Backpacking Cooktown

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  • cooktown-033467
    TAKE IN THE FRIENDLY, LAID BACK ATMOSPHERE OF THIS QUEENSLAND COASTAL COUNTRY TOWN: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
  • cooktown-012149
    EXPLORE THE RUGGED AND REMOTE COASTLINE THAT SURROUNDS COOKTOWN: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
  • cooktown-105534
    DO SOME OF THE BEST DIVING AND SNORKELLING ON THE PLANET IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF, WHICH IS JUST OFF THE COAST: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
  • cooktown-105665
    DISCOVER SOME OF THE ISLANDS OFF THE COAST, SUCH AS LIZARD ISLAND WITH ITS RUGGED BEAUTY: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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Cooktown Highlights

  • This small town has a lot of stories and characters because of its geographic isolation and its hard-living history.

  • Visit the James Cook Historical Museum to learn about this town's interesting past.

  • Explore some of the surrounding wilderness areas of unspoilt natural beauty, including nearby waterfalls and national parks.

  • The Great Barrier Reef is just off the coast, which has some excellent sites for diving and snorkeling.

  • Explore some of the islands off the coast, such as Lizard Island with its rugged beauty, sparkling blue waters and luxuriant fringing reefs.

About Cooktown

Population 1,400

Located in the far north of Tropical North Queensland, this small town has a lot of stories and characters because of its geographic isolation and its hard-living history.

Cooktown is Australia's first non-indigenous settlement. It was discovered and settled by Captain Cook and his crew in 1770. Since then the town has had an interesting and sometimes turbulent past.

From 1873-83, Cooktown was established as the port for the Palmer River gold rush, which resulted in some race conflicts between the Europeans, Aboriginals and Chinese.

The James Cook Historical Museum showcases information about this interesting past. Alternatively, the locals are quick to tell stories of the history and folklore surrounding the early pioneering and gold rush days and the town itself is also a monument to its history.

From Cooktown you can explore some of the surrounding wilderness areas of unspoilt natural beauty such as nearby waterfalls and national parks.

There is also the Great Barrier Reef just off the coast, which has some excellent sites for diving and snorkeling.

Orientation Map for Cooktown


View map of Cooktown in a larger map

Nature's Powerhouse Visitor Information Centre

Located at the Botanic Gardens
Finch Bay Road
Cooktown, Queensland
Phone (07) 4069 6004
Email
Website