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Cooktown & Surrounds

You will love Cooktown the minute you get here.  It has a uniqueness that comes with its tropical outback laid-back atmosphere, old quaint buildings that are overlooked by an imposing jungle like clad Mount Cook and surrounded by the ever changing  tidal waters of the Endeavour River. This all goes with it's small town ambiance that can be frustrating for those that are in a hurry!  Cooktown is Australia's closest town to the Great Barrier Reef as well as being one of Australia's most historically significant townships, a fact often forgotten by the officials of down south!  Lt Cook beached his boat the HM Bark Endeavour here when he needed to hole up after hitting a nearby reef which gave our river it's name.  The Endeavour River was also  responsible for the townships real beginnings, 100 years later, when the harbour was important for transporting miners and their necessities during the Palmer River Gold Rush. Everything died for a bit after the gold ran out until WWII when it became an important Airforce Base.  Cooktown had a varied growth pattern after the War - a bit like 2 steps forward and 1 step back - and sometimes even the other way around but it's growing again now that Queensland's North's best kept secret is out.

Cooktown from across the Endeavour River on North Shore

 The famous old convent building , now the National Trust of Queensland's James Cook Museum - a must see!   Cooktown has 4 very good museums - the one below, Natures Powerhouse and Art Gallery, Historical Society's  Old Bank Museum, and a good display connected with the famous re-enactment Festival in the original old Council Buildings.

The Cooktown Cemetary - a good walk around takes about an hour but it's another Must See

''Look back on our struggle for freedom,

Trace our present day's strength to it's source:

And you will find that man's pathway to glory

is strewn with the bones of a horse.''

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