With bitumen all the way along the 330 kilometre inland Mulligan Highway from Cairns, Cooktown is easy to get to. If you want a more adventurous route, go four wheel-driving along the coastal Bloomfield Track crossing rivers and creeks through World Heritage-listed rainforest and join the highway at the mysterious pile of rocks known as Black Mountain.
Historic Cooktown became a thriving port during the gold rush era after it was discovered by Captain James Cook when the HMS Endeavour hit a reef in 1770. Stroll through the town and you will get a sense of its prosperous past from the handmade stone guttering lining the wide streets and the graceful, well-preserved architecture.
Each June, the landing of Captain Cook and his interaction with the Indigenous Guugu Yimithirr people is re-enacted as part of the three-day Cooktown Discovery Festival. Discover Cooktown’s multicultural history at the museum and walk through the cemetery to learn about the hardships endured there more than a century ago.
The fishing in Cooktown is world-renowned with the Cooktown River and offshore reefs yielding tasty species like barramundi and coral trout. Vessels from around the globe arrive each year to chase the legendary black marlin.
Cooktown has a regional airport with regular flights and a range of accommodation from camping to four-star hotels.