Captain Cook Cooktown
August 16th-Saturday Morning
1770 was the date.
June was the month.
Captain Cook was the name.
What was the event you ask, madly racking your brain????????????
In June 1770, Captain James Cook landed at Cooktown and came ashore when his ship “The Endeavour” struck a coral reef.
The history that surrounds Cooktown is its number one attraction. A close second has to be the incredible friendliness of all its inhabitants. While we were there we did not encounter a single unfriendly person.
Seeing as Cooktown is a town of great Australian significance, we decided to head straight for the museum. (It’s funny—for years as a kid you find it infuriating that your parents drag you to every museum around the world with them, then as you become an adult, you miraculously find yourself doing it again. This time you do it for the immense amount of pleasure you derive from them.)
The James Cook historical museum is truly a pleasure to visit. With an extensive and diverse selection of pioneering family memorabilia, minerals, fossils, the anchor from the HM Bank Endeavour, artefacts and goodies left over from the old gold rush days, and much more it is great fun. The museum is situated in the beautiful St Mary’s Convent which alone is worth a visit, museum aside. It was a great way to brush up on all the vital pieces of Australian History we had learnt so diligently as children.
The wide elegant verandah provides you with a chance to enjoy the magnificent views out to the Endeavour River and distant mountains. I reflected upon how this was a view that had probably changed little since Cook saw it over 220 years ago.
(Eric)Cooktown has the cutest Lighthouse I have ever seen…only in Oz could you find a corrugated iron lighthouse.
We spent the afternoon filling up the car and fridge with extra food supplies. We then moved on to the Cooktown Petrol station to fill every imaginable tank and jerry can with diesel fuel for the car, and petrol for the boat. A few hours later and many kilos heavier, we were ready to set off.
We decided to spoil ourselves at our last port of civilisation for a while and dined at a great little restaurant in town called the ‘Endeavour Inn’. Dinner was delectable and delicious fresh mud crab and prawns, enhanced only by the restaurant’s bizarre selection of ornaments. The walls have relics and artefacts from shipwrecks alongside a paper-mache giraffe, a talking parrot, and some African art. If ever you are in Cooktown visit this restaurant and be sure that you’ll have a great meal!
After dinner, we conferred around the campfire and decided that we were ready to head off into the EXTREME part of our trip- exploring some of the more remote parts of the Cape York Peninsula.
We have identified some of the most isolated stretches of the Eastern coast of the Cape to explore. Our first destination is Bathurst Bay, part of which lies within Cape Melville National Park. The trek is a slow 2 day drive along a rugged 4WD track with no fuel or shops. We loaded up supplies for two weeks and headed out!
P.S One of the highlights of the drive to Cooktown was a place called Annan Falls- a beautiful little waterfall that tumbled out from a gorge over the most glorious coloured rocks. The Falls lie just on the Northern side of the Annan Creek (heading in to Cooktown). They are not marked at all. Eric & I managed to find them because I had to go to the toilet……the things you stumble upon sometimes!