Cooktown was awarded Queensland’s Tidiest Town title in 2014 by Keep Queensland Beautiful. Cooktown is currently a 4 star Queensland Tidy Town. Tell us what you think of Cooktown by voting in the poll below – you can give a 1 to 5 star rating.
Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland – where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook (431 metres or 1,415 feet) which rises up behind the town were named after James Cook.
It is the northern most town on the east coast of Australia and was founded on 25 October 1873 as a supply port for the goldfields along the Palmer River. It was called Cooks Town until 1874.
The site of modern Cooktown was the meeting place of two vastly different cultures when, in June 1770, the local Aboriginal Guugu Yimithirr tribe cautiously watched the crippled sailing ship – His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour – limp up the coast seeking a safe harbour after sustaining serious damage to its wooden hull on the Endeavour Reef, south of Cooktown.
The Guugu Yimithirr people saw the Endeavour beach in the calm waters near the mouth of their river, which they called “Wahalumbaal”. The British crew spent seven weeks on the site of present-day Cooktown, reparing their ship, replenishing food and water supplies, and caring for their sick. The extraordinary scientist, Joseph Banks, and Swedish naturalist Daniel Solander, who accompanied Cook on the expedition, collected, preserved and documented over 200 new species of plants. The young artist Sydney Parkinson illustrating the specimens – he was the first British artist to portray Aboriginal people from direct observation.
Local Government Information
Cook Shire is the largest shire in terms of land area in Queensland. From the Bloomfield River in the south to just north of the Jardine river it covers over 100 000 square kilometres and occupies 80% of Cape York Peninsula. Geographically the Cook Shire is the meeting place of the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics and the Outback. It is the location of many National Parks along with other protected areas and conservation zones.
There are 11 attractions: Guurrbi Tours, Grassy Hill, Gone Fishing Cooktown, James Cook Museum, Cooktown History Centre, Nature’s Powerhouse, Keating’s Lagoon, Alkoomie Station, Cooktown Glass Bottom Boat and Dingh Hire, Eliabeth Guzsely Gallery, and Cooktown Golf Links at Walker Bay.
Accommodation choices include: Alkoomie Station, Soverign Resort Hotel Cooktown, River of Gold Motel, Seaview Motel, Hillcrest Guest House, Hill Top Farmstay and Alamanada Inn.
According to Tripadvisor, there are 8 restaurants in Cooktown.