Sunshine and Snorkeling in 1770

Mr. Turtle

No this post isn’t about the year 1770, I’m talking about the town of 1770 which was the first stop of Captain James Cook when he landed in Queensland, his second stop overall in Australia. The town itself only has about 60 people but the surrounding area and the neighbouring town of Agnes Water have some awesome surfing beaches, beautiful coastal scenery, dozens of coral fringed islands offshore and a very laid back atmosphere. The area is also far enough off the beaten track to have not nearly as many visitors as most places.

We arrived here Sunday morning after driving from Rockhampton and found a very nice hostel to stay in. After a load of laundry and some lunch we explored the area with a lookout over the bay where Captain Cook landed and an awesome coastal hike with crashing surf, rocky headlands and secluded beaches. The sky’s cleared right off on the way back giving us some very nice evening light to appreciate and capture the scenery in.  We even saw three Kangaroos on the grass right next to the beach! I’d seen travel brochures with photos like this and figured they were photo-shopped!  Of course they jumped away before I could capture their silhouette against the crashing surf so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Our sailing trip had just given us a taste of the reef so on Monday we boarded the Spirit of 1770, a high speed catamaran, for a full day tour out to Lady Musgrave Island.  We were lucky enough to have a perfect day with sunny skies and minimal wind.  Lady Musgrave Island is a coral cay with a complete ring of coral forming a large protected lagoon with a small island off to one side, covered in jungle.  Away from the coast and protected by the outer reef, the waters in the lagoon are calm, crystal clear and azure blue making for a perfect castaway setting.  We started off with a guided walk around the island and a ride in the glass bottom boat.  After lunch we suited up and switched off going snorkeling around the very colourful coral and taking Isaac on the semi-submersible tours.  He’s a big fan of watching all the fish!  The sunshine and clear water made for excellent snorkeling with thousands of fish, lots of very colourful coral, sea turtles, sea cucumbers, squid and giant clams.  The snorkeling here showed me that the scenes from Finding Nemo aren’t that far off from reality!  We also spotted dolphins and a giant petrel while on the tour.  The great weather and awesome snorkeling made this tour very much worth it.

On Tuesday we took a short walk on the beach in Agnes Water in the morning and then took off south again for the Sunshine coast to visit my family in Buderim.  We arrived in time for a great supper with Marina and Koos and the whole family.  We’re planning on about a week here visiting, relaxing and exploring the area and are greatly looking forward to it!  Plans include the Australia Zoo, 4×4 driving up Rainbow beach, exploring the Glass House Mountains and checking out the local towns and markets.

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