Cooktown, Australia Cruise Port
It might bring Hobbits to mind to find that the cruise port of Cooktown, Australia is located in the Shire of Cook, Queensland. And with attractions called things like Grassy Hill, the image is complete. With a population of around 2,300 people, Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River; the town itself is named for the explorer James Cook who beached his ship here. When gold was discovered in 1872, then the town really started to come into its own. Once that died down, Cooktown grew quiet until World War II, when civilians were asked to leave so that the city could house American and Australian soldiers. Since then, tourism has started to blossom, thanks to the area’s rich history, tropical environment, access to the Great Barrier Reef, and excellent fishing spot. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences while cruising to Cooktown, Australia:
The James Cook Museum is the perfect starting point to learn about Cooktown's history. Located in a former convent that was restored by locals and the National Trust of Australia, you can check out an original anchor from Cook’s ship Endeavour, learn about his interaction with the Aboriginal Guugu Yimithiir people, and find out about the Chinese heritage that also shaped the town.
Fans of flora and fauna will delight in Nature's Powerhouse, featuring the Botanic Gardens and a birdwatcher's paradise. You'll also get a closer look at some of the area's more dangerous reptiles in the Charles Tanner Wildlife Display; when you've had enough of the snakes, check out the butterflies.
Finch Bay is Cooktown's favorite swimming beach; there is an Alligator Creek that crosses the beach, so sticking to the northern half is your best bet. It's also the place to be for surfing and fishing enthusiasts.
For fans of military history, the Cooktown War Memorial remembers those involved in conflicts that took place here. Three boulders make up the monument, with plaques listing the names of Cooktown residents involved in World Wars I and II. Even the washrooms have artistic murals that commemorate the contributions of the area's servicemen and women.