A few hours north of the Sunshine Coast is the beautiful Agnes Water and Town of 1770… and you are here looking for the best activities for your visit. Read on and we share our top ten activities in Agnes Water, the best places to stay and to eat!
Agnes Water is well known for its uber chilled vibe and believe me when I say it gets under your skin.
It seemed to me that everyone we met stayed longer than they originally planned. There were even rumours of a few lifers… they came, bought land and never left. Agnes Water may be something of a Hotel California.
And we were no exception, we booked, we came, we fell in love and we booked and stayed longer. Which is how this post of the best activities and things to do in Agnes Water came to be… because we stayed for a whole month!
Chinaman Bay + Secret Beaches
Heading out of town passed the museum are signposts that direct you to Chinaman’s Bay. It is definitely quieter than the main beach in Agnes Water, and is great for a walk. Turtles nest here between the months of November and February, so for this reason dogs are not allowed here during this time of the year.
Chinaman’s is also the best way to get to our little secret beach, which came recommended by the backpacker accomodation we were staying at. This hidden gem was so secret that no one seemed to know the name of it. So get there early, catch the sunrise and you’ll probably have the place to yourself.
Directions: Park at Chinaman’s and head to the left. There isn’t one definitive path. The best advice I can give is follow your nose. Chose between the rocks or the path, flip a coin and go for it. The scramble over the rocks can be a little bit hectic and the path is pretty slippery, so either route you chose it’s a good idea to bring some good walking shoes.
The walk isn’t long, for a little bit of a challenge, it certainly pays off in terms of view. There are some pretty little rock pools to explore and an even smaller bay one further climb over. Which is featured here below and at the beginning of this post. It’s really pretty!!
Walk the Main Beach
This is a great beach to swim at, easy for the family. Swim between the flags and you won’t need to worry about strong currents and rips. Then at the end of the day it’s a lovely long beach to walk. If you make it there and back, congratulations you have walked 10km (or 20,000 steps if you’re counting.)
That might sound like a long way, but actually it’s very doable once you get started. I dragged my kidlets with me and it only took a little bit of bribing. Admittedly we left a little on the late side and ended up walking back in the dark.
Otherwise, rent a bike with Kanga Tours and Scooter Hire and you’ll do the turnaround much quicker. Or hey, just pull up a beach towel, catch the rays and chill.
Learn to Surf
IF you are partial to some ocean based activities and have been thinking about joining the surf wagon, then Agnes Water is a great place to do it. The surf doesn’t get very big… except for when it does!
We saw it while it was small and it was tiny and a great little wave to learn on. Then we also saw it while it was cranking and the surfers lined up along the rocks towards the right end of the beach waiting for the perfect ride.
Anyways, the best surf school in town has to be the Lazy Lizard Surf School. Go check them out also if you want to hire a board.
Sunset at 1770
The sunsets at 1770 don’t get much prettier in my opinion and we headed there several times to catch the sky light up in the golden hours. I recommend you check the tides first and try get there for a high tide, particularly if you plan to sit on the beach.
Grab a bottle of wine and head down to the small beach, cook up a BBQ on the available public cookers, or grab sundowners at the bar across the road. You have options!
The fish and chips at the Rusty Pelican are also the best we tasted in Australia (I know, a bold statement, but they really were that good). This is slightly further back along the road, but the sunset from this point is equally as impressive if you want to combine a sunset with dinner.
If you want to get out on the water as the sun goes down then book in a kayak trip here with 1770 Liquid Adventures.
Lady Musgrave – The Great Barrier Reef
Lady Musgrave is at the most southern end of the Great Barrier Reef and well known for turtle sightings.
This is one of the more popular activities that brings visitors to Agnes Water and 1770. While it might be on the slightly pricier side of things on our list, just ask yourself… “will I ever come back to this part of the world?” Or this… “will I ever get another chance to see the Great Barrier Reef?” And if you answer “no” to either of these questions, then you should really splash out.
There is no snorkelling or diving quite like the Great Barrier Reef, and I’ve snorkelled and dived a few reefs in my time. I strongly recommend you get yourself there! Book your tour with 1770 Great Barrier Reef Eco Tours.
Just out of town, opposite the road to Spring Beach and the Red Rock Walk is the carpark for the Paperbark Walk. It takes no more than 15 minutes, depending on how long you pause to admire these beautiful trees.
Bring a camera and maybe some mosquito repellent if you tend to become a meal for the mossies. The walk is a loop, so simply start at one end and make your way around at your own pace.
Red Rock Walk & Springs Beach
I saved this walk until the day before I left. And I’m glad I did. It turned out to be one of my favourite activities in Agnes Water and the perfect walk to clear my head before leaving. Because it has to be said, I fell in love with this place and leaving was no easy task.
Getting to the carpark for the trail start, was a challenge. I was travelling in a small car and was advised not to attempt the rutted dirt road to the beginning of the walk. Determined to do the walk, I planned to park at the main road and walk the road in. However, I met a friendly local as I was about to leave who basically said… take it slow and you’ll be fine! Long story short, I did it! Slowly! But be warned the potholes are fierce and you’ll need to navigate them very carefully.
When you arrive at the carpark to Springs Beach, make your way down to the beach and head right… you’re on your way! At the end of Springs you’ll notice near the rocks the sign that marks the beginning of the trail. And from here you can walk over to several very idyllic beaches. The first is Honeymoon, then Sunrise, and finally the long stretch is Red Rock Beach. Each has a marker over the small piece of headland that leads onto the next.
The beautiful part of these beaches is that they are not accessed by roads, so it feels lovely and remote. There are a few homes dotted along the hills peeking out through native bush. They are part of Sunrise at 1770, an eco estate that has gone in over recent years.
Look out for the kangaroos and coconuts at Honeymoon Bay. Bring a couple back with you, like I did, and they make a great feast… the coconuts, not the kangaroos.
When you arrive at the longest beach, you have arrived at the Red Rock Beach. And if you do the walk at high tide, there are some lovely rock pools at the start of the beach with naturally cascading mini waterfalls.
I walked two hours one way, walking to the end of Red Rock beach before turning around to walk back. I stopped to take photos and take in the views but you could easily spend all day on these beaches. So pack lunch, plenty of water, hats, sunscreen and make a day of it.
Butterfly Walk and Lookouts
Between the months of March to May the Butterfly Walk is said to fill with thousands of butterflies. We were there in August and so sadly no butterflies for us. But regardless the walk was a pretty one and provided exceptional views to the right from Wave Lookout and then the walk around the coast to the left side the views over 1770 and inlet. This is an easy walk and can be done in 30 minutes, so great if you are at the 1770 end of town and have an hour to spare.
Another stunner of a beach! Head out of town towards Chinaman’s and take the small road to left just before Bicentennial Rd. If you work remotely and want a place to sit with your laptop this is it! There is a shaded green park with BBQ tables overlooking Workman’s Beach.
Or if you’d rather not think about work and you are all about the leisure then walk down the path to the beach and find a little stretch of beach all to yourself. It doesn’t get really busy here, so if you are lucky you might even be able to take a sneaky skinny dip without an audience.
Amphibious Ride with LARC Tours
Now if you are looking for something a little different, perhaps something to keep the kids entertained, then book in a tour on the LARC. Is it a boat or is it a bus, you be the judge!
In this interesting mode of transport you’ll go from beach to water without getting your toes wet. The LARC drives along the beach and at the same time cruises through the water. This is the perfect way to explore the coastline that can’t be accessed by road, you’ll also get to see the lighthouse and hear some history of the area.
We met several people who did this trip, some with kids and some without… and everyone spoke very highly of the people who ran the trip and the overall experience.
Where to Stay in Agnes Water
Backpacker / Midrange – Stay at Backpackers @ 1770
This is where we stayed and I recommend it BIG TIME. The owners Oscar and Javi are incredible and they have gone out of their way to create an inclusive and fun hostel.
I think what brings it together is the communal area and tables in the central space and in the cooler months the crowd of guests that gather around the fire in the evenings. The atmosphere was authentic, interesting and friendly and we absolutely loved it there.
They have several types of accomodation available to suit their guests, from dorm stye shared rooms to private rooms. And next door they have a second property with four more private rooms in a home if a backpacker’s space isn’t quite your thing.
Midrange – 1770 Getaway
This heavenly spot combines good food with great accomodation. The Getaway Garden Cafe is one of the top picks for places to eat among both locals and visitors to town. And the five private villas, each with their own kitchen and verandah will also promise to satisfy if you are looking for some R & R. With the beach nearby and town just down the road, 1770 Getaway is close to everything but at the same time has that feeling of being surrounding by nature and quiet.
Where to Eat in Agnes Water
1770 Gelato Co
Relatively new to town at the time of our visit was the 1770 Gelato Co. They stand prominently on the corner as you enter the town of Agnes Water. We treated ourselves after our long 10km walk of the Agnes beach and glad we did!
The flavours are incredibly tempting and no doubt you’ll struggle as I did, to narrow you choice to just one.
For great pizza, look no further than Round Hill Round. Conveniently located almost directly beside Backpackers @ 1770, you’ll be back for pizza more than just the once. They even have options for the gluten free pizza lover and vegans.
As already mentioned above under sunsets in 1770 you must try the fish and chips at the Rusty Pelican. Of course it doesn’t have to be sunset, but that is definitely the prettiest time of the day.
Their fish and chips are the best in my opinion!
Getaway Garden Cafe
Also mentioned above under luxury accomodation is the Getaway Garden Cafe. This is just outside of town and is a pretty place to sit and enjoy a great lunch. The gardens are very pretty and the food is very popular with the locals!
IF you decide to cook for yourself then you’ll definitely want to take a drive out to Ron’s Fruit and Vegetables. Ron has cheaper produce than in the supermarket and some of it is grown right there on his farm.
We recommend you ask him about strawberry picking if the season is right. He’ll let you know the best time to visit so that you get the best tasting bag of strawberries in town.
Shhhh – Don’t Tell Anyone!
To finish up Agnes Water stole my heart! If there is anywhere I can see myself settling down, this might be it. But shhhhhh don’t tell anyone. I’d love to see Agnes Water and the town of 1770 stay just the way it is. So by all means, go, check it out, fall in love, but let’s keep this gem of a place on the down low.
If you are tripping around Australia and heading south then don’t miss this post about Brisbane on a Budget.
If you have visited Agnes Water and 1770, then please leave us a comment below with some of the activities you enjoyed on your stay.
And HEY, don’t forget to pin this post on the 10 Best Activities in Agnes Water!!!