250 YEARS: A re-enactment of Captain James Cook’s landing at Seventeen Seventy 250 years ago.
250 YEARS: A re-enactment of Captain James Cook’s landing at Seventeen Seventy 250 years ago.

Plans for a 1770 milestone redo

TODAY marked a special day for the town of Seventeen Seventy.

On May 24, 1770, 250 years ago, Captain James Cook and a party of men, accompanied by botanist Joseph Banks and other gentlemen, landed on the shores where the town now stands.

This weekend should have been the festival celebrating the event, however it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival has seen many changes since it started, attracting more visitors and growing into a must-see event for the tourist towns of Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water.

One constant throughout the festival's years has been performances and sharing of cultural knowledge by the traditional custodians, Gooreng Gooreng.

The 1770 Festival event manager Debbie O'Flaherty said the history was important as it was the first landing in what was now Queensland.

"Cook and others aboard the HMB Endeavour documented evidence of inhabitants and at the time nothing bad happened," Ms O'Flaherty said.

She noted there were many nationalities represented on the ship.

"I see it as the start of multicultural tourism in our now tourist town, with the first visitors from the HMB Endeavour," she said.

"They came, had a pleasant time, some great food (including 17-and-a-half-pound bustard bird) and left with souvenirs (plant specimens).

"In 2020, we still celebrate that day when they came ashore and the survival 250 years later of the Gooreng Gooreng peoples.

"It's a beautiful start to our shared history."

The 1770 Festival in 2020 was to be the 28th annual festival together with three weeks to showcase the towns.

Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce Inc's 1770 Festival team, along with major supporters Gladstone Regional Council and the Queensland Government, have committed to holding the same program in 2021.

The festival will run from May 6-23, 2021 with the main weekend on May 21-23.

Keep up with announcements at 1770 Festival on Facebook or visit www.visitagnes1770.com.au/1770-Festival.