Photo: Willie Gordon, Tea with Willie (2013) (Used with permission)

The site of Australia’s first European settlement, Cooktown, Queensland, is famous for being the place where Captain James Cook stopped for repairs in 1770, after running aground on the Great Barrier Reef. Cooktown is 327 kilometers (4 hours) north of Cairns.

Google Maps

Discovery Festival / Re-Enactment of the Encounter
Cooktown Discovery Festival is a unique celebration of the landing of Lt. James Cook in 1770 and his first meeting with the local Guugu Yimithirr and Kuku Yalanji people.

Cooktown is the place to be in June, when the Annual Discovery Festival and Re-enactment of Cook’s Landing takes place. Loads of free entertainment, live music, buskers, competitions, Billy Karts, parades, Aboriginal story-telling, corroboree….and the arrival of Cook
Happy Customers lead to Australia Day Award
Cooktown – a small town whose history changed the world

Botanical Gardens
It took seven weeks to fix the Endeavour and in that time Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander documented and catalogued more than 200 specimens. Botanical illustrator, Sydney Parkinson, spent the time meticulously depicting the plants and scenes of the area. The Cooktown Botanical Gardens is now a testament to their work.

Cooktown Botanic Gardens. Established in 1878 the Gallop Botanic Reserve encompases 62.3 hectares (154 acres) on the edge of Cooktown and contains the Cooktown Botanic Gardens and walking trails to Finch Bay and Cherry Tree Bay.

Elsewhere on the Web
Take me to the waters
Cooktown Tropical North Queensland
Cooktown Cares
James Cook Museum
Cooktown information
Cooktown – Australian Traveler

Recommended Listening
Cook in Cooktown – The story of the first contact, first conflict, and first reconciliation between Aboriginal Australians and Europeans.


Guugu Yimithirr language

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