This winter break our family decided to have a short getaway to Seventeen-Seventy and Agnes Water, a manageable five and a half hour drive north of Brisbane. The trip started innocently enough as we followed the tried-and-true ritual of each packing our own bags and then leaving the husband to Tetris everything into the back of the car. It wasn’t until we made a pit-stop at Gympie that I discovered a catastrophe had occurred. Where the heck was my bright red you-can't-miss it backpack?
Of course I stared at Mr Don’t Go Chucking Anything Into The Boot – I’ve Got A System with the same level of dread you might expect when you’re stuck beside an empty carousel at the airport and everyone else has grabbed their stuff and left already. Turned out my bag had gotten lost in the 'system'.
Between Gympie and Maryborough, where I scurried between budget stores trying to cobble at least one extra outfit together, the tension was thick. I warded off the explanations and excuses with a disclaimer: Let me just sit here and be silently furious for the next twenty minutes at which point I will forgive and we might even be able to have a little laugh about the unfortunate situation.
On arrival at our intended destination at last we headed up Captain Cook Drive to Seventeen-Seventy and stretched our legs at Joseph Banks Regional Park, enjoying the view over Bustard Bay. The spot is where Captain Cook and his men anchored the Endeavour for the first time in Queensland on Wednesday 24 May 1770 and spent a few hours checking out the local flora and fauna.
They obviously kept their boots on because if they hadn’t they might have stood on one of the hundreds of deadly stone fish down around the mangroves on the beach and history might have been very different... We learned about the aquatic hazard when we rented some kayaks for an hour. Our helpful instructor at 1770 Liquid Adventures pointed fifty metres up the beach and said, ‘Don’t get out there, okay? Hundreds of stone fish that can kill you.' Despite the dangers we had an amazing time on the crystal clear water exploring our way along the sandbanks.
At Agnes Water Beach we basically had the place to ourselves and spent a couple of mornings flying kites, building sandcastles and paddling in the surf. Despite getting to 28 degrees (celsius), being the middle of winter meant we didn’t have to worry about stingers in the water.
We took the kids on their first golfing experience where we had to share the fairway with some non-plussed kangaroos who refused to budge. One rather large buck stood up tall and watched as one of the kids took a swing. I swear the roo turned his head to watch where the ball went. When if became apparent that the club had missed he watched again. On the second miss the kangaroo hung his head in disappointment and then bounced away. I kid you not, that’s a true story!
There were a number of places to eat out but hands down our favourites were a sweet little café called Codie’s Place and the sprawling Agnes Water Tavern up on the hill. The food at both places was awesome.
A final little jaunt we took before heading home was to the Paperbark Forest Trail, a tranquil 400 boardwalk full of ghostly gums and lush ferns.