Five Reasons to Visit Agnes Water

Five Reasons to Visit Agnes Water
Little Agnes Beach. Film photograph by Tiani Dun

Whether you're visiting for a week or just passing through, Agnes Water offers many outdoor adventures which await your exploration! If it's surfing, hiking, or beachside relaxing you're looking for, this picturesque township holds a little something for everybody.  

For me, Agnes Water feels like a home away from home. Each time I visit, it feels like I never left (and that I should never, ever leave again)! Although it lies 40 minutes from the M1 highway, don't let the slight detour deter you. Agnes Water is famously known for being "a little out of the way, but a lot out of the ordinary."

And if I haven't already convinced you, here are five reasons why this little town is the perfect addition to break up your road trip along the east coast of Australia.

1. Catch a wave at Springs Beach

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Springs Beach

If you're looking for convenience, a short walk to Main Beach will award you with both an epic point break and many beachies to choose from. But during the holiday season, Main Beach can get crowded. If you have access to a car, I recommend checking out Springs Beach, just a little way down Springs Road. The long trek down the rickety, wooden boardwalk is well worth your travels when you see the perfect, peeling waves, often void of any other humans! When the conditions are right, the long and friendly waves are perfect for learning and practising your skills. And trust me, you'll be glad you made the walk when you do.

2. Check out the Paperbark Forest

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The Paperbark Forest

The Paperbark Forest Boardwalk is a short, 400m walk just opposite the Springs Beach entrance. It's a short and sweet walk suitable for all fitness levels, and in just a few steps, you will be completely enveloped in hundreds of melaleuca trees. The track allows you to tip toe through the wetlands and amongst the green fronds while listening for frogs and looking out for butterflies. Whether you're about to grab a coffee or hit the beach, the Paperbark Forest is the perfect addition to your day.

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The Paperbark Forest

3. Hike to Red Rock

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The Red Rock trail

The Red Rock trail, located just south of Agnes Water, is a track that runs from Springs Beach to the Red Rock cliffs. This track requires an intermediate amount of fitness and involves steep inclines, boardwalks and beach sections. The walk can take a good couple of hours or the whole day if you wish to stop, take in the scenery or go for a swim. The rocks around the area are also perfect for snorkelling and freediving, so if the weather permits, be sure to pack your mask and snorkel!

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Snorkel spot along the Red Rock Trail

4. The Butterfly Walk

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Blue Tiger Butterflies

From March to May, the Blue Tiger Butterflies migrate by the thousands up to 1770. If you're there during this time, you can visit them in Joseph Banks Conservation Park on the 1770 Headland. Starting from the Captain Cook Monument point, a short, 1.2km walk takes you around the headland and through the Butterfly Walk. This track takes around 20 minutes to complete and requires a moderate level of fitness. From here, you will reach the 1770 headland car park with views overlooking Round Hill Creek and Bustard Bay.

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The Butterfly Walk

To extend the walk, start at the 1770 foreshore just opposite the camping ground and head north along the beach. Here you can wander through the tide pools to encounter crabs, stingrays and juvenile fish swimming through the mangroves. Make sure to pack your hat, sunnies, water bottles and cameras!

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1770 Foreshore

5. Catch a sunset

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1770 Headland

Agnes water is one of the only places along the East coast of Australia to have a westerly-facing peninsula. This makes it a perfect place to catch a sunset!

If you're feeling adventurous, head up to the 1770 Headland to check out the iconic Bustard Bay and Wave lookouts. It's pretty common to see dolphins and turtles from the lookout. During the winter months, look out for whales passing through as they migrate north!

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1770 Headland

Alternatively, head up the Discovery Trail to a quieter viewpoint. I recommend checking out both!

Interactive Map

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Discovery Trail Lookout

Where to stay if you're visiting Agnes Water

If you've been convinced and are now wondering where to stay, there are a plethora of options for both camping on the beach, in the forest, and in hostels.

Camping can be expensive in this popular region, particularly for solo travellers. If you're wondering where to stay for a good price, I would highly recommend booking a room at the Backpackers @1770. This small, family-owned business is super impressive: enter through a roof decorated with old surfboards, and a sign that reads, "If you're not barefoot then you're overdressed." The artsy décor, multiple hammocks, outdoor shower and undercover recreation area make this the perfect spot to relax. Further, campfire nights and cheap meals offered by the hostel create a unique community feel to the place and make it an easy place to meet other travellers. If you're keen for a surf, surfboards and bicycles are available to rent and the main beach is just a short 5-minute walk away!

Backpackers at 1770 no watermark

I've passed through Agnes Water a few times over the past three or so years, and this is always my go-to place to stay. The owners, Oscar, Javi and their newborn, Sol, will make you feel at home in no time.

All imagery in this article is film photography by Tiani Dun.

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