Perhaps a contender for the world’s strangest town name, the town of 1770 is a name you’ll want to remember if you’re looking for an idyllic getaway on the shores of the Great Barrier Reef. The town didn’t even have a name until 1939, when they decided to call it 1770 in honor of the day Captain James Cook anchored the Endeavour about 2 miles off shore on May 24, 1770. In many ways, 1770 is much the same in 2012 as it was back then, almost 250 years ago.
Also spelled out as Seventeen Seventy, any way you spell it, 1770 is as unusual as its name. What will you find there? Aside from not much at all except spectacularly beautiful and relatively empty subtropical beaches, these are a few of its claims to fame:
- 1770 is the northernmost surf spot on Australia’s east coast.
- It is the nearest access point to the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.
- Seventeen Seventy is one of only 3 eastern Australian towns where the sun sets over the water.
1770’s nearest neighbor, Agnes Waters, is a little bit better known, but not much. In fact, this part of Queensland is in many ways an inside secret, which makes it an ideal place to visit. The expression “laid back” describes the atmosphere perfectly, yet there is plenty of opportunity for adventure, too. For example, the only way you can get to the uninhabited Lady Musgrave Island is from 1770. This tiny island is less than 4 miles in circumference and is entirely surrounded by spectacular coral reefs. It is also home to sea turtles, who will accompany you while you snorkel on the reefs. Lady Musgrave is closed to humans between the months of February and March, when it is “booked out” by the turtles, who use its beaches for their hatchlings.
Agnes Waters/1770 is often called the Discovery Coast not only because of its discovery by Captain Cook, but because there is so much there for visitors to discover. Between the pristine empty beaches, the estuaries and the lush subtropical hinterland, it’s the kind of place that is perfect for the Robinson Crusoe in all of us. To make things easier, though, you can take the LARC tour out to Bustard Head lightstation, rent a bike or 3 wheel cruiser for two.
Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water, while not exactly metropolises, have some of the most beautiful beachfront accommodations you’ll find anywhere in the world. With shimmering silver sands and tranquil turquoise waters at your doorstep, you’ll be forgiven for wondering why Captain Cook and his crew didn’t simply come ashore and stay.
Rob enjoys exploring interesting towns and place like The Town of 1770. To explore some of these towns yourself check out our Town of 1770 Accommodation as well as other interesting accommodation options in other towns and cities across Australia.