Postcard from 1770 : Playground of the Great Barrier Reef

Aqua playground in the heart of the rainforest

Aqua playground in the heart of the rainforest

where Captain Cook landed in Queensland, Australia in the year 1770 is the official birthplace of what’ known as the “Sunshine State”.  and for good reason. I can only imagine what he and his crew felt when they first laid eyes on the rainforest-fringed, aqua playground this part of Australia is. so much pristine beauty, sunshine and seafood … but with no sunglasses or sunblock, I bet they all fried like prawns on a barbie.

My friends Catherine and her husband recently made a sea change, moving to 1770 when he landed the position as Executive Chef at the resort Lagoons 1770.  Leaving Brisbane behind, they’re now happily “living the dream”, their days a glorious fusion of piña coladas by the resort’s lagoon pool, swims in the nearby reef, river fishing by moonlight, headland hikes overlooking endless aqua vistas, walks through the enchanting “butterfly forest” and day trips to nearby Lady Musgrove Island.

Where kangaroos roam at Getaway Garden Cafe

Where kangaroos roam at Getaway Garden Cafe

Slightly sick with lifestyle envy, I jump at the invitation to spend not one but two sun-soaked weeks with them.  The colours captivate me: vast blue skies, aqua lagoon reefs, emerald green forests and bromeliad flowers in shades of hot pink, orange and yellow.

Sunglasses glued to my face from sunup to sundown, I am bedazzled by so much sunlight and beauty, taking hundreds of photos and videos, that I deplete my iPhone’s photo storage capacity within the first few days.

In the butterfly-filled paperbark forest

In the butterfly-filled paperbark forest

From aqua waters to pristine tropical forests to hidden garden cafés through which kangaroos roam and back to the resort for poolside feasting on exotic cuisine (obligatory glass or two of Moët in hand) … I am swept away by so much lushness and abundance, I very quickly lose track of what day of the week it is!

1770 LOVES | amours de 1770

Action love :

If you’re new to stand up paddleboarding, you’ll love doing it for the first time with Chris in these calm, expansive aqua waters nestled into the cove at 1770.  Congratulate yourself afterwards with a cheeky cocktail at the 1770 Beach Hotel, a chilled out bar overlooking the forest boardwalk and white sandy beach.

Wildlife love :

Getting up close and (almost) personal with intimidating, potentially dangerous kangaroos roaming freely in the tropical gardens at Getaway Garden Café … just don’t make eye contact!

Nature love :

From the moment you step into the paperbark forest in nearby Agnes Waters you’ll sense a hushed, almost spiritual silence punctuated only by the flapping wings of butterflies as they flit among the peeling, papery bark of the forest trees and huge cabbage palms.

Dining love :

Poolside, at Plantations Restaurant, in the resort at Lagoons 1770.  Because I know the chef.  And because his menu is an exotic assemblage of Italian, Asian, seafood and Aussie cuisines.  And because his cooking is so divine, I like to blame him for the extra few kilos I gained while staying there!


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