Cooktown Travel Guide

  • Cooktown
    by aussirose
  • Sunset at Cooktown, far north QLD by aussirose
    Sunset at Cooktown, far north QLD by...
    by aussirose
  • The Lions Den near Cooktown QLD by aussirose
    The Lions Den near Cooktown QLD by...
    by aussirose

Cooktown Things to Do

  • The Queens Steps

    Located behind the statue “Mick the Miner” is a non-descript set of three weather-beaten concrete steps with a glorious view overlooking the Cooktown Inlet and Endeavour River. Surrounding the steps is a purpose built, but small jetty that juts into the inlet somewhat like a sore thumb, but it does give clear berth to a larger ship – how large?None...

  • Captain Cook Heritage Walk

    Learn a bit about the history of Cooktown by taking a leisurely wander along the heritage walk that hugs the river right up to the mouth and where the prawn trawlers come in. Cooktown was where Captain Cook settled for a while after the Endeavour struck the Great Barrier Reef in June 1770. The walkway has tiles telling stories of the first settlers...

  • Cook Lookout - Cooktown QLD

    You can't miss the Cook Lookout.Obviously the best time to visit is for sunset. We drove up there around 15 minutes before so that we could enjoy the 360 degrees view with the sea to the east and mountains and river to the west.Take up some drinks and snacks and sit at the tables and just enjoy the view!Amazing!!

  • Buy Fresh Prawns Straight off the...

    This has to be the number 1 tip for Cooktown - that is if you like prawns. Head up north along the Captain Cook heritage walk right up to the end where the trawlers come in and buy your prawns fresh off the boat. They are no doubt cooked in sea water and are so sweet! I haven't had fresh prawns like this for a long time and was rather shaking with...

  • James Cook Museum - fascinating

    Because of my association with Cooks’ Cottage in Melbourne, a visit to the James Cook Museum AND on fathers day was a must do – and very glad we made the trip to the town and particularly the museum.Located in a former convent building the museum contains an eclectic mix of memorabilia and displays.Firstly and most importantly is the Endeavour...

  • Battle Camp Road, well worth the drive

    Battle Camp Road was a road trip like no other.Starting in Cooktown, we headed north towards Hopevale, past the green pastures and farms of the locals. No wonder people leave the city to live on acerage in the bush, it is truly stunning out here.Before you get to Hopevale the road turns to red dirt, the kind of dirt most city 4WD's never...

  • Fishing/Crabbing/Windsurfing? Walkers...

    A friend of ours reccommended we see Walkers Bay, which is quite similar to 4 Mile Beach in Port Douglas.Only there are no people! Great!We had the whole beach to ourselves and we spent half the day beachcombing and the other half fishing and placing crab pots. What a life! We launched our boat here and went UP the Big Annan River and flicked a few...

  • If you have a 4WD, take it out to...

    The drive was well worth it as Archer's Point is approximately 10kms from the turn off on the Mulligan Highway. Free camping is available here and we took the opportunity to set up in one of the bays. We had to pitch the tent behind the car as the wind nearly swept us off our feet! It didn't stop the wind completely but it sure did help us cook...

  • The Milbi Wall

    A unique attraction for Cooktown is the Milbi (story in the Guugu Yimithirr language) Wall, a one metre high curving wall around 12 metres in length made of many hundreds of ceramic tiles and divided into 3 sections. The first tells the stories of the creation of the Cooktown area (sometimes called dreamtime stories), so important to the culture of...

  • Natures Powerhouse and Botanical Gardens

    A short drive from the central area and main street of the town is an oasis of greenery – an indoor Natures Powerhouse and the historic Botanical Gardens.The indoor Natures Powerhouse contains a stunning collection of works of art by local artists with a very strong emphasis on plants. There are 2 galleries named after locals – one “The Charles...

  • Monuments - Captain Cook and Cooks...

    Located only 250 metres apart are the 2 monuments to Lieutenant James Cook and his remarkable voyage to Australia. (He was later promoted to Captain, but held the rank of Lieutenant during the first of his 3 great voyages of discovery, however as he was the commanding officer of the Endeavour he was entitled to the title of Captain). The first and...

  • Grassy Hill lookout and lighthouse

    After running aground on Endeavour Reef and limping into the site of modern day Cooktown, James Cook and his sailors were looking for a safe passage out of the inlet and further exploration of the Australian mainland. Paralleling the coast of Queensland is the famous Great Barrier Reef – a chain of reefs stretching some 2000 kilometres, a great...

  • "Mick the Miner"

    103 years after Cook’s ship The Endeavour was beached for repairs on the banks of the river that bears the name of his ship, another ship berthed at what was at first called Cook’s Town and later shortened to Cooktown. A statue was created and appropriately enough titled “Mick the Miner." The plaque reads :“OFF TO SEEK HIS FORTUNE”“At this spot on...

  • Cooktown History Museum

    Cooktown History Museum is located in an old bank building. The museum is a nice way to learn about the founding of the town and the life in Cooktown and Palmer River gold fields. The exhibitions consist of photographs, maps, documents and more.The museum is open Mon to Sat, - 9am to 3pm.

  • These boots are made for walking

    If you are an experienced walker or just like to take a slow pace there is walks for both.Cooktown Scenic Rim Walking Trail is one that all can do. This walk allows you to commence or complete at many points along the way.You can get a detailed map at the Tourist Information Centre in the Botanic Gardens or at the Council Office.Mangroves Wetland...


Cooktown Hotels

See all 6 Hotels in Cooktown
  • Sovereign Resort

    128 Charlotte Street, Cooktown, Queensland 4895, A

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Seaview Motel


  • Mungumby Lodge

    Mungumby Road, Helenvale Private Bag 1013, Cooktown, 4895, Australia

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

Cooktown Restaurants

  • Cooktown Hotel - better known as “The...

    We were driving along the deserted main street of Cooktown on a Sunday evening and looking for a feed. One of the very few places that was open was The Top Pub as it is affectionately known. The real trading name is the Cooktown Hotel. A bloke standing outside beckoned us to stop and enter and I really thought he was a local – far from it. He was a...

  • Lions Den Hotel - iconic!!!!

    Although strictly not in Cooktown, the Lions Den Hotel is an iconic country, very country, style pub and much more located on the famous Bloomfield Track 40 kilometres (Lions Den Hotel web site states 28 km) from Cooktown in the “town” of Helenvale – really nothing else at Helenvale.Now why in the tropics would anyone bother with all the walls in...

  • great food, reasonable prices

    In any country community, sometimes and quite unfairly the local bowls club bears the brunt of many jokes. “That’s where all the ‘White Leghorns’ go,” is one I’ve heard. White Leghorns is a reference to the old ladies wearing their white bowling uniform with the spindly brown legs showing underneath all that white. Hardly fair to the older...


Cooktown Transportation

  • The Roads to Cooktown

    Status of roads @Aug-09The "Inland" road has now been sealed for about 5 years, and thus you can get to Cooktown easily. The "Coastal" road still requires a 4-wheel drive (not an all-wheel drive). Although this is called Coastal, it doesn't really follow the coast, and there are no views. It is only worth doing if you are already in Cape Trib,...

  • Cairns- Cooktown by air

    Skytrains offers quite affordable flights between Cairns and Cooktown. The 45 minute flight is truly worth it. The views to Great Barrier Reef are stunning!

  • Cooktown Hotels

    6 Hotels in Cooktown

Cooktown Warnings and Dangers

  • Check where you swim

    Although I took the photo of the above sign in Palm Cove on a brief stop there, the warnings are just as relevant to Cooktown and other areas in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.Don't swim in open waters during the months November - April as there are marine stingers and they create a very nasty sting. I believe people have died...


    Now you'd think this would be obvious and especially to Australians but people really don't check before setting off into remote Australia. This sign was photographed at the start of the Peninsula Development Road, which leads eventually all the way to the tip of Cape York Peninsula. The road does branch to both Cooktown and Weipa - in the case of...

  • Roads to Cooktown

    The 2002 warning/danger review is now very outdated and should be ignored!There is a fully sealed road all the way from Cairns to Cooktown - the inland Mulligan Highway was finished in 2005! It's fine to tow caravans, drive RV's, etc. Drive time from Cairns is roughly 3.5 to 4 hours.Stop at Palmer River Roadhouse and check out their small mining...


Cooktown Off The Beaten Path

  • Little Annan River near Cooktown

    Just look at that! How nice! :o)No one around... just us and nature.This was a welcome stop to stretch our legs after a long drive from Mareeba. The view of this lovely river as we descended from the roadside was just lovely.Al just sat and enjoyed the ambience.

  • Black Mountain Cooktown by aussirose

    What an amazing site - Black Mountain. As the name suggests, it's black. I have not seen anything like this before. Named Kalkajaka by the Aboriginals or "place of spear", Black Mountain consists of granite rocks made out of volcano lava and without any soil in between. Aboriginals treat the Mountain as taboo and will not go near it. Even the early...

  • The Lions Den Hotel - Outside of...

    I had not heard of the Lions Den Hotel. Dorrise (tropicrd) was quite shocked because this outback pub in the middle of nowhere is really famous.Now after having visited I can quite understand why! What a great little place!! The unique thing about the Lions Den is that every wall is literally covered with signatures from visitors. Now they don't...


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Explore Deeper into Cooktown
Battle Camp Road, well worth the drive
Off The Beaten Path
Aboriginal Rock Art
Off The Beaten Path
Coming to Cooktown
Warnings and Dangers

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Map of Cooktown