It takes about four hours to drive from Rainbow Beach up to Agnes Waters and the Town of 1770. These two destinations are basically joined together, with Agnes Waters providing most of the facilities and 1770 hosting a number of resorts, caravan parks and eateries. The town of 1770 marks the place where Captain James Cook landed his ship, the Endeavour, on the 24th May of that same year. It was the second landing spot after Botany Bay in his journey up the East Coast of Australia. It was very interesting to visit the small museum here, which provided a wealth of information about his explorations, as well as other moments of historical significance for the area. It also housed a number of old artefacts, displaying the change in technology over the last century. I particularly enjoyed their telephone and typewriter collection.
There are plenty of resorts and caravan parks around here. We settled on a low-key camp ground called Workman’s Beach, which is in the forest, right next to the ocean and costs $7 per person a night, which the council comes to collect each morning. From here, you can walk down to Workman’s Beach, enjoying the tropical palm trees, lush green grasses and beautiful cove. This beach is like a hidden paradise. We are now officially above the tropic of Capricorn and so the weather is more humid, perfect for being in the ocean!
Seventeen Seventy will be our final surf destination on the East Coast. This is where the Great Barrier Reef begins and, consequently, it interrupts the surf as you round the point. Also, the water temperature is getting a lot warmer, so stingers will soon start to be an issue. Nonetheless, we surfed every morning we were here, making the most of our boards for the final time. Agnes Waters Beach is the most popular patrolled beach in town, but there were far too many surfers out there for our liking.
We found the surf to be a lot nicer and less crowded at Springs Beach. To get there, you take a dirt road through the forest, before arriving at the top of the boardwalk. Walking down hill for five minutes, you make it to the beach, where the Lazy Lizard Surf School is often out. We preferred to walk another five minutes down the beach to the point, where the waves broke more gently for longer. It was here that I caught the longest unbroken wave in my surfing career so far! It was the most exhilarating feeling and I had to get back out for more. All this surfing practice has finally paid off!
Aside from surfing, we also enjoyed some good walks, which take you to prominent historical sights. We visited the landing point of Captain James Cook and walked up Round Hill, which offered magical views of Bustard Bay. This is where Joseph Banks and his team of artists spent time collecting lots of drawings and specimens of native flora and fauna, back in the day. If you are walking much, make sure you always take plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen, as the sun is intense and will drain your energy very quickly!
As far as eating out, we spent one lunch time at The Marina. This place is very low key, serving fresh, healthy food right on the water. I enjoyed a delicious Veggie Stack and cuscus salad. There are several other eateries, though we did a lot of camp cooking, as well as treating ourselves to ice creams most days from the local IGA.
It was a sad morning in 1770, removing our fins and leg ropes, cleaning up the boards and putting them away in their bags. No doubt we will be back on some waves in the near future. But, for now, we say goodbye to the surf and head North to Airlie Beach. See you there!