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.
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. NEW 2017 - and there is the new foreshore.
is one of the greatest places to fish in Cape York.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
of the town are the airport, a few places to stay, Endeavour Falls
(behind a caravan park), the Aboriginal
community of Hopevale, and
some large white sand
Coloured Sands, Elim
Beach and Cape Bedford.
And north of that is the beautiful and adventurous Cape Flattery.
of the town are Keatings
the Old Annan River
Trevethan Falls and Black
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
The New Cooktown Foreshore
The new Cooktown foreshore is
It is the new area behind the wharf.
It was finally finished in 2017,
after many years of work. It overlooks the beautiful mouth of Endeavour
River, ... with the beautiful hills of the Cooktown north shore in
the background. There are picnic tables, ... picnic shelters, ... just park benches to enjoy the views. There are exercise machines,
... drinking water and
change rooms, ... the new waterpark that kids love, ... and lookout points. Great day time for a picnic lunch,
... or for an evening time exercise / walk,
... or why not bring a picnic dinner :-)
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!
What Other Visitors Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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This site uses British
English, which is the English we use in
best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information on this
website is correct, this site is not to be blamed should there be a
My main project is still to improve every single page on this website with more information and more, better photos. With almost 300 pages and so many photos to go through, it is very time consuming work, but it gradually happens, every day, right now :-)
This is the ORIGINAL Cape York Travel Guide run Locally on the Peninsula.