Over lecture recess I traveled with a couple of study abroad students, Mitchell from USA and Miguel from Ecuador, to Agnes Water and the town of Seventeen Seventy to do some surfing. It is the closest place to Townsville that you can go to to catch some waves (an eight hour drive south) so we decided to roadtrip down there.
We had planned to start the trip at six in the morning so we could make it there by mid-day and still have a couple hours to surf. However, that plan was soon trashed as none of us managed to wake up until 10; so we ended up leaving Townsville at 1.30. The beginning of the trip was pretty uneventful and smooth-sailing and we made it to the town of Proserpine (outside Airlie beach) in good time. We then swapped drivers and continued driving and that was where we hit a rough patch. After 90 minutes of driving we blew a tire just outside the town of Sarina and had to spend a night sleeping in the car outside the tire repair shop, which, now that we think back on it, was actually quite an experience!
We woke up early the next day and set off as soon as we could. The drive from Sarina to Agnes Water took longer than expected and by the time we got to Agnes Water, it was already four in the afternoon and all the surf shops were closed. We checked in at a lovely backpackers’ hostel called Agnes Palms and got a private room with ensuite for only 25 pp/night. If you guys have been traveling around Australia you will know that for a private room, that is really cheap.
The third day of our trip was when we actually got to do some surfing. Surfboards could be rented for an entire day (9 am to 4 pm) for 30 dollars, but the owner of the surf shop was nice enough to knock the price down to 25 per person. With our surfboards in hand, we were finally ready to surf and excitedly made our way down to the beach!!
The Agnes Water beach stretched for miles and the conditions were perfect for a day of surfing. We slapped on some sunscreen, put some surf wax on the surfboard and made our way into the sea. Of the three of us, only Miguel has had experience with surfing; Mitchell and I were both first-timers. The waves were less than a meter high and we were feeling kinda bummed out that they weren’t higher and we felt like we wouldn’t have an good time surfing small waves.
We couldn’t have been more wrong. Surfing isn’t tough but it definitely isn’t easy either. Everything from paddling out to sea, straddling your board, to trying to catch the waves and standing up on your surfboard requires some form of mental and physical focus. However, once you manage to get the hang of it, surfing is extremely fun! All of us managed to catch decent amounts of waves and by lunch-time we were exhausted and had to stop to grab some food.
Right by Agnes Water beach is a lovely, quaint restaurant called Bustards. The food came in big portions and were decently priced; we each ordered a burger and fries for only 15 dollars. The service was impeccable too, but I guess the fact that we were the only table there kinda contributed to that.
After lunch we went back to surfing and did some things that probably should not be mentioned on this blog 😉 and by the end of the day we were exhausted and ready to head to bed to rest up for our long drive up to Airlie beach for our Whitsundays sailing trip! That, of course, will be covered in the next entry.
Agnes Water is a small lovely town that has some decent surf and a decent community and a more than decent atmosphere. If you are looking to surf without the hustle-bustle of places like Byron Bay and Bondi Beach, then Agnes Water is definitely the place you should go to!