Back off Byron, 1770 doesn’t want to be ‘celebrity hotspot’
Back-off Hollywood A-listers and the global rich and famous, the idyllic paradise that is 1770 wants to stay sans Range Rovers, Raybans, Rolexes and remain the tranquil gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Yesterday News.com.au's James Weir called out tourist hotspot Byron Bay as being "over cooked", full of celebrities, tofu, chia seeds and acai bowls.
Having previously worked at Byron Bay while living nearby, the painful journey to the CBD, which can take more than one hour, is enough to scare anyone away, regardless of the coastal scenery.
Weir based his hypothesis on the fact Today Show host Karl Stefanovic chose to holiday at Noosa Heads, shunning the celebrity magnetism and paparazzi of Byron Bay.
This prompted Weir to explore alternative locations for the "next Byron Bay", suggesting 1770.
"Somewhere with a lot of untapped potential is Seventeen Seventy, between Gladstone and Bundaberg," Weir said.
"There's only about a hundred people living there so we can just blow through and do whatever we want with the joint.
"We'll roll in a few bulldozers, whack up a water slide park and build a food court where the caravan ground is.
"The town also has a bit of mystery and intrigue about it.
"Like Byron, you need to fly into an airport and then drive an hour to get there.
"It's remote and secretive. Untouched."
Yes, James, 1770 is remote, secretive and untouched and the locals love it that way.
Ever since Captain James Cook anchored the Endeavour in Bustard Bay and came ashore with Sir Joseph Banks and crew, the spectacular scenery and raw beauty of 1770 has been "on the map".
Despite that, the town's remote coastal location, 90 minutes from both Bundaberg and Gladstone, has protected it from any mass tourism invasion and the subsequent growth.
Sure, Air Bnb's have popped up in significant numbers and the 1770 Agnes Water region has become a booking.com hotspot.
But Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce president Amber Rodgers said locals just loved the laid-back tropical coastal vibe 1770 and Agnes Water as it is.
When The Observer contacted Ms Rodgers for her thoughts on 1770 becoming the next Byron Bay, she was adamant it was not what locals wanted.
"The short answer is, no," she said.
"To the residents and regular visitors of Agnes and 1770, bulldozing trees and having huge numbers that our natural area and our infrastructure cannot cater for, is not our goal. "Sustainable growth and well thought out changes may well occur here, however being Byron is not the aim."