Previous Hot Spot - AROUND COOKTOWN


Beach camp near Archer Point.

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Around Cooktown


Cooktown, in far north Queensland, is our favourite town in northern Australia. Tucked in alongside a wide sweep of the Endeavour River estuary, the town was born out of the Palmer River gold rush back in the 1870s. Today, even with the advent of the bitumen highway connecting it to places further south, the town has lost none of its charm, while adding a range of facilities that allow people to enjoy the place easier and for longer.

Looking out over Cooktown and the Endeavour River.

Once you’ve explored the town and enjoyed its many historical buildings (don’t miss the Cooktown Museum – the best regional museum in Oz we reckon) here’s a few spots around the town you’ll enjoy.

The Endeavour River where Cooktown edges up to it, is wide and shallow, its northern bank protected in the Endeavour River NP and looking much the same as when Captain James Cook beached his ship here for emergency repairs in 1770.

There are plenty of large crocs in the Endeavour River.

And, there are plenty of mud crabs to catch and enjoy.

mud crabs cooktown endeavour river

lions den hotel helensville bloomfield track daintree

South of Cooktown is Helensvale and the Lions Den Hotel, alongside the famous Bloomfield Track that leads over the mountains to Daintree.

Some say you never been to Cooktown unless you’ve been to the Lions Den Hotel. Built in the 1870s the old pub hasn’t seen all that much maintenance in that time but it does see a lot of characters passing by. Local farmers, tin scratchers, alternate life seekers and the passing parade of tourist all make this a lively spot to enjoy a cold beer or a cool drink. Their pizzas aren’t bad either while the camping down the back, on the edge of the Annan River, is absolutely delightful.

On the way to the Lions Den and about 14km south of Cooktown is the dirt road to Archer Point. This high domed bluff was once crowned with a WW2 signal station but today a large ugly square box acts as a lighthouse for the passing sea traffic. The old wartime wharf just south of the point is a good spot to cast a line while nearby are a couple of excellent bush campsites that are ideal for a day or two ... or maybe even longer!

We know, if you are anything like us, you’ll fall under the spell of Cooktown!

archer point cooktown lighthouse

isabella falls cooktown battlecamp road More Info
Check out the Hema Atlas/Guide Cape York which we have contributed to for Hema Maps.

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