Carla from Get Away Garden Cafe on the outskirts of Agnes told us, “Only those prepared to get off the beaten track find Agnes Water and the Town of 1700”, which are located on the Capricornia Coast of central Queensland. Two tiny coastal hamlets featuring beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and a good dose of laid back lifestyle are a short deviation from the main route north. We visited at the end of July which was just about perfect. The weather was around 23 degrees, there were few tourists and accommodation prices were surprisingly low.
Agnes Water is a small but growing town which is popular with tourists, as well as boating and fishing enthusiasts. It has a modest shopping centre, a few restaurants, a pub and a bottle shop. Accommodation ranges from backpacker digs to five star luxury.
We stayed at Pavilions On 1770 Resort. Our apartment was very modern with two large bedrooms, both with en-suites, a full size designer kitchen, comfortable living room, BBQ facilities and heated pool and all about 100 metres from the surf beach.
The bungalows at Get Away Garden Cafe, set in stunning, tropical gardens, also looked inviting, were centrally located, and offered some of the best food and coffee in town. This luxuriant oasis was planted by Carla’s in-laws 10 years ago and is a local favourite. Just try to resist one of their giant vanilla slices for morning tea. This coffee and food hub is a great stop on the way to the outlying beaches.
At sunset on the first evening we made our way less than a kilometre along the road to the Town of 1770. The red and pink hues igniting the lingering streaks of clouds were breathtaking as the subtle fading light shimmered over the calm waters of the bay where Lieutenant James Cook made his second historical landing on Australian soil in, you guessed it, 1770. To make things even more perfect, have a drink at the local Hotel Bar and soak up the full ambience, cocktail in hand, as the sun sinks below the horizon and the night sky works its magic.
Taking local recommendations we ate one evening at Drift and Wood, starting with seafood sharing plates. Main course offered the usual suspects, fish and a variety of meats. We chose the pork belly. Were we wowed? Not really, but the food was reasonable, as was the bill.
We woke to another perfect day of sunshine so we headed down Springs Road and took the unsealed bumpy track at Red Rock turn off. About 500 metres up the road we parked and then walked down the well constructed path to find nirvana. Most walkers are interested in taking the Red Rock walking trail to the right of the beach. We did the opposite, turned left and walked along the gorgeous, deserted beach towards the rocks. Here on this beautiful sandy beach, under the dappled shade of an Australian eucalyptus tree we dispensed with our swimmers and enjoyed a few hours of natural bliss. Of course nude bathing is not encouraged here but we kept watch for any ‘textiles’ who might decide to invade our little slice of perfect paradise. The walk back to the car is a bit of a challenge but take the time to look at the amazing palms amidst the tropical canopy.
Cliff walking is a must do on this part of the coast, especially around the 1770 area and the Sir Joseph Banks Conservation Park. We started at the monument marking the point where Cook first set foot on land and followed the spectacular coastline with dense forest, scenic bays and rugged rocky outcrops. Here you can find a number of trails, some taking up to five hours to complete. There are also other walking trails around the beaches of Agnes Water, Red Rock Trail being one of the most popular.
1770 and Agnes Water are charming beach chill out spots worthy of a few days to relax and unwind. If you are interested in boating, nature walks and fishing perhaps a longer stay would be well worth it.