Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

Cooktown, Queensland ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ 2021

Date: 9-10th May 2021

Travelled: Parked in Cooktown 

Visited: Cooktown, far North Queensland.  

Stayed: Cooktown Orchid Travellers Park, $38, all services. S15.46954, E145.24837 

Budget: 30 days @ $139 per day.

We spend three days in Cooktown, the more we explored the more we like it. Rather than try to record our visit chronologically I have clumped the photos by subject to make it easier.

There are no shortages of places to enjoy a drink in Cooktown. But the most classic looking pub is the Cooktown Hotel, just across the road from our campsite. Pam didnโ€™t like the Sav Blanc, so we tended to frequent the RSL.

The Cenotaph and War Memorial Park is actually next door to our stop. So we passed it several times.

The more we walked the more interesting things we found. Cooktown must have been a sprawling town in the late gold rush era. It had an estimated population of 7,000 people, the count never included the Aboriginals or the Chinese. Following the gold rush along the Palmer River in 1872 some 20,000 Chinese immigrated through Cooktown.

We had dinner one night at Jackey Jackey Thai Restaurant. We thought the name a bit odd but it relates to the buildingโ€™s original name circa 1886.

Walking the Grassy Hill makes for a challenging start to the day. Itโ€™s a very steep climb to the hill behind Cooktown. Whilst the hill appears heavily timbered today it was described in Cookโ€™s journal as a grassy hill. Cooktownโ€™s lighthouse has stood on the hill since 1885.

Views from the Grassy Hill.

More street art in the Reconciliation Park…We found the locals very friendly and the local Aboriginal people especially so, everyone says hello as they walk past. Mind you the locals all drive very fast, and Cooktown has wide streets so donโ€™t dally if you are crossing the road.

There are some lovely heritage listed homes in the back streets.

Who would know that Cooktown has a world class botanical gardens. The gardens here are one of the oldest in Australia. There is plenty of information and history panels. The gardens make for a marvellous walk.

The botanic gardens had some small examples of Bismarck Palm, but these two at the end of Charlotte Street were the best in town. The colour contrast again the rainforest really stands out.

We cycle to the far end of Cooktown and visit the cemetery. Cooktown cemetery dates back to 1874. There are a huge number of unmarked Aboriginal and Chinese burials as well as many of the first settlers. The earliest headstones is Elizabeth Coopersโ€™. Click any of the photos to expand and read the stories.

Our last visit is the James Cook Museum…

Housed in this magnificent building, once a Catholic boarding school. It was evacuated along with the rest of the township in 1942. The building was used by the US military during the remaining war years, then abandoned for some 30 years before being taken over the National Trust. Its restoration is amazing.

Anyway that was our visit to Cooktown, we enjoyed our stay at the Cooktown Orchid campsite in particular the pool which we used 2-3 times per day. We turn the Jayco south today back along the Mulligan Highway…

Michael + Pam

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