I found the best value surfing lesson I’ve ever heard of in a place you would probably never think to look.

The unassuming beach side town of Agnes Water looks like many other coastal towns. The tiny town centre takes about a minute to drive through, but it’s long stretch of sandy beach means everyone can find their own bit of peace and quiet on the seaside.

If you haven’t surfed much before, top of your list of things to do in Agnes Waters is take a surfing lesson. At $17 for a group surfing lesson that lasts around two hours, you really can’t go wrong.

I’ve only given surfing a go once before so I joined about 20 other people of various ages and abilities for the lesson offered by Reef2beach Surf School on Agnes Waters Beach. All equipment is provided, including a sunshirt – but you’ll need to bring sunscreen and a towel.

The Reef2Beach crew take you through the basics first – determining which foot will lead, how to stand up, how to fall so you don’t hurt yourself and carrying your board. After the instruction session, you’re split into groups of two for 15 minutes in the water, then 15 minutes rest while the other group had their go.

As part of the first group, I headed out into the water lining up with about a dozen others. Three coaches were in the water – and once it’s your turn, you head over to a coach who then tells you when to start paddling for an upcoming wave. You paddle your heart out, hear the coach yell stand and attempt to balance on the surfboard and ride the wave.

The first couple of times I didn’t get up – but then suddenly it all came together and there I was standing up on a surfboard – surfing!

If you want to take a relaxing dip after hitting the waves, head to 1770, the sister town of Agnes Waters only five kilometres down the road.

Here you’ll find warm water lapping over mud flats and near mangroves. 1770 is both a great place for sunrise and sunset – and I headed to the left side of the headland for a spectacular sunset on my first day in town – taking in the sunset while wading through the warm water.

Another must do spot is the Paperback Forest Boardwalk, located on Springs Road. It’s only a short walk in and out of the forest, and is worth the stop to take a look at the towering paperbarks and walk along the stepping blocks. If you’re lucky, the hundreds of butterflies that inhabit the paperbark forest will come out and say hello.

How to get there

Agnes Waters is a six hour drive north of Brisbane, mostly along the Bruce Highway. You’ll pass through or near a couple of country towns perfect for a stretch or snack stop on the way to break up your trip. Suggestions include Gympie, Childers, Bundaberg and Maryborough.


  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Camping

Skill Level