A welcoming little beach town with a very big soul, Agnes Water is an unspoilt gem nestled along the Queensland coastline. Just about halfway between Bundaberg and Rockhampton, it offers respite from the world outside, making you feel a million miles away from everything while offering so much. Lovely locals, abundant wildlife, stunning stretches of beach and access to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Agnes Water has it all. To help you make the most of your visit, here are 17 awesome things you absolutely must do in Agnes Water.
1. Discovery Coast Markets
The Discovery Coast Markets are held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month (during QLD school holidays) at the SES Grounds, located between 1770 and Agnes Water. If you drive from Agnes to 1770, you won’t be able to miss them. The markets buzz with people and I recommend getting there early so you can get a good park and beat the heat. Browse the many little stalls selling second-hand books and bric-a-brac, plants, natural soaps and other beauty products. Take a ride on a camel, buy breezy beach clothes and hand-knitted gifts for friends then grab a bite to eat or stock up on fresh fruit and veggies.
2. Swim at Agnes Beach
Stepping onto Agnes Beach is like stepping onto a beach straight out of a guidebook. The main beach is around 5km long and pretty straight until you reach Round Hill, north of Agnes. During peak season the beach is pretty packed with families, backpackers and other holiday-makers. It’s a patrolled beach, which is great for those with kids, but you may find between the flags is the main spot where the seaweed likes to gather. The beach is dog-friendly to the north as long as you keep your pooch on a leash.
There are only a few parking spots in the official parking lot so either get there early, walk from your accommodation or grab the first park you see. It’s a beautiful place in the afternoons and first thing in the morning, but as always it’s important to be sun-safe during the hottest part of the day cos that Queensland sun will scorch you. No joke. Say goodbye to your epidermis, guys.
3. Explore Chinaman’s Beach
I kinda don’t want to tell you about this lovely little spot because it’s a bit of a secret, less crowded haven compared to Agnes Beach. It’s a short drive south of Agnes Water town, past the Police Station and Library. You’ll find the access road to the beach on the left-hand side of Springs Road, if you’re driving south, just past the desalination plant. The winding road opens up to spectacular views of the ocean and it’ll make you feel desperate to jump in the water.
The beach itself has rocks to the left, perfect for on-shore fishing, while to the right there’s a long stretch of beach where only a handful of people can be seen. The gate opens at 6am, so I recommend waking up super early to catch the sunrise and have a dip before anybody else gets there. I found the beach a lot more peaceful and enjoyable than Agnes Beach, though it isn’t patrolled so you must be a proficient swimmer and it may not be suitable for kids. The beach is dog-friendly as long as you keep them on-leash.
4. Paperbark Forest Boardwalk
The Paperbark Forest Trail is located a few kilometres from Agnes Water town, along the right-hand side of Springs Road, if you’re driving south, at Reedy Creek Reserve. This beautiful spot is a 400m long trail of stepping-stones and wooden walkways winding through magical scenery of towering paperbark tea trees. Like an enchanted forest straight out of a storybook you can spot butterflies, native birds and other local wildlife.
Little kids will love this spot as well as nature lovers and keen photographers. It’s absolutely essential you pack very strong bug spray as the midgies, mosquitos and sandflies are no joke… they’ll take you hostage and eat you alive. The best times to visit are early in the day or afternoon, around sunset.
5. Spot Local Wildlife
Take a drive from Agnes Water town to the other end of Spring’s Road early in the morning or at dusk to spot kangaroos and whip-tailed wallabies, also known as pretty faced wallabies based on the beautiful markings across their cheeks and their big, round ears. These beautiful little animals are something you have to see, they graze and nibble quietly next to the side of the road and, depending on when you visit, you may spot a baby peeking out of mum’s pouch. If you approach quietly in your car you may be able to get a few photos of them before they hop off, but as always it’s really important to be respectful of them and not scare them.
6. Take a sunset kayak tour
Climb aboard your very own kayak and set out with 1770 Liquid Adventures. The fully guided tour will see you exploring the Joseph Banks Conservation area past Captain Cook’s landing spot, secluded beaches and the headland, offering the opportunity to spot turtles, dolphins and other friendly wildlife. It’s a great way to see the area from a new angle and catch a rather spectacular sunset.
7. Eat Healthy Treats at SOL Foods
One of the best spots to grab a healthy, quick bite to eat and a delicious coffee is SOL Foods. This sweet little space is nestled in the small shops on Round Hill Road, between Foodworks and the Caltex Service Station. You can buy organic, vegan, raw, dairy-free, gluten-free treats including cakes, slices, salad and snacks. The shop also sells fantastic and delicious smoothies, shakes and juices as well as a really great iced coffee! Yum!
8. Grab a Great Aussie Pie
While you’re in the area, pop next door to the local Agnes Water Bakery and join the queue for the best pies in town! There’s always a line up to get inside and its’ no wonder why, these guys sell delicious pies and other baked treats and sweets including delicious fresh bread. Located next door to SOL Foods on Round Hill Road, it’s the perfect place to duck in and grab something yummy for lunch.
Watch: our ‘Colour of Queensland’ video
9. Eat Cake and Be Merry
10. Take an offshore fishing charter
Meet up with the team from Hooked on 1770 Adventure Tours and set sail for a day of reef fishing. With all your gear supplied and access to invaluable local knowledge, your only job is to cast a line or two and soak in the serenity. Reel in fish like Nannygai, Sweetlip, Cod, Cobia, Mackerel, Hussar and Parrot or take a shot at Red Emperor and Coral Trout.
11. Take a Tour on the LARC at 1770
12. Day Cruise to Lady Musgrave Island
13. Visit Cook’s Monument and see the butterflies
Each year, from March to June, the 1770 Butterfly Walk comes alive with thousands of Blue Tiger Butterflies. The walk itself takes around 15-25 minutes, starting from the Captain Cook Monument and wrapping along the coastline offering stunning views of Bustard Bay. It’s an amazing experience unique to the area, so be sure to have your camera on hand. Afterwards, continue on to explore the Headlands Lookout and soak in more panoramic views of the ocean.
14. Visit 1770 and Headlands Lookout
15. Learn to surf at Agnes Beach
What better place to learn to surf than the stunning Agnes Water Beach. Book a lesson with Reef 2 Beach Surf School and get hooked up with a longboard and rash vest before setting off down to the water. Under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor, you’ll learn how to pop up on your board and ride your first wave. It’s a great way to get active and have a whole lot of fun in a beautiful part of the world.
Watch this video we made for Southern Great Barrier Reef!
16. Watch the sunset at 1770
17. Explore Deepwater National Park
Join a guided tour with Arty of Moondoggie Beach & Bush Tours and tap into his wealth of local knowledge. Each day tour is tailored to your interests, combining in-depth insight to the local area with fishing, bushwalking, surfing kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or photography to make sure you get the most out of your visit. Have your tour take you into the gorgeous Deepwater National Park to discover secluded beaches, hidden spots and incredible views.
Watch: our ‘Agnes Water and Town of 1770’ video