Something Unexpected Happened On The LARC 1770 Tour In Queensland
Wondering whether to go on the LARC 1770 tour when visiting Agnes Water & 1770 in Queensland? As one of the best things to do in 1770, find out whether the number one tour is actually worth it!
It’s actually taken us over 18 months to do the LARC 1770 tour since we moved to the twin towns of Agnes Water & 1770. As it’s been on our list to experience for a while now, it’s something that we just hadn’t got around to doing. I suppose when you live in an area, it’s easy to leave the best bits for another time.
In our heads, we actually didn’t have high hopes because we thought it wasn’t going to be as exciting as it would be for someone visiting 1770 for the first time. However, the LARC 1770 tour absolutely gave us a whole new appreciation for living in one of Australia’s best beach towns! And yes, it’s true! Agnes Water & 1770 recently won the best small town in Queensland award!
Table of Contents
What Is The LARC?
The 1770 LARC! Tours is one of the leading tours in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. LARC stands for Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo, and were acquired as ex-military vessels for the tours to begin in 1994. They can take up to 64 passengers at a time and can go on 4WD tracks, climb headlands and float in the ocean.
Run by Neil Mergard, he co-founded the tours when hew was just 21 years old with his family. His passion for tourism and the environment is infectious if you’re lucky to meet him!
Which LARC Tour Should You Do?
There’s three 1770 LARC tours to consider, all providing slightly different experiences throughout different times of the day. We’ll break it down so you can choose which is best for you. We actually did the Afternoon Cruise which we’ll talk more about in detail.
7 Hour Tour
This is the all-day tour which is the most popular LARC tour as it takes you back in time to 150 years when you reach the Bustard Head Lighthouse to learn about the history there. It’s the second oldest lighthouse in Queensland, having been built in 1868 and is still running to this day. Plus! It’s the only running lighthouse in Queensland you can walk inside! There’s an eerily strange history about the lighthouse and is home to a small cemetery for those that lived there.
After you’ve learnt all about the history there, you’ll be given lunch before you embark on an afternoon of sandboarding down the dunes on Middle Island! If you’d like to pass on it, opt for a swim at Jenny Lind Creek instead! Then you’ll go wildlife spotting on the way back to 1770 as you go into the water and drive along the sand!
LARC & Lunch Tour
2 Hour Tour
In this two hour tour, you’ll head out and over the sand banks in 1770 before arriving at the stunningly untouched Eurimbula National Park for lunch. In this tour, you can do as much or as little as you like. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the sand and then either go for a walk, a swim or simply sit back in the picnic chairs provided. You can bring your own beach games to play with your family as well.
1 Hour Tour
We opted for the LARC 1770 Afternoon Cruise simply because it worked with our timings and we had just got a puppy, so we didn’t want to leave her for long. On this tour, we met at the office located at the 1770 Marina. It’s not difficult to find as you’ll see a couple of massive LARCs sat outside. After we signed in, we were greeted by a friendly host who invited us on board.
Within minutes, we had gone from driving on the road to floating in the water! The sun started to make it’s way down in the horizon, and although I’ve seen the famous 1770 sunsets plenty of times, there was something really special about this one.
As we started looking out for the impressive bio-diversity which surrounds Agnes Water & 1770, we made our way onto Eurimbula National Park and cruised along the beach. We looked out to the distance, and suddenly Steve and I looked to each other. We hadn’t seen these views before looking over the rolling hills in the distance as well as looking back to 1770. We both instantly realised in that moment how lucky we have been to live in this incredible special part of Australia.
Throughout the tour, I tried to put myself in the shoes of someone on holiday in Agnes Water & 1770 and feel excitement for being somewhere new. What I didn’t realise is that the tour isn’t only beautiful, it made us both feel extra proud and privileged to live in the best beach town in Australia. Trust me, we’ve travelled a lot throughout Australia and not seen anywhere quite like this place.
As 1770 pulled out another amazing sunset, we floated back to the marina and ended the tour feeling like it was totally worth it and an excellent way to see this slice of paradise in a completely different way. We wouldn’t hesitate to do the tour again and will definitely do the other tours soon!
If you’re wondering whether to go on the 1770 LARC tour, you won’t regret it!
You can take a day trip to some of the Southern Great Barrier Reef Islands from 1770! In our personal opinion, they are the best islands in the whole of the Great Barrier Reef because they take a bit longer to get to than the islands from Cairns for example. This means the water is clearer and you’ll more likely see much more coral and marine life.
Lady Musgrave Island is a gorgeous coral cay which is a deserted island with birds living there. You can camp, but you can also go on a day trip from 1770 too. Expect to snorkel with turtles and maybe manta rays if you’re lucky! You’ll also go on a glass bottom boat and will go on a guided walk on the island
Tip – take sea sickness tablets before you get on the boat, regardless if you think you’ll be OK.
You can do a day trip to Lady Elliot Island from Agnes Water & 1770 on Mondays or Fridays. While it’s the most amazing island we’ve personally been too, you need to stay overnight to experience the lagoon. Trust us when we say it’s worth it. You might see 30 turtles like we did, making it the best snorkelling we’ve done anywhere in the world!
The Red Rock Hiking Trail is an absolutely beautiful Agnes Water walk. It starts at Springs Beach (the road is opposite Paperbark Walk) and runs for about 2 hours return. You’ll come across plenty of mind blowing deserted beaches and wonder why you haven’t seen anyone else on the track.
The Paperbark Forest has become a bit of an Instagram worthy place, but for good reason. This is an absolutely beautiful walk, everyone needs to do. Although it takes about 10-15 minutes to walk around the circuit, you’ll never guess what it’s like from the roadside. You’ll feel like you’ve entered a hidden gem!
Sunrise & Sunset
Make sure you wake up early to experience a Agnes Water sunrise. Watch from Main Beach and go for an early morning swim or surf.
Head to 1770 campground or to the Marina to experience the famous sunsets! If it’s a dark night, head down to the beach to watch the falling stars and you might get lucky to witness glowing plankton in the water!
Where To Eat in Agnes Water & 1770
Wondering where to eat in Agnes Water & 1770? Here are some of our personal favourites you should know about!
1770 Getaway is our favourite place to eat in Agnes Water. The food is fresh and healthy and the setting is absolutely gorgeous. You’ll wonder whether you’ve stepped foot into a more beautiful cafe entrance.
The new guys in town are absolutely smashing it when it comes to fresh seafood. The locally caught seafood is outstanding, I wonder whether you’ll try a better fish & chips in your life after you’ve eaten here!
Round Hill Pizza
Round Hill Pizza has that holiday vibe with outdoor seating and fairy lights to match. Sit in and eat homemade pizza or opt for a picnic down at the beach.
1770 Gelato is the latest edition to Agnes Water and its proven to be super popular. The locally made ice cream changes weekly but it’s fantastic, you’ll be heading there everyday!
Holidays Cafe is a bit of an institution with the locals as it’s home to the best beach views in Agnes Water. Hidden in the Agnes Water Holiday Park, come here for breakfast or lunch and enjoy the views before heading back into the surf.
Lastly, you might be looking for the best places to stay in Agnes Water & 1770. Here is where we would personally stay.
Luxury: Sunrise at 1770 Holidays is an exclusive and beautiful Agnes Water accommodation option with a cracking pool overlooking the ocean. To us, this is where we would stay in a heartbeat. It’s a little out of the way, but it’s on the Red Rock walk and is honestly paradise at its best.
Mid-Range:1770 Getaway offers boutique accommodation in beautiful gardens with a swimming pool and bali inspired day beds. Plus! Don’t forget to eat at their gorgeous cafe!