9 things to discover at Agnes Water

Agnes Water and Town of 1770 at the southern end of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef have come a long way since I first visited the Discovery Coast, long before the access roads were sealed.  

Back then, generally only Bundaberg and Gladstone locals who were looking for quiet fishing spots, and their relatives like us, braved the rough corrugated dirt roads. 

Since the roads were sealed, however, the area has really come of age and now attracts visitors from throughout Australia and overseas in great numbers. 

At first glance, Agnes Water and Town of 1770 still appear to be sleepy seaside villages but start exploring and you’ll find there are lots of things to do for people of all ages and interests including the Kent Barton gallery and Agnes Water Museum

Below are highlights from my recent stay in Agnes Water while on a short house-sitting stint.

For a full list of attractions and accommodation, visit http://www.visitagnes1770.com.au

Agnes Water and Town of 1770

The stunning beach from Agnes Water to 1770, seen from the Discovery Trail lookout behind the museum.

Agnes Water and 1770

The monument that marks there spot where Lieutenant James Cook and his crew came ashore in 1770.

Agnes Water and Town of 1770

John Richards offers free liquor tasting sessions at the 1770 Distillery at Agnes Water.

agnes water and 1770

Kent Barton’s artworks are displayed among the landscaped gardens of ‘The Lovely Cottages’.

Agnes Water and 1770

Live music can be enjoyed at Discovery Coast Rotary Markets held at the 1770 SES Grounds.

Agnes Water and 1770

Visitors enjoy the natural beauty of the  Paperbark Forest and nearby national parks.

agnes water and 1770

Stand Up Paddling – anyone can do it, even your dog.

Agnes Water and 1770

Day’s end for surfers near Agnes Water.



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Olivetti trumps Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook was swiftly demoted to second rank in my eyes when I discovered a long-lost love, Olivetti, at the Agnes Water Museum.

Despite Captain Cook’s notable achievements in charting Newfoundland and leading discovery expeditions to Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands, I could only think of Olivetti.

My heart skipped a beat as we met for the first time since my high school days when we spent endless hours blissfully crafting words together.

Many years have passed since then yet I remember reciting “a-s-d-f-;-l-k-j” as if it were yesterday. I fondly recall Olivetti patiently forgiving my mishaps and supporting my goals.   

Blinded by a horizontal cardboard bib that made it possible to bond with Olivetti only through touch, we forged a friendship that started a life-long love affair with words.    

The memories came flooding back as I spotted Olivetti sitting on a timber bench at the Agnes Water Museum. It was as though we’d never parted.  In some ways, we haven’t.

Only now do I realise the influence Olivetti has had on my life.  Every day, in some way, I continue to use the skill I learnt with Olivetti so many years ago.

While Olivetti’s family has undergone major changes and computers, tables and smart phones have replaced the old typewriters, my touch typing skill has thrived. Thank you, Olivetti.

Olivetti typewriters and so much more

Aside from the typewriters that piqued my interest, there are many more displays at the Agnes Water Museum to interest people of all ages.

There are informative displays on Captain James Cook’s voyages as well as the origins of the names of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water and other towns that make up the Discovery Coast.

Forming other displays are specimens collected by Joseph Banks and his party on the Endeavour voyage, maritime information of the shire’s coastline and ship wrecks, history on the Bustard Heard Lighthouse and Aboriginal artefacts. Collections also include shells, minerals, fossils, prams and bottles.

The museum is located at 69 Springs Road, Agnes Water Queensland 4677, adjacent to the Library, Visitor Information Centre and Community Centre complex.

For 10 things to do in Agnes Water and Town of 1770 visit my blog post on 10 things to do. Visit the website for more information.  


Outdoor art gallery a surprise find

Discovering Kent Barton’s outdoor art gallery on my first excursion at Agnes Water was a good sign I’d made the right choice in agreeing to a three-week house sitting stint in the region.

I’m not fussed on fishing or surfing so what else is there to do at Agnes Water and the neighbouring Town of 1770?

Plenty, said Lisa, the lovely wife of artist Kent Barton.

After greeting me with a warm welcome at their gallery on Bicentennial Drive, Lisa gave me a run-down of Discovery Coast highlights that ranged from a butterfly forest to the 1770 Distillery and Scooteroo chopper rides.

There are also the 1770 Stand Up Paddle tours, LARC (Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo) adventures, and the Agnes Water Museum on Spring Road.

I can choose from Lisa’s list later in the week but for today, I was enthralled with Kent’s relatively unique outdoor art gallery. 

His vibrant artworks are framed and mounted on tree trunks and timber fences in landscaped gardens, in a fashion I’d never seen before.

I felt very much ‘at home’ viewing Kent’s artworks that portray familiar aspects Queensland homes, similar to those in which I have lived and seen in various towns and cities across the state.

Kent said his exhibition titled ‘Queensland Dreaming’, consisted of fleeting moments of Queensland life (dreams).

“Some are of particular places and others are a composite, and some are wholly created from experiences,” he said.

“The majority of these artworks are reproduced from my ‘Serigraphs’ (silk-screen prints on paper).

“This is a process where I produce editions of ‘original prints’ by hand painting the stencil for each colour, directly on the silk-screen.

“This process renders a painted appearance, where shading and depth is achieved with solid colours.”

Hailing from Brisbane, Ken’s love of Queensland is reflected in his unique whimsical pictures.

His striking colourful style has attracted many art lovers locally and internationally, and he has won numerous art awards along the way.

Kent and Lisa live in Agnes Water where they own and operate The Lovely Cottages Holiday Retreat, art gallery, art studio, and the Discover 1770 Information and Tours shop.

For more information about the Kent Barton Art Gallery, visit www.kentbartonartgallery.com.au.

For 10 things to do in Agnes Water and Town of 1770 visit my blog post on 10 things to do

Visit the website for more information.  

art gallery

art gallery

art gallery

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