It seemed we had only just left Seventeen Seventy, when we pulled off the road and stopped. I didn’t even get my morning nap! About 1km south of the Agnes Water main beach is a dog-friendly, council camping ground at Workman’s Beach. Spots are allocated on a first come, first served basis, no booking in. It is a well-appointed campground with flushing toilets, cold showers and a well-maintained picnic area with free gas BBQs. About 30 spots are marked and numbered, but in peak seasons they squeeze a few more in. There are no laundry facilities, but there is a laundromat in town. When we arrived, it seemed to be mostly occupied by adult couples with dogs! The ranger comes around to collect fees, $9.35 per person per night at time of writing. He must be the only person in Australia who still has 5c pieces in his pocket! We found a nice little corner site with bush on two sides and just one neighbour.
Before I knew it, the folks had erected the big blue kennel, spread a groundsheet between it and the van and we went down to the beach for a swim. After dog paddling a little, [I guess the folks were people paddling], I went back in to the water’s edge to save energy in case anyone needed rescuing. I paddled back out a couple of times to check they were OK and point them towards the shore. Lifeguard duties require eternal vigilance!
There is no electricity supply in the park, so it got very dark shortly after 6pm. Most vans had 12v lights and solar panels to charge their batteries and the toilets had little solar powered lights. Even so, it was generally very quiet by about 9 pm. Next morning Ranger Ross, came around. Very helpful fellow and obvious dog lover. He gave us a map of the local walks and lookouts, plus tips about local beaches. Most of the surrounding beaches are dog on lead. There are some additional doggie no-go areas in turtle hatching season [roughly November to April]. The dog off lead beach between Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy is only 5 minutes away by car. We had already done that from the 1770 end but did it again from the Agnes Water end towards later in our stay.
Several walking tracks lead out from the camping ground. Walking North, there is a great look out where you can see most of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy, especially good at sunrise or sunset. A little further on, the track passes the tourist information office and museum before reaching the main township of Agnes Water. We did this walk one morning and had breakfast at Codie’s Place, near the main beach. Dog friendly, the folks enjoyed the food, I got a bit of bacon. Great place! The walking was about 20 minutes each way.
South from the campsite is a track to Chinaman’s Beach. Another great spot, but a turtle breeding ground in season. When we walked there the lookout was a bit overgrown with trees. Couldn’t see a thing from dog level! About 1km south of the camp, is the Getaway Garden Cafe. This is a dog friendly cafe set in lush gardens. The folks lunched there one day. We arrived by car on the way back from visiting nearby Springs Beach, but it would have been an easy walk from the campsite.
We really enjoyed our few days at Workmen’s Beach. The Silverback managed a bit of body surfing, the Sparrow took some photos, I met a few new dogs, all of who were cool except one bogan who bit me on the leg! His owner had a similar personality, so I’m guessing his life’s not all gravy. Limped around a bit at tea time and got some extra tit-bits. Every cloud has a silver lining!
Footnote: It turned out the folks swam every afternoon as a pre-shower ritual and made it to shore unaided each time. I came back to shore before them every day, and kept paddling back out to check on them just in case. Preparedness is a big part of dogliness!