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. With 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 16 awesome things you absolutely must do in Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy (also known as the Town of 1770).

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1. Day Cruise to Lady Musgrave Island

Spend the day on the Southern Great Barrier Reef by taking a 90-minute cruise by boat out to Lady Musgrave Island with 1770 Reef. Once there, spend the day swimming, and snorkelling where you’re guaranteed to see an assortment of beautiful underwater life including fish and turtles. Day trips also include things like morning tea and lunch as well as guided tours of Lady Musgrave Island, all the snorkelling gear you’ll need, glass-bottom boat tours and submarine tours. It is a fantastic way to spend a day and something you won’t forget anytime soon.

Lady Musgrave Island ©Little Grey Box
Onboard Lady Musgrave Experience (via Bundaberg)

Book a Island Cruise with 1770 Reef here.

2. Discovery Coast Markets

The Discovery Coast Rotary Markets are held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month (every Sunday 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.

Discovery Coast Markets, Agnes Water ©Little Grey Box
Discovery Coast Markets

3. Swim at Agnes Beach

Stepping onto Agnes Water 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 the Queensland sun will scorch you. No joke. Say goodbye to your epidermis, guys.

Agnes Water Beach, Queensland ©Little Grey Box
Agnew Water Beach

4. Explore Chinaman’s Beach

I kind of 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 6 am, 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.

Chinaman's Beach, Queensland ©Little Grey Box
Chinaman’s Beach

5. Paperbark Trail

The Paperbark 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 400-metre-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.

Paperbark Forest Boardwalk, Queensland ©Little Grey Box
Paperbark Trail

6. 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.

Pretty-faced wallaby ©Little Grey Box
Agnes Water ‘locals’

7. 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.

Sunset at 1770 ©Little Grey Box
Sunset at Seventeen Seventy

8. Grab a Great Aussie Pie

Pop into the Agnes Water Bakery and join the queue for the best pies in town! There’s always a lineup to get inside and its’ no wonder why, these guys sell delicious pies and other baked treats and sweets including delicious fresh bread. Located on Round Hill Road, it’s the perfect place to duck in and grab something yummy for lunch.

Surfers at Agnes Water ©Little Grey Box
Surfers at Agnes Water Beach

9. Eat Cake and Be Merry

My favourite and the best place to eat in Agnes Water has to be 1770 Getaway Garden Cafe, located a few minutes drive south of Agnes Water town on the corner-ish of Springs Road and Bicentennial Drive. The gardens are gorgeous, a tropical hideout of lush, greenery with a tree-house-like cafe nestled in the middle, overlooking a large pond. The coffee has to be the best in town and I highly recommend the Campos Coffee Smoothie or an Iced Chocolate for a real sweet treat. The lunch and breakfast menu have loads of options suitable for vegetarians and the cake cabinet is drool-worthy. A must-do spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner as well as coffee and cake.

Iced coffee at 1770 Getaway Garden Cafe ©Little Grey Box
1770 Getaway Garden Cafe

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. Book with Hooked on 1770 Adventure Tours here.

School of gray fish. Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com
Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

11. Take a Tour on the LARC at 1770

The LARC is one of those big, hulking vehicles that can drive on land and go in the water, like a boat. It’s also a great way to see another side of 1770 and the local area if you don’t have a boat. There’s a full-day tour which includes zipping down sand dunes, taking in stunning views of the coastline, and a trip up to the scenic lighthouse. There are also shorter tours, including an afternoon cruise which goes for 1 1/2 hours, and a 2-hour lunch tour. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and will show you places and animals you wouldn’t have seen otherwise as well as share the fantastic local history of the area. Definitely worth doing and suitable for all ages.

Book a Full Day Tour or an Afternoon Cruise on the LARC here.

12. Visit Cook’s Monument and see the butterflies

Head to 1770 and find Cook’s Monument along Captain Cook Drive, up the road from the 1770 Camping Grounds. Here you can follow the path down to the beach for a swim or a spot of fishing or you can take the 2km walk along the headland to Round Hill Head. Winding through beautiful forest and with lovely views of the water and surrounding area.

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.

Cook's Monument 1770 ©Little Grey Box
Cook’s Monument, Seventeen Seventy

13. Visit 1770 and Headlands Lookout

Stunning views don’t come much better than these. Head up to the incredible 1770 and Headlands Lookout on Captain Cook Drive. There’s plenty of parking and I recommend visiting in the afternoon when things have cooled down a little bit and the light is all golden and gorgeous. There are two main walks out to the headland, one is around 100m and the other is around 350m, both are easy to do and suitable for all ages. You can also gain access to a few beaches by following the trails, just be careful and make sure you’re wearing proper shoes. This has to be one of the best spots to get great views of the coastline.

1770 Lookout ©Little Grey Box
1770 Lookout

14. 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.

Surfers at Agnes Water ©Little Grey Box
Surfers at Agnes Water Beach

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15. Watch the sunset at 1770

Drive out to 1770 and find a place to park along Captain Cook Drive, near The Tree Restaurant, then walk down to the boardwalk and onto the beach. There is a fantastic spot to sit and watch the sunset on the rocks, which is one of only 4 places on the east coast of Australia where you can see the sun setting over the water. It really is a beautiful place to have a cold drink and watch the day end and a perfect place for a spot of fishing or just to unwind after a long day of… well, relaxing.

Sunset at 1770 ©Little Grey Box
Sunset drinks at 1770

16. 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.

Where to stay in Agnes Water and 1770

Booking.com and Agoda are fantastic websites for finding accommodation in Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy. Below are a few options worth looking into:

Pavillions on 1770Beach access, spa
1770 Sovereign LodgeClose to restaurants
1770 Beach ShacksOcean views
Loka Santi PenthouseOcean views
The Summit 1770Secluded chalets

Best travel resources for your trip!

If you found this post useful, please use the affiliate links below. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, these are the products and services I love and use. Read the disclaimer for more information. Thanks for your support! – Matt.

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Motorhome Republic – RVs
Discover Cars – rentals
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Surfshark – VPN
TourRadar – tours
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