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Agnes Waters – A Pretty Little Beach Town

Agnes Waters – A Pretty Little Beach Town

After Fraser Island, we went back to Noosa for one more night. That night we said goodbye to our Fraser Island friends over burritos and tacos. The following morning we were on a Greyhound and preparing for our entire day of travelling. We’d never heard of Agnes Waters we chose to stay there for a couple of nights to break up the almost 24-hour coach journey to Airlie Beach.

Finally, we reached Agnes Waters at around 6 pm. The hostel was huge and our dorm for the next 2 nights was a little log cabin with 3 bunk beds. It turned out that we were staying in the same dorm as one of the guys from Fraser Island. We all decided to walk half an hour into Agnes Waters’ town centre.

A Sleepy Town

This consisted of walking along a poorly lit main road with loads of crickets and toads buzzing the whole time. When we got to the town centre we soon realised it may be a bit difficult to get food. With just one restaurant in the whole area that was fully booked and every shop already closed, we ended up eating in a service station. We got the hostels free bus back and watched some of the Olympics. That night we discovered that Agnes Waters is absolutely freezing at night. With just a thin sheet to cover me and no warm clothes, I spent the whole night shivering myself to sleep.

Our Final Surf

We had heard that Agnes Waters is the last stop up the East Coast where you could surf. So the next morning we got up and headed for the beach. We rented a couple of boards and carried them to the beach. Renting surfboards was so cheap here, around $20 per person for the day! Unfortunately, we didn’t think to check the waves before we got there. After a good half an hour of sitting in the ocean without any waves, we headed back to shore. Our day was spent surfing, sunbathing and walking along the beautiful, quiet beach. We learnt from our mistake from the first day and had a big, late lunch in one of the cafes in the centre. We also went to the shop to buy food to cook later that night.

Surfing Agnes Waters

Agnes Waters Beach

Our last night in this sleepy town was spent at the hostel bar, eating fajitas and drinking beer. The next day we had another long journey to Airlie Beach. This time it was an overnight coach trip, leaving in the late afternoon and arriving early the following morning. On our final day, we stayed in the hostel. With so much land to explore there was plenty to keep us occupied.

If you’re thinking of heading to Agnes Waters on your East Coast trip then consider renting surfboards or taking a surf lesson. With the boards being so cheap to rent it’s a must. Also look into Scooteroo; a motorbike tour which takes you to the town of 1770. This nearby town is definitely worth a visit if you want to see Captain James Cook’s second landing point and first landing in Queensland.

Surf Camp: Finding Our Mojo

Surf Camp: Finding Our Mojo

Where Next?

A few hours South of Byron Bay is a small beach called Arrawarra. With consistent waves ideal for beginners and barely anyone else in the area this is the perfect spot to learn the basics of surfing. While we travelled up the East Coast we spent 5 days here and left feeling confident enough to hire surfboards and try out our new skills.

Surf Camp Beach

The Arrival

Our Greyhound Coach dropped us off at around 4 am. A minibus was ready and waiting to take us to our new home for the next 5 days. On arrival, we were taken straight to our room – a shipping container with 2 bunk beds. We were told our first surf lesson would be at 10 am so we had a few hours sleep before starting our first day at surf camp.

We woke up, I found the bikini that was least likely to fall off in the waves and we headed to reception. After a brief walk around the camp, the receptionist took us to surf school. An outdoor seating area complete with hammocks and more surfboards than I could count.

Surf Camp Sign

Surf School

A tanned guy with long blonde hair introduced himself as our surf instructor and took us through the basics. We learnt about rips, different kinds of waves and hand signals (most importantly shakas along with a loud ‘yewwwww’ when you catch a wave). We were told to pick a wetsuit from the rack. They were torn and had holes in and were all slightly damp, making them hard to put on.

After the essentials, we grabbed some massive foam surfboards and walked 5 minutes to the beach. Here we did a quick warm up before learning the most important part of surfing – the pop-up. We were all instructed to lay on the sand on our hand drawn surfboards and started paddling. After a few paddles, an imaginary wave approaches us, at it reaches our toes we do another 3 paddles before ‘popping up’. The way we were taught to pop up is to bring your front foot up to your hands, your back foot up to the knee of the front foot and stand while simultaneously turning your feet to the side.

On land, I had mastered the pop-up and wanted to test my new found skills in the water. We carried/dragged our huge surfboards into the water and waited for a wave. I was the first to attempt riding a wave but was unsuccessful. Next was Sam, he has some weird talent of being good at any sport and obviously stood up the first time. And finally was the other girl in our group, who also didn’t manage to stand. On my second go I was determined to ride my first wave, and somehow I managed it! For the rest of the 2-hour class, we took it in turns to try and stand up. Sometimes succeeding but generally falling off in some spectacular ways.

Surfing Surf CampSurfing Surf Camp

The Camp

We wriggled out of our wetsuits and headed back to camp. It was almost lunch so we hung around the seating area where we would be eating. As it was still the middle of offseason the camp was extremely quiet – there were more staff members than actual guests. Eventually, someone called out that it was lunchtime and a surge of Mojo Surf staff appeared, forming a line for the food.

The surf camp food was pretty simple, just tonnes of pasta and rice and salad piled on a plastic plate. It was fine for a few days but by day 5 we were sick of eating pasta every day! After having seconds we decided to go and explore the camp. This place was quite basic – with one large room for food that gained a ping pong table when food wasn’t being served, a campfire area, shipping container dorms, a few teepees (for extra accommodation) and a brief walkway to the beach.

The thing that really made this place special was the people. On our first evening, a new group of surf beginners arrived at the camp for their lessons the following morning. We all sat together eating our pasta and discussed travelling, home countries, experiences and plans. The lack of signal and expensive WiFi charges meant everyone was happy sitting and talking without the distraction of their phones.

That evening was the weekly trivia quiz night at the nearby pub. We all decided to go along and test our international knowledge. We had quite a mix of countries in our group including English, German, Dutch and French so we were feeling confident. Unfortunately, all of the questions were about Australia and we did awfully! After 4 hours of surfing, Kangaroo Golf and a very early morning we were tired and in desperate need of a good night sleep.

When We Weren’t Surfing

Unfortunately, as it was offseason there was not a lot around camp to fill the time when we weren’t surfing. Luckily, for an extra charge, you could do other afternoon activities with the instructors. These included ocean rafting, kayaking, kangaroo golf and a 2 hour afternoon surfing session. We all opted to pay the extra and took part in most of these activities. A personal favourite of mine was Kangaroo Golf. Despite being awful at playing golf it was cool to be at a golf course where wild Kangaroos called home. Although these bouncy creatures weren’t as friendly as the ones you’ll find in zoos they let you get close enough to get a selfie.

Ocean Rafting Surf Camp

Kangaroo Golf Surf Camp

As well as outdoor activities we also played a lot of ping-pong and made a few trips to the bottle-o. On Saturday nights Surf Camp becomes a party camp. After buying our alcohol the social/chill out room gets transformed. We ended up teaching each other drinking games from our home countries and learning loads of new ring of fire rules. The camp fire also created a perfect setting for a few beers or a bag of goon. Although our clothes did end up stinking of smoke by the end of the 5 days.

The Verdict

Apart from learning to surf we also learnt the best cure for a hangover. An early morning and going into the ocean. After a few nose dives, I felt as good as new. From our first surf lesson to over 20 hours of supervised surfing we had learnt to stand, slow down and speed up, turn and how to get out to the back of the set. We were also taught surfing etiquette and good warm ups before heading into the ocean.

Overall, our time in surf camp was an amazing experience and if you have enough time I would recommend staying for the 5 days. But, if you don’t have the time at least try and stay for a couple of days. Although we were ready to leave and get back to reality by the end, the isolated location made for the ideal setting for this chilled out surf camp.

If you want to have a look at booking your own Surf Camp experience then head to their website. Mojo Surf hold lessons in Byron Bay and Bali as well. Lengths of stays vary from a single surf lesson to a 3-month surf instructor course.