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Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770

Gavin from Australia

What are some of the factors that make up the perfect holiday? It should be an opportunity to spoil yourself, to get a bit of much needed pampering. It's a time to reconnect and bond with family members ... a private time where you can enjoy your own space and your own company with the people you love. It's a chance to enjoy and appreciate some different scenery, to get away from your normal boring surrounds and experience different faces and different places. Unfortunately, with the hordes of tourists flocking to the tourist hotspots, there aren't too many destinations that cater to the perfect holiday anymore. Luckily for you, then, that the towns of Agnes Waters and The Town of 1770, nestled into a quiet corner of Queensland's Discovery Coast, offer all you ever needed in a quiet getaway destination and more.

The two towns share a heavenly stretch of coast that is known as the first landing place of Captain James Cook in, you guessed it, 1770. Characterized by sparkling white beaches divided by rocky points and lookouts coated in lush vegetation with lots of palm trees, you can't help but marvel at the first impressions of Australia this area would have provided the Captain and his crew. Strict development laws and a resident population determined to retain the historical and natural heritage of the region has kept the urban growth of the region in check, so much of what you see now is exactly as Captain Cook would have seen it.

Relying on tourism for the majority of their income, the towns still provide all the necessary services and amenities within a quiet and serene village atmosphere, giving you the best of both worlds. The abundance of attractions in the area and the friendly and welcoming attitude of the locals will provide you with a holiday you won't forget.

The massive coral ecosystem that is the Great Barrier Reef is just a short boat ride away, with day trips to the Fitzroy Reef and Lady Musgrave Island available. The coral lagoon around Lady Musgrave is especially popular because of the sheltered snorkelling and scuba diving it provides. The island itself is covered in thick prisonia rainforest that is home to a variety of bird and wildlife, and its border of white sand is an ideal spot to take a break from the water. If you don't feel like getting wet, then take a cruise on a glass-bottomed boat, and enjoy the colors and underwater wonders of the reef from this safe and dry vantage point.

If watersports are your thing, then you will enjoy the novelty of surfing in Agnes Waters, which is the most northerly point on the Australian East Coast that still has surfable waves. Surfboards, bodyboards and surfing lessons are available here, but remember in the summer months there is the threat of the Irukandji jellyfish, so always inquire from the locals before hitting the water. The beaches around here are quiet and secluded, so if you would like to just relax, catch some sun and spend some quality time with the family, then you are spoiled for choice. Some of the better beaches are only accessible by 4WD, so if you want to do some exploring, check with the locals.

The marina at 1770 offers fishing charters which give you the choice of fishing the deep sea beyond the reef or the coastal estuaries. Many come here simply to indulge in the world-class fishing, but for those who would rather let others do the work, the restaurants in the town always have fresh seafood on the menu.

The attractions of The Town of 1770 and Agnes Waters are not limited to the beaches and the reef. Just a short drive away are two National Parks: Deepwater to the south and Eurimbula to the north. Hop into your campervan or hire a car and use the camping facilities at either of these parks as a base to explore their rich ecosystems. It will feel like you are in a large botanical garden, surrounded by mangrove fringed estuaries and freshwater paperbark swamps. As you go inland, the vegetation transforms to lowland eucalypt forests and then into tall rainforests with large hoop pine trees, and you are also bound to see lots of local wildlife.

The Town of 1770 is one of the few places on the East coast of Australia where you can stand on land, looking over water, and watch the sun go down over land. While enjoying the deep orange of the sunset over the bay, you are also likely to spot one of the bright pink amphibious vehicles that have become a feature of the town. A ride on one of these will take you to all the land-based and water-based attractions of the town, and is an exciting little outing for the kids. Adults and kids alike are also going to be interested in the history of the region, so why not visit the monument to Captain Cook erected near to where his boat first anchored. The museum in Agnes Waters documents the association of the region with Captain Cook, providing a wider historical overview. The Bustard Head lighthouse also has an interesting history of its own, first being manned in 1868.

A half day's drive north of Brisbane, and within easy driving distance of the Bundaberg and Gladstone airports, these two towns are easy enough to get to. Any drive you make is richly rewarded with the serenity and beauty of the region. There are accommodations to suit all types of budgets, from caravan parks and camping grounds to hotels and motels. Shops in the towns provide you with all your basic requirements, and there are numerous bars, taverns and restaurants. There is nothing more you could ask for from a holiday destination that Agnes Waters and The Town of 1770 do not provide!

Author: Author's Notes: Gavin Wyatt is a journalist with a passion for travel. Originally from Zambia, he has traveled around the world to end up on the sunny shores of Australia. Gavin is a travel writer with Discovery Rentals (Australia Car Rental)

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