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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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resolution

How’s your New Year’s resolution tracking?

ALMOST half of the Australian population (48%) make a New Year’s resolution. Sadly, only around 6% of people stick to their resolutions and successfully achieve them. Four weeks in, it’s time to ask the tough question: Are you on track to accomplish your New Year’s resolution?

We often revert back to old habits, our busy everyday lives gets in the way or it simply seems too difficult to stick to our New Year’s resolutions (especially when on holidays). So take a stand this year and focus on achieving your goals. Trust us, you deserve it!

Whether you want to take some time out, learn something new or need to know the healthiest cafes to help you stick to your goals – we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together the ultimate guide that will help you jump start your New Year’s resolutions on the Gold Coast.

1. Practise Mindfulness in the Gold Coast Hinterland

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Gwinganna

Feeling stressed, disconnected with everything except your iPhone and not in control of your own feelings? Relax, revive and reset with a retreat to the Gold Coast Hinterland. In a world of busy, it is important to take some time out and reset. From January 2016, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat offers three premium Meditation Suites, designed specifically to help you focus on mindfulness. Together with the incredible wellness programs available at the retreat, a stay at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat will most certainly reduce stress, allow you to feel present and encourage you to live a healthier life this year.

2. Back to Basics – Camping on South Stradbroke Island

Are you longing to escape the fast pace of everyday life, get out and about and experience the stuff that your favourite childhood holiday memories are made of?  Then it’s time to get back to basics. Pack your camping gear, hop on a water taxi (you can also hire, charter or take your own boat) and head over to South Stradbroke Island for the ultimate weekend away.

Feel like Tom Hanks as you’re surrounded by native bushland, hike up white sand dunes and face the endless blue of the ocean. Choose from three camping grounds (Tipplers at the northern end of the island, North Currigee and Currigee at the southern end) and watch thousands of stars light up the night skies. Enjoy 22km of unspoilt beach (keep an eye out for humpback whales from June – October) and swim, bushwalk, drop in a line or simply relax as you create new memories with family or friends.

3. Eat Healthy

Are you (yet again) planning to eat healthy? Then don’t let a holiday get in your way! Here are our top three picks on where to go for a guilt-free, healthy bite on the Gold Coast:

  • BSKT Café, Nobby Beach – These guys are nutrition experts and serious about making both you and the planet a healthier place to live.
  • Cardamom Pod, Broadbeach- Inspired by the art of creative tasty cuisine with the principle ‘Nourish by Nature’, you’ll find all sorts of delicious vegetarian bites here.
  • Greenhouse Factory, Kirra – Providing a 100% plant based al a carte menu with organic produce and a fully licensed bar, this is a clear favourite with health conscious diners.

4. Learn Something New

If your New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to learn something new, we’ve got your covered. With 300 days of sunshine, guaranteed waves and a myriad of surf schools, the Gold Coast’s 57km stretch of golden sandy beaches are the perfect place to learn to surf. Check out Get Wet Surf School, Go Ride A Wave or Brad Holmes Surf Coaching.

Feeling less sporty? Invigorate your senses and experiment with flavours during a culinary class. Set in the Lost World Valley and overlooking the beautiful mountains of Lamington National Park, Wild Lime Cooking School offer classes that combine prime Scenic Rim produce and native Australian ingredients with flavours from around the world. Or you can learn the ropes from French trained chef, Terri Taylor, during a cooking class at Tamborine Cooking School.  Our pick is ‘Best of Tamborine Mountain’ which uses local cheese, quails eggs, locally grown organic vegetables and lots more.

5. Get Fit & Be Active

This is probably the most popular New Year’s resolution of all. While the Gold Coast offers plenty of activities to keep you fit – from endless walking trails, surf beaches and bike trails to outdoor yoga classes, water sports and outdoor fitness classes, the City is renowned for its sporting events. Our pick: The Gold Coast Airport Marathon (2-3 July) – Australia’s premier race along the Gold Coast’s surf beaches and Broadwater. With the choice of a flat 5.7km, 10km, half marathon or marathon course, this is the ultimate commitment to getting fit and being active in 2016.

6. Spend More Time with Family and Friends

Whether you’re planning a reunion (just like our favourite TV cast) or your goal is to reconnect with your family – the Gold Coast is the perfect place to create memories that will last you a lifetime.  The possibilities are endless – there are the beaches, theme parks, waterways, markets, the hinterland, shopping malls, nightlife, cafes and so much more. Start your day with breakfast at Elk Espresso in Broadbeach, and then cruise south along the beaches with Gold Coast Bike Tours before you take a dip in the ocean to cool off. Have lunch at the iconic Rainbow Bay Surf Life Saving Club, then browse through the shops at The Strand in Coolangatta, before heading north to Miami Marketta for a night of street food, local brews and live music.

PHOTO: Gwinganna by Paul Broben, courtesy of Gold Coast Tourism.

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