“SEEN one rainforest, seen ém all” doesn’t apply at Cooktown where in 1770 Captain James Cook and his crew landed on the banks of the Endeavour River after their ship ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.
Exploring Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula was just a blip on my travel radar until last December. I’d already seen plenty of rainforests so with many other exciting places beckoning, I figured if an opportunity arose to go to north Queensland I’d go but otherwise I wouldn’t make the effort.
An opportunity did arise, in fact, after relatives moved to Cooktown in late 2014. An airline company was offering cheap flights from Brisbane to Cairns so that blip on my travel radar suddenly started beaming “visit me”.
I planned to make the trip before the 2016 wet season (January to March) but I’ve since learnt the monsoon rains in summer renew wildlife in spectacular fashion. Waterfalls are also in full flow so awesome photographic opportunities would have been greater than the month I chose, September 2015.
While Cooktown is accessible in a standard vehicle all year round, time was limited for my north Queensland jaunt so I took a 45-minute flight from Cairns with Hinterland Aviation.
Located 328 kilometres north of Cairns, Cooktown is steeped in history dating from ancient Indigenous times, Captain James Cook’s landing on the bank of the Endeavour River in 1770, and the Palmer River Gold Rush of the late 1800s.
This list of 12 things to do at Cooktown is just a snapshot of the vast number of things to do and see in and around the coastal town that boasts a population of about 2500,