The 1770 LARC! Tours

1770 LARC! Tours is a tour company based on the sparkling shores of the Town of 1770 (Seventeen Seventy). 1770 LARC! Tours offer 4 unique tour options on board the iconically pink amphibious LARC! vessels. These amazing vessels explore the edge of National Parks, pristine waterways and have exclusive access to Queensland’s first operating coastal lighthouse. The talented local skippers skilfully operate the vessels, showcasing their full capabilities – from hill climbs to splashdowns. While the guides present captivating wildlife, historical and cultural commentaries.

Who are the people behind your business

We have a local team team made up of exciting tour guides, organised marketers, smiling front office faces, talented LARChanics and skilled skippers, just to name a few. Throughout our 25 years of operation we have had an incredible amount of talent coming and going. Each staff member is a blessing to us, adding to that something special that we provide everyday.

Tell us something quirky or memorable about you, your customers or your business

Each of 1770 LARC! Tours 4 tour options provide a unique and exciting experience for everyone, but there is one that stands out from the crowd… Remotely located on the tip of Bustard Head lies Queensland’s first operating coastal lighthouse. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you realise it is now over 150 years old and nicknamed the “Lighthouse of Tragedy”. A string of mysteries begin here, missing persons, deaths, shipwrecks and fire. Some of these mysteries are now solved but some are still ongoing and mind boggling. On board the full day Paradise Tour the crew will take you to the very top (literally) of the mystery chain. Here they share with you all the stories and evidence to see if you can super sleuth the answers.

James De Angelis - 14th March 2020 Had an absolute blast on the paradise tour with Sammy and Macca. Both were wonderful tour guides. The history of the lighthouse and the residents of past told by Macca was fascinating and informative. Sammys knowledge of the area was 2nd to none, and her passion for nature and conservation complimented the day. Such a great place to visit and would recommend this tour to anyone visiting the area.

What is a thing you love about your business?

We love the unique access that we have to such a special and historical piece of Australia. The National Park and waterways that we visit are almost exactly as they would have been hundreds of years ago. An archive of the areas history is stored at the Bustard Head Lightstation where the Lighthouse tower provides a full 360 degree view over it all. When all three pieces of our puzzle come together – Environment, History and LARC!, we can create a truly incredible and unique experience for all of our guests. And that’s why we do it!

What is the company background?

1770 LARC! Tours, began operation in May 1994. Visionary Des Mergard, wife Betty and family wanted to share the beauty and isolation of Bustard Head Lightstation with visitors from all around. However, with challenging terrain and ever-changing sea conditions there was only one type of craft that was fit for the job. 2 ex-military Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo (L.A.R.C) vessel were acquired for their versatility, reliability and low environmental impact. The LARC’s are an ideal form of transport to access the 27kms of picturesque coastline in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region. 25 years later the company is now owned an operated by Des and Betty’s son, Neil Mergard who plans to keep it going for another 25 years and eventually pass to his own son.

What is your ultimate vision for your business?

From the very start our aim is to preserve our environment, share our history and continue to inspire all that visit to do the same. We want our guests to remember fondly their experience and want to share it with everyone that they meet.

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