At the southeastern edge of the Cape York Peninsula.

Historic Cooktown became a thriving port during the gold rush era after it was discovered by Captain James Cook.

Not long after the HMS Endeavour hit a reef in 1770.

Hardened, pioneering characters and years of geographic isolation have added to the frontier town’s unique character.

Which continues to charm adventurers today.

Indigenous, European and Chinese history come together in this once bustling town.

Wide streets with impressive handmade stone guttering and quaint buildings that were once the hub of commercial activity.

The graceful well-preserved Queenslander architecture gives a hint of days gone by.

Cooktown History

Monuments and museums are reminders of the town’s rich history.

The well-maintained cemetery bears testament to the hardships endured more than a century ago.

There is still plenty of evidence of Cooktown’s prosperity from the gold mining days.

History is even evident in Cooktown’s Botanic Gardens which were gazetted in 1878 and feature 62 hectares of native and exotic plants.

The Indigenous culture thrives in this part of Tropical North Queensland.

Join an Aboriginal family for a yarn and a meal at their home.

Tour the arts and cultural centre at a nearby Indigenous community.

Or take a guided tour of the rock art sites high in the hills.


Each June the landing of Captain Cook and his interaction with the Indigenous Guugu Yimithirr people is marked with a re-enactment ceremony.

This as a part of the three-day Cooktown Discovery Festival.

Getting To Cooktown

It’s asphalt all the way if you travel the 330 kilometres inland along the Mulligan Highway from Cairns.

But you can also take the Four Wheel Drive route for a fun adventure along the coastal route crossing rivers and creeks.

Driving through World Heritage-listed rainforest.

Cooktown has a regional airport with regular flights and a range of accommodation from camping to four-star hotels.


Captian Cook - Cooktown