I have lost count of the amount of travellers who have told me that they came to Australia with a dream of learning to surf. How many of them actually and up doing it is a few smaller number. Don’t be one of those who spend 12 months here and never get on a surfboard. Never feel the thrill of riding a wave. Many tourists are not aware that the amazing surf of the Australian coast does not run all the way up to Cairns. In fact Agnes Water, is the most norther surf beach on the east coast of Australia. Anges Water is 5.5 hours north of Brisbane and 2.5 hours south of Rockhampton (it is a 15 hour direct drive from Cairns!).
Not only is the town home to the most northerly surf beach on the Australian east coast, it is also one of the most charming and picturesque surf towns you’re likely to meet on your travels. The town is small, yet has everything you need. There is a council run campsite called Workmans Beach as well as a commercial camping grounds a couple of backpacker hostels and many, many apartments and houses for rent. You can camp at Workmans Beach for on $7 per person per night. The campsite has it’s own private beach as well as showers and drinkable water.
Speaking of great value for money, Agnes Water is home to cheapest surf school that I have ever seen. For $17 you will get a surfboard, rashie vest and qualified Surf Instructors for 3 hours. That is less than $6 per hour, you can’t even hire a board for that price! This popular surf class runs daily and starts at 10am. All you need to do is turn up at the Agnes Water surf shop (Reef2Beach) at 10am – no need to book. A photographer also goes into the water with each class to take some happy snaps. You can purchase these for $5 after the class at the Discover 1770 store, just bring along a USB stick, hard drive or SD card to pop the photo onto.
Possibly the greatest part about Ages Water is that it is in a warm Queensland environment but does not get invaded by marine stingers in the summer months! This means you can swim in the ocean all year round. So if you’re like me, and thinking that now November is rolling on in and the northern beaches of Queensland start to fill up with deadly marine stingers, that it maybe time to stat to think about heading south, make sure that Agnes Water is on your list of places to visit.
What else is there to do in Agnes Water? I’m glad you asked. I love this town and could talk about it all day, but for now, hee are my top three things to do in Agnes Water when you’re not learning to surf.
1. Walk the Red Rock Hiking Trail
The Red Rocks Hiking Trail is a bush and beach walk that winds it’s way along unspoiled beaches to incredible lookouts. The walk takes you over sand, rocks and gravel/dirt/grass paths, so good shoes are recommended. The path is approx. 3kms one-way and you return via the same path. I recommend taking your own water as there are no taps along the way, as well as a small snack. Take your time with this track. The more time you spend exploring the beaches, the rockpools and getting lost in your surrounding, the more incredible this place becomes. It is easy to be the only on on the path if you walk it on a weekday. All those beaches, just for you!
To get here, you follow Springs Rd out of Agnes Water, past Workmans Beach Camping Grounds and keep going for about 2kms. You will see the Paperbark Trail on your right hand side and a red dirt road on the left. Take this dirt road (which is without signage) to the carpark at the end and you will see the beach access path. The trail is well sign posted from here on in.
2. Watch the sunrise or sunset from 1770 lookout
If you drive through the town of 1770 and out the other side, you will reach the lookout point. From the carpark here you can see both the sunrise and sunset, as well as set off on a range of walks for a more immersive experience. We were lucky enough to see a blue moon rising from this vantage point. If you make it to the lookout at the right time, you can see the sun setting on one side of you and the moon rising on the other. Sounds great. It is. Super romantic (for all you lovers on the road).
3. Explore the Paperbark Trail
This short but magical trail follows the paperbark trees of the area as they weave in and out of the creek’s edge. This path is great for kids, however not suitable for those with low mobility as it is not a flat trail. I wont say too much about this, as I don’t want to give away the surprise of discovering it. I’ll just say that it’s a lovely way to spend half an hour. It is located just opposite the entry path to the Red Rock Hiking Trail so it’s a good idea to couple the two for a great day out. See the Red Rock Hiking Trail for directions.