Remote, yet easily accessible, Cooktown
is one of Australia’s most fascinating
and historic frontier towns nearly 70 miles
north of Port Douglas . Known as the gateway
to the wilderness, Captain James Cook spent
48 days in 1770 on the banks of the Endeavour
River repairing his ship. Every June the
town celebrates Cooktown's status as Australia's
first, if brief, European settlement. Walking
tracks in the area allow for visitors to
explore areas of beach, bush and mountains.
Closer to town is Grassy Hill where one
can share the same view as Captain Cook.
The mission of Cooktown Museum is monitoring,
promoting and preserving the pioneering
history of Cooktown. Among the displays,
you'll find mind boggling nautical collections
and marine specimens, model ships, stories
and even the crocodile featured in the movie
"Crocodile Dundee" that Paul Hogan
carried into the bar at the Walkabout Hotel.
There is also a big display and story of
"The Duyfken" and more.
Rock art site
Ang-Gnarra Aboriginal Corporation provides
guided or self-guided tours to witness the
spectacular Quinkan rock art sites. The
drawings recreate everyday life in an ancient
Aboriginal civilisation. See hunters tracking
their prey, dingoes, turtles and cassowaries
in the wild, hand stencils of adults and
children and images of a traditional tribal
Mountains National Park
28 km to the south of the town these strange
mountains feature huge granite boulders
blackened by surface lichen. They are of
special significance to the local Aborigines
due to their connection with the legend
of Kalcajagga, which recounts a feud between
two brothers for the love of a girl.
Lying 50 miles north-east of Cooktown Lizard
Island was first explored by Captain Cook,
who climbed to the top of the hill now known
as Cook's Lookout. to find a suitable passage
away from the island.and through the Reef.
The Island is a national park and there
is currently an exclusive resort catering
for a small number of guests. The reef here
is at its bestand the diving is superb.
Lizard also offers one of the best anchorages
on the North Coast.