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

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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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

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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