Cooktown is the northernmost town on the east coast of Australia it is situated at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland.
Cooktown is a unique and charismatic town, the area is full of unspoilt natural beauty. It is a great location for the whole family and is fantastic all year round.
Cooktown’s weather is very pleasant, there is plenty of sunshine and the weather is generally warm. The town is shadowed by Mt. Cook and the surrounding hills which take the edge off the prevailing south easterly winds.
Cooktown was settled by Captain Cook in 1770 when the Endeavour boat was beached here, and is where Joseph Banks gathered 186 different species of Australian plantlife along the Endeavour River. Cooktown grew to the second largest town in Queensland after the Palmer River Gold Rush, although WWII and various cyclones almost destroyed Cooktown.
Webber Esplanade is to the north of the town and starts at the tip of Grassy Peak, where you will find the Powder Magazine which is the oldest brick building in Far North Queensland. There is a great view from the headland as well as from the top of the hill and it makes a pleasant walk back towards town, along the Endeavour River.
Once in town, the road turns into Charlotte Street and is where you will find a bank, some cafes and restaurants, many shops, a post office and several pubs. There are also some memorials and monuments along Charlotte Street, for Captain Cook and other explorers.
You can find out about the area at the Cooktown Museum and the wonderful James Cook Historical Museum. There is also a good display in the window of Jackey Jackey. Another great place to visit is the Mt Cook National Park, and well worth the climb nearby Mt Cook. The walk to the top and back down again takes about 3 hours, although the views are fantastic.
Cooktown is also a great place from where to explore the surrounding National Parks, with a variety of different tours offered. Around the town you can cruise along the river. Heading further afield, you can visit the Black Mountain National Park, Coloured Sands and Lakefield National Park.
There are several places to stay around the town, with a few campsites, and several guest houses, motels and hostels. There are also some good places to eat out. If you didn't fancy the drive from Cairns to Cooktown, then you can either hop on a Transtate Airlines flight, or catch one of the Coral Coaches from Cairns via either the Cooktown Developmental Road or the Bloomfield Track.
Destinations within Far North Queensland
|Cape York Peninsula
|Torres Strait Islands
|Other Far North Queensland Destinations