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Published July 3rd 2021
Endeavour not to crash your boat here
Going on an adventure up in Far North Queensland travelling around Cape York Peninsula, you can go many hours without seeing any signs of civilisation. So stopping off in the historic town of Cooktown provides a welcome rest from the long drive.
View of Cooktown
This historic town is the spot of the first white settlement in Australia and is full of history. This is where the famous Captain James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, having damaged it on a nearby coral reef, setting up camp while his men repaired it. The river was subsequently named after the ship. Along the shoreline, there is a stone that marks the location where he first stepped ashore.
The town was founded in 1873 and has many historic buildings still standing to visit, with some converted into museums. There are many different museums and art galleries around, each providing further insights into its history and the indigenous population. In addition, you can read about how their lives have changed since Captain Cook's landing.
If you are looking for a bite to eat, there are many different restaurants, cafes and takeaway places around the town. Catering for all tastes, though not many vegetarian options when we visited. Accommodation is available for all types of travellers and budgets from camping to hotels and Airbnb options. There are free camps around but none close to Cooktown.
There are several tour companies around town, so if you want a break from driving and a guided tour of the area, there are plenty of options along with sunset cruises.
Suppose your looking to do some walking and feeling energetic. In that case, a track lets you climb Mount Cook with several viewing platforms along the way, but there is no view at the top due to all the trees.
Overall, we'd recommend a stop off in Cooktown when travelling around the cape; it makes for an interesting and relaxing place to visit.