is easily the most interesting town to visit in
York and this part of Australia.
It has got such great amount of history, and so many things
to see and
Aboriginal People lived here undisturbed until 1770 when Captain James
Cook got his ship damaged on the reef and needed to stop to repair it.
The stay would end up
enough to become known as Australia's
"first white settlement".
But that was of course long before "Cook's Town" was built as a port
River gold rush.
Later, the town saw the building of Cooktown-Laura Railway, First
and Second World
few devastating fires and cyclones;
and there are displays on it all in the Historical Society and the
James Cook Museum.
What to See and Do in Cooktown
There is some great fishing,
to stay, and more things to do both north and south of the
waterfront parks have some
landmarks, statues and monuments. Grassy Hill lookout has the old
lighthouse and some great views over
the town. There is the interesting James Cook Museum, the lovely
Gardens, and the historical Cooktown cemetery.
is one of the greatest places to fish in Cape York. While
most of the fishing goes on at the wharf, there are also the rock walls
just north of it and the boat ramp area just south of it; or catch a
fishing charter to the Endeavour or Annan river, or the reef.
There are many nice walks in Cooktown, from the strolls in the town's
historical streets and the cemetery to a bit harder ones like Grassy
Hill, Cherry Tree Bay, Finch Bay and Botanical Gardens; and some
half serious climbs such as Mt Cook. All are beautiful with great views.
are a few different tours available in Cooktown. There are
four wheel drive tours to places to the north and the south of the
town, and trips to the rivers
and the ocean - fishing and croc spotting. You can also visit
Cooktown on a tour from Cairns
or Port Douglas.
In case you are around at the time of the Queen's birthday weekend, you
enjoy this great event and learn the history through re-enactment of
the arrival and stay of Captain
James Cook in 1770. The three day festival also has a lot of
fun, competitions and performances.
Places to Stay and Eat in
town has a fair range of accommodation to choose from. There
are two hotels, a few motels, a resort, a backpackers hostel and four
caravan parks. There is now also cheap camping but only for self
contained vehicles, meaning vans with own toilet and shower facilities.
in Cooktown Australia
old pubs of Cooktown are some of the best historical buildings
in the main
street. They are good and popular, with beer gardens, they serve great
meals, they have accommodation, they put on
some great entertainment, and they sell alcohol from their bottle shops.
There are many nice places to eat. The finest dining is at the
Fisherman's Wharf and Sovereign Resort. Other good places are the
Thai and Italian Restaurant and Seagren's Inn. A great place for lunch
is the Cook's Landing Kiosk, and popular with locals is the Cooktown
What's Around Cooktown
of the town are the airport, a few places to stay, Endeavour Falls
(behind a caravan park), the Aboriginal community of Hopevale, and the beautiful
some large white sand
Coloured Sands, Elim
Beach and Cape Bedford. And north of that is Cape Flattery.
of the town are Keatings
the Old Annan River
Trevethan Falls, Black
Park and further
south are the Little Annan River Gorge, and the Helenvale Bloomfield
Road that ends at the start of the famous Bloomfield
a few different Cooktown tours.
quite a handy way to see
what there is
in and outside the town, without
spending too much time on planning and looking yourself. In the
Outside, there are
tours to Black
Mountain National Park, Cape
cultural tours, as well as four wheel
drive adventure tours to Bloomfield
and elsewhere in southern
On the water
there are river
cruises, ocean and reef cruises, as well
sightseeing and fishing trips.
Cooktown tours are
full detail (with companies, prices and contact details) in the
Did you Go to Cooktown?
Or do you live there? Do you have a story, a question or maybe a tip to other travellers? Other readers want to hear!
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