LARCing around in 1770, Queensland

The Queensland town of 1770 has a unique environment to explore. With creeks meeting the sea along this coastline a variety of ecosystems exist. Doing them all justice as you explore could be tricky unless you go on a LARC. “A what?” you say? Read on; I will explain.

The Town of 1770 sees large differences in high and low tide levels so Lighter Amphibious Resupply Vessels (LARC) provide a simple solution as they can be operated both on land and through water. Originally used as military transport in coastal areas (not painted neon pink presumably) the LARCs of 1770 Environmental Tours now devote their days to showing visitors the local sights.

View over Jenny Lind Creek and back towards 1770, Queensland, Australia

Several tours run but the day trip is the most comprehensive. The tour starts by heading north along Bustard Bay, past Eurimbula National Park. Morning tea of Billy Tea and damper is offered at Jenny Lind Creek, so named after a shipwreck occurred at the mouth of the creek. The damper was tasty and there was even some local entertainment in the form of a squad of bush turkeys trying to thieve damper from unsuspecting tourists.

Bustard Head Lighthouse was the first lighthouse built in Queensland and the next stop. Several points of interest sit high on top of Bustard Head. The lighthouse is open to the public and it is possible to climb up to the top of the lighthouse. It is only a small lighthouse but still offers views north to Gladstone and south to 1770. Since 1868 lighthouse keepers diligently lit the lighthouse every day but it was automated in 1986, and its abandonment left it vulnerable to vandalism.

Bustard Head Lighthouse, 1770, Queensland, Australia

The Bustard Head Lighthouse Association was formed in 2002 and has restored the lighthouse keeper’s cottage. It is now possible to walk though the restored house and explore the lighthouse artefacts and historical photos. If one of the volunteer lighthouse keepers is in residence you can chat with them and ask them questions. Bustard Head also has a small cemetery featuring the graves of people who lived there in years gone by. The LARC tour operators tell visitors the history of Bustard Head and the stories of the families that called it home, including tales of murder and intrigue.

After visiting Bustard Head, and escaping the hard sell attempt of one ex-lighthouse keeper turned author, we lunched on sandwiches on the shoreline of Jenny Lind Creek, and slipped the mistakenly chosen curried sandwiches to an obliging bush turkey.

The afternoon was spent hurtling down the impressive sand dunes inland from Bustard Bay on small bodyboards, sandboarding.

Sandboarding, 1770, Queensland, Australia

As we made our way back to 1770 it was initially a concern to see a local pleasure flight operator land his light aircraft on the beach. When the pilot invited people to go for a quick flight volunteers were a bit slow to come forward but when he returned looking for more there were several. The second round of volunteers however was never seen again. We were told they would land at the local airstrip. Hmmm.

The LARC tour offers a fun and informative day out for those wanting to learn a bit about the area and experience the multifunctional LARC vessels. The only thing that would have made the day more fun was wearing a sports bra (it’s a bumpy ride).

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