and breakfasts and Air BnB options available here too! I find you always get a more local authentic experience with Air BnB hosts especially if they have useful tips on the area! But if I don’t book with Air BnB then I always book with Booking.com to get the best deal and they often have a handy cancellation free of charge up to 24 hours before. Having travelled for the past 15 months I know how quickly and unexpectedly travel plans can change!
Sharing is Caring
I hope you enjoyed this guide on fun things to do in Agnes Water! I really hope you don’t skip out on these two gorgeous coastal towns – you won’t regret spending some time here I promise! If you’re just starting to plan your Australian adventure then check out some more of my posts on Australia here and for my full itinerary driving from Cairns to Sydney go here! If you did enjoy this post I would be so grateful if you could share it with your friends!