These two sister-townships have to be two of the best-named towns in Australia. 1770, that is actually the name of the town, was named after the year that Lieutenant Cook (soon to become Captain Cook) sailed into the bay here and touched ground for the first time in that area that is now known as Queensland. It was his second landing in Australia. I’m unsure is the town is officially called 1770 or Seventeen Seventy, as they seen to be used interchangeably on official signage and documents, however the gist is the same, it’s the year that matters.
Agnes Waters, one can only assume, is aptly named after the colour of the water that is present at any one of its miles and miles of secluded and awe-inspiring beaches. The main-beach is the only on that is patrolled and offers a good small surf spot for beginners and long boarders. The beaches of Workmans, Springs and those along the Red Rocks hiking trail to the south of main-beach, are unpatrolled, have good waved with the right conditions and are simply stunning. This is the sort of town where you can literally fell like you have the most beautiful beach in the world all to yourself… and that is exactly our sort of town.
Must-do at Agnes Water and 1770
Do not leave without doing at least half of these. No, three-quarters of these. At least.
Walk the Red Rocks Hiking Trail
The Red Rocks Hiking Trail is more of a bush and beach walk. An easy walk for those with good mobility and fitness level, you make your way from unspoiled beach to incredible lookout. Only then to pass to a more incredible beach and a bigger lookout. The walk takes you over sand, rocks and gravel/dirt/grass paths, so good shoes are recommended. The path is approx. 3kms one way and you return via the same path. We would recommend taking your own water as there are no taps along the way, as well as a small snack. Take your time with this track. The more time you spend exploring the beaches, the rockpools and getting lost in your surrounding, the more incredible this place becomes. It is easy to be the only on on the path if you walk it on a weekday. All those beaches, just for you!
To get here, you follow Springs Rd out of Agnes, past Workmans Beach Camping Grounds and keep going for about 2kms. You will see the Paperbark Trail on your right hand side and a red dirt road on the left. Take this dirt road (which is inconveniently without signage) to the carpark at the end and you will see the beach access path. The trail is well sign posted from here on in. We walked from Workmans Beach Camping Grounds to the start of the trail, which was a bit of a hike in the sun, but we were rewarded for our efforts when a family of kangaroos stumbled into our path, or we stumbled into theirs. The kept eating as we took photos and moved on. So it does pay to use your legs and leave the car at home sometimes.
Take a surf lesson at main-beach
How does a $17 surf lesson sound on Queensland’s most northern surfing beach? Pretty good hey! This low cost will get you a surfboard, rashie vest and qualified Surf Instructors for 3 hours. That is less than $6 per hour, you can’t even hire a board for that price!
This popular surf class runs daily and starts at 10am. All you need to do is turn up at the Agnes Water surf shop (Reef2Beach) at 10am – no need to book. A photographer also goes into the water with each class to take some happy snaps. You can purchase these for $5 after the class at the Discover 1770 store, just bring along a USB stick, hard drive or SD card to pop the photo onto.
See the sunrise/sunset at the 1770 lookout
If you drive through the town of 1770 and out the other side, you will reach the lookout point. From the carpark here you can see both the sunrise and sunset, as well as set off on a range of walks for a more immersive experience. We were lucky enough to see a blue moon rising from this vantage point. If you make it to the lookout at the right time, you can see the sun setting on one side of you and the moon rising on the other. Sounds great. It is. Super romantic (for all you lovers on the road).
Explore the paperbark trail
This short but magical trail follows the paperbark trees of the area as they weave in and out of the creek’s edge. This path is great for kids, however not suitable for those with low mobility as it is not a flat trail. I wont say too much about this, as I don’t want to give away the surprise of discovering it. I’ll just say that it’s a lovely way to spend half an hour. It is located just opposite the entry path to the Red Rock Hiking Trail so it’s a good idea to couple the two for a great day out. See the Red Rock Hiking Trail for directions.
Hit up Rons Vegies
Fruit and veggies straight from the farm? Yes pleas!
Make sure you visit Rons Vegies at 193 Anderson Way, Agnes Water. There are a range of goodies on offer and at a great price. The produce was super fresh and it’s always better to support local farmers than the supermarkets in town. What better way to keep your trip cheap and delicious than local produce to cook up some of our Cooking for Campers, Not Wankers recipes.
Jump in the water!
Agnes Water is a paradise in Queensland, as there are no crocodiles or marine stingers in the water! You can swim all summer long. Even in winter the water is warm and salty-delicious on your skin! It was the first point that we were able to jump in the water (being wooses we did not get in the water along the Sunshine Coast, a little too cold still). It was July and we could happily spend 15-20 mins in the water, then warm ourselves up again in the glorious sunshine on the beach. Most of the surfers who were in the water for extended periods work wetsuits, however a few did not and you could easily get away with not having one.
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Some practical info about Agnes Water and 1770
Agnes Water has two supermarkets in town, which will allow you to live a little more cheaply, as well as a small selection of fast food, a health food shop, bakery, pharmacy, surf shop, a bottle shop and a few retail stores. Enough to keep you going for quite a while actually, especially if you’re able to get fruit and veg from the market on Sunday.
Camping options at Agnes Water and the Town of 1770
We stayed at and highly recommend Workmans Beach Camping Area. This space is run by the local council and costs $7 per person per night. It has flushing toilets, drinkable water and a cold outdoor shower as well as the nicest vibe to it that we have found at a campsite. It is full of surfers who are escaping the cold of the south and does not have many large RVs or caravans staying there. The camping area has it’s own private beach access to Workmans Beach meaning it is more than possible for you to have the beach to yourself, a spectacular thing especially as sunset. You cannot pre-book for this campsite, just get there early to be sure you get a site. See our review for more info about Workamns Beach camping grounds.
1770 camping grounds, on the foreshore. This looks to be a favorite with the grey nomads, as is Captain Cooks Caravan Park. Both were fairly full when we were in town. We noticed that Agnes Water seems to be more for a younger and more active crowd whereas 1770 is for the older or more docile sorts. If you like to get in the water, stay in Agnes, if you like to look at it over your coffee and newspaper then 1770 is for you. The price for the 1770 camping ground is $35 per night ($41 Qld. holidays/Long Weekends) for an unpowered site and for Captain Cooks is $32 off peak and $28 peak (also for an unpowered site). The 1770 camping grounds is located right on the foreshore at 1770 and has great views. Captain Cook Caravan park is located midway between Agnes and 1770, about a 15 minute walk from the beach but right across from the (very small) monthly Sunday market. It is a lovely park, really green and relaxing. We did a walk-through accidentally looking for an exit from the beach, however if you’re wanting to be within walking distance from, well, anything, then this is not the place for you.
Agnes Water caravan park is your other option. It is right on the main-beach at Agnes Water and looks to have a lot of space, green grass and great views. The price is $30 per night in off-peak season (unpowered site also) and you can have access to all the facilities of Agnes Waters at your doorstep and a hot shower. These are the only advantages that this park has over Workmans Beach, but to be honest, we much prefer the vibe at Workmans Beach over that of any well-groomed commercial caravan park.
Still not convinced?
You’re a hard sell. Check out our image gallery below, it’s sure to up you over the edge and have you digging out your tent and booking in annual leave.