Cooktown Australia

Cooktown Australia Travel Information

is easily the most interesting town to visit in Cape York and this part of Australia.

It has got such great amount of history, and so many things to see and do.

Bama 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.

cooktown grassy hill monument

The stay would end up long enough to become known as Australia's "first white settlement".

cooktown grassy hill sunset

But that was of course long before "Cook's Town" was built as a port for Palmer River gold rush.

cooktown sunset

Later, the town saw the building of Cooktown-Laura Railway, First and Second World War, a 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, places to stay, and more things to do both north and south of the town.

cooktown australia

Places in Cooktown Queensland
The waterfront parks have some great historical 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 Botanical Gardens, and the historical Cooktown cemetery.
NEW 2017 - and there is the new foreshore.

cooktown fishing

Fishing in Cooktown
Cooktown 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.

cooktown walks

Cooktown Walks
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.

cooktown tours

Cooktown Tours
There are a few different tours available in Cooktown.

There are town tours, 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.

cooktown festival

Cooktown Festival
In case you are around at the time of the Queen's birthday weekend, you can 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 other fun, competitions and performances.

cooktown sign

Places to Stay and Eat in Cooktown

cooktown accommodation

Cooktown Accommodation
The 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.

cooktown hotels

Hotels in Cooktown Australia
The 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.

cooktown restaurants

Cooktown Restaurants
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 Cafe.

cooktown tidiest town

What's Around Cooktown

coloured sands

North of Cooktown
North 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 drive across some large white sand dunes to Coloured Sands, Elim Beach and Cape Bedford.
And north of that is the beautiful and adventurous Cape Flattery.

archer point

South of Cooktown

South of the town are Keatings Lagoon, the Old Annan River Bridge, Walker Bay, Archer Point, Trevethan Falls and Black Mountain National Park.

Further south are the Little Annan River Gorge, and the Helenvale Bloomfield Road - that ends at the start of the famous Bloomfield Road.

Cooktown Tours

There are a few different Cooktown tours.

And they are 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 town, there are historical town tours.
   cooktown tour

Outside, there are tours to Black Mountain National Park, Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforests, Aboriginal cultural tours, as well as four wheel drive adventure tours to Bloomfield Road and elsewhere in southern Cape York.
   cooktown tours
On the water there are river cruises, ocean and reef cruises, as well as sightseeing and fishing trips. 

   cooktown cruises

All the Cooktown tours are listed in full detail (with companies, prices and contact details) in the Destination Guide.

The New Cooktown Foreshore

The new Cooktown foreshore is fantastic.

cooktown foreshore wharf

It is the new area behind the wharf.

cooktown foreshore powder house

It was finally finished in 2017, after many years of work.

cooktown foreshore walking path

It overlooks the beautiful mouth of Endeavour River,

cooktown foreshore views

... with the beautiful hills of the Cooktown north shore in the background.

cooktown foreshore picnic tables

There are picnic tables,

cooktown foreshore picnic shelter

... picnic shelters,

cooktown foreshore park bench

... just park benches to enjoy the views.

cooktown foreshore exercise machines

There are exercise machines,

cooktown foreshore water taps

.. drinking water and change rooms,

cooktown foreshore water park

... the new waterpark that kids love,

cooktown foreshore lookout point cooktown foreshore bridge

... and lookout points.

cooktown foreshore park cooktown foreshore change rooms

Great day time for a picnic lunch,

cooktown foreshore day time cooktown foreshore picnic lunch

... or for an evening time exercise / walk,

cooktown foreshore evening time cooktown foreshore picnic dinner

... or why not bring a picnic dinner :-)

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Lions Den and the Road a Month after Cyclone Ita 
Road from Lakeland to Lions Den pub is accessible to all traffic / some minor delays with roadworks - camping grounds are back to normal after the cyclone, …

I will always miss Cooktown! 
When talking to backpackers in Australia about their travelling to Far North Queensland many of them visited Cairns and Cape Tribulation and then they …

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