Best things to see and do in Agnes Water & 1770 – A quick guide on how to spend your time in this beautiful part of Queensland.
Agnes Water and the Town of 1770 (Seventeen Seventy) are two laid back towns on the Queensland coastline not to be missed. Blessed with beautiful beaches, wonderful walks, cool campsites and a wealth of wildlife, there’s something here for all outdoor lovers.
Where is Agnes Water and the Town of 1770
Agnes Water and its sister township of 1770 are perfectly positioned at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Found roughly halfway between Bundaberg and Rockhampton, these sleepy coastal towns are the ideal locations to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether it’s a day trip, mini break or part of a longer road trip like us, both towns are worth visiting.
We stopped here for a couple of nights after our 4 days on Fraser Island. It was the perfect journey breaker before moving on to our next adventure at Carnarvon Gorge. And there was certainly no shortage of things to see and do in Agnes Water and 1770. So, here are some of the best bits!
Best things to see and do in Agnes Water and the Town of 1770
1. Red Rock Walking Trail
One of the coolest coastal walks we’ve done in a long time. Stunning stretches of white sandy beach and clear blue Pacific Ocean waters lapping up against it, a winning combination. And bizarrely, the best was that is was pretty much deserted. The 3km (one way) Red Rock Walking Trail is quite simply awesome and without doubt, one of the best things to do in Agnes Water and 1770.
Starting at the car park at Springs Beach, first you descend down the boardwalk to Springs Beach. Technically the walk starts at the far end of this beach, so seeing Springs Beach (pictured above) is an added bonus. From there, you hike from one spectacular beach to the next – Honeymoon Beach, Sunrise Beach and finally Red Rock Beach. Reaching Red Rock Headland at the far end, you get to turn round and do it all again on the way back. This breathtaking beach walk, really surpassed our expectations.
2. Camp with Kangaroos & Wallabies
Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary and Campsite really is a hidden gem, offering something completely unique. We were tipped off about this place by a friend when we looking where to stay in Agnes Water and 1770. We loved our stay here and are so grateful for the recommendation. A sanctuary for injured and orphaned kangaroos, wallabies and other wildlife, you camp amongst these amazing creatures!
The owners Garry and Denise have dedicated years of their lives to taking in and then rehabilitating and releasing these injured kangaroos and wallabies. Free to roam around the grounds there is no fencing keeping them in, so although many are quite habituated, they are completely free to come and go. Everyone we met here was extending their stay and we can see why. At $25 a night for two adults for an unpowered site (at the time of our visit) with good, clean facilities and amazing views, we can’t recommend it enough.
Important: This is a small campsite and it is essential to book in advance, so you’re not disappointed. Bookings need to be made by phone (07) 4974 7783.
3. Paperbark Forest Boardwalk
This 400m circuit is a nice, easy little trail through a section of pretty paperbark forest. A combination of wooden boardwalks and wooden bollards (stepping stones) lead you on a magical journey as you wind through this patch marvellous Melaleuca. With plenty of colourful butterflies and birds too, this a family favourite to be enjoyed by all.
To find the Paperbark Trail, head south from Agnes Water on Springs Road and lookout for the Reedy Creek Reserve sign and gravel car park on your righthand side. It is easy to find using Google Maps. Don’t be fooled, it may not look like much from the road, but it’s a lovely little walk for all ages. It’s great to tag onto the beginning or end of the nearby Red Rock Track hike, which starts just opposite the Paperbark Tail.
4. 1770 Headland and Lookouts
Starting at the Round Hill Headland car park at the end of Sir Raphael Cilento Drive, there are couple of easy lookouts to walk to. For views over Bustard Bay and the ocean, head to the end of the easy to follow trail out to the Bustard Bay Lookout. Taking you through coastal woodland right to the tip of the headland, the views from here is stunning. Keep an eye out for dolphins and turtles swimming below.
On the way back take a short detour to the Wave Lookout. This has more great views over the ocean and a quiet cove. You can descend down to the small secluded cove, but do so carefully. From the lookout itself you’ll likely see White-Bellied Sea Eagles and Brahminy Kites surveying the waters below. Both lookouts are great spots for a picnic and ideal to tack on to below 1770 Butterfly Walk.
5. The 1770 Butterfly Walk (Round Hill Creek Track)
Generally just known as the Butterfly Walk, this short 1.2km coastal walk starts at the Captain Cook Monument. Taking you along the scenic coastline and through the coastal forest of Joseph Banks Conservation Park, what makes this walk particularly special is the Blue Tiger Butterflies. During the autumn and winter months (March-June) these beautiful Blue Tiger Butterfly head north on their annual migration in their thousands!
Although we only caught the tail end of the Blue Tiger Butterfly migration during our time here, it was nice to see some of the pretty stragglers left behind. Checkout our Magnetic Island blog to see what it was like when we caught up with them gathering in huge numbers further north.
Checkout our Quick guide to the 1770 Butterfly Walk for more detailed information on this lovely little walk.
6. Chillout on a deserted Beach
We were truly amazed at how quiet the awesome beaches around Agnes Water and 1770 were. Not only that, but there are many to choose from. There’s secluded beaches like Springs Beach, Honeymoon Beach and Sunrise Beach on the Red Rock Trail. Or there’s the nearby Chinaman’s Beach. And from 1770’s Wave Lookout you can climb down to a small cove, which we had all to ourselves.
Whether you want to soak up the rays, take a dip, go fishing, get out on a SUP or Kayak or go surfing, there’s a beach here for everyone. But do remember not all beaches are patrolled so choose appropriately. If you’re looking for a beach with lifeguards then checkout Agnes Water Beach. This beach also claims ‘to be the most northern surf beach on the east coast of Australia’. It is patrolled on weekends and during holiday periods.
7. Do a bit of birdwatching
If you’ve read our blogs and guides before, you’ll know we’re always on the lookout for wildlife. It’s not just pretty butterflies, wallabies and kangaroos here, there’s so many colourful birds all around too. You don’t even need to work hard to find them in Agnes Water and 1770! They’re just everywhere!
You can’t help but notice beautiful native birds like Olive-Backed Sunbirds, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Rainbow Lorikeets, Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Red-backed Fairywren, Eastern Yellow Robin and Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo. Just remember to look and listen when you’re out and about on your walks and you’ll see some for sure. It’s that simple here and they are guaranteed to brighten up your day.
8. Enjoy an awesome sunrise and sunset
Who doesn’t love a good sunrise or sunset?! Agnes Water and 1770 offer some awesome spots to enjoy the both. Agnes Water Beach and Chinaman’s Beach are great spots for a sunrise. 1770 has several amazing spots for sunsets over the water. Head either up high at the Headland and viewing platforms or down at sea level on the beach. Or for the more adventurous head out on a guided Sunset Kayak Tour with 1770 Liquid Adventures.
But for us the the most special place for both sunrise and sunset was gazing out from our swag at Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary and Campsite. On our first evening here, the sky lit up like it was on fire as day turned to night. In the mornings, we woke to Kookaburras laughing as the twilight colours lit up the sky with kangaroos and wallabies grazing below.
The sleepy towns of Agnes Water and 1770 (Seventeen Seventy) are delightful, with so much to see and do. So make sure to add it to your itinerary when you’re next in the area. You won’t be disappointed!
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