A Birthday Like No Other

A Birthday Like No Other

Another lap around the sun and 1770 LARC! Tours turns 26 years old this month! We are so proud to have stood the test of time. Our amazing team have put in a lot of hard work to create what we consider one of the greatest ‘Must Do’ tours in Australia.

Even now, as things are a little tough for the tourism industry, we are using our time wisely to further enhance our tour experiences, so that they can be enjoyed for many more years to come.

We can’t host a party right now but let us share some memories with you. A lot can happen in 26 years!..

May 1994 – First LARC is registered Sir Joseph Banks

Visionary Des Mergard, wife Betty and family wanted to share the beauty and isolation of Bustard Head Lightstation with visitors from all around. Facing  challenging terrain and ever-changing sea conditions there was only one type of craft that was fit for the job and Des knew exactly where to find it. All the way from a car yard in Rockhampton already dressed in pink Sir Joseph Banks joined the family.

Pictured here is Sir Joseph Banks at Great Keppel Island in 1993 prior to being purchased by 1770 LARC! Tours.

July 1997 – Second LARC!

The capabilities of our first LARC! impressed everyone so much so, that in 1997 we presented Sir Joseph Banks with a side kick…. another LARC! suitably named Dr Daniel Carl Solander (Dr DC for short).

Sir Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Solander side by side at the 1770 Marina.

Sept 1999 – The Grand Sand Slam is born

If you have lived in the area for a while you know that the Grand Sand Slam is one of the best events in town! An event started with the local Lions Club, it involves dressing up, LARCing, seaside golf course and a beach party.

Participants from the 2019 Grand Sand Slam. Theme – Fairytale Characters

June 2002 – Eco Tourism Australia Certified

1770 LARC! Tours is proud to be an Eco Tourism Australia certified tour operator for over 17 years and listed as one of Eco Tourism Australia’s Green Travel Leaders. We are conscious of our effects on the environment, actively introducing more sustainable initiatives when available and will continue to investigate ways in which we can make a difference.

Proud to be the first Eco Tourism Certified operator in Central Queensland

Jan 2013 – The Foam Party

Although the images make this seem like a great day out, this foam party was actually a rescue mission. A large storm had swept through the region creating rough seas and mountains of sea foam. The guests are so happy because they were rescued after being stranded for days at a remote camping area next to Jenny Lind Creek.

Rescued campers playing in seafoam

March 2013 – Opening of the Lighthouse to the Public

Following a five-year costly bureaucratic battle, a marvelous new component was added to our signature Paradise Tour, allowing our guests to enter the operating lighthouse and climb the stairs to the Balcony. This was a significant milestone in Australian Maritime history and the ONLY place in Queensland where the public has this privilege.

Stuart Buchanan and Neil Mergard cutting the red ribbon, for the opening of the Lighthouse to the public.

July 2015 – Launching the Goolimbil Walkabout

Bringing to life a cultural experience was very important to us at 1770 LARC! Tours. The team wanted to provide a platform for our local indigenous people to share their ancestral history, respect for culture and country, showing visitors another aspect of the historical moments of the area.

Goolimbil Walkabout guide, welcomes guests to the walking track entrance.

June 2018 – Bustard Head Lighthouse 150th Birthday

It is not very often you get to hold a 150th Birthday Party, but that is exactly what we did! The celebration was held in honor of the past lighthouse keepers, the present BHLA volunteers, the restoration team and all who have passed here before us.

LARCman Neil celebrating the 150th birthday of Bustard Head Lighthouse.


We have far too many magical moments from our history to share here, but if you have a great story you’d like to share with us, we would love to hear it! Let us know in the comments below.

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