Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Driven from the southern latitudes by the inclement weather, we made for our ultimate destination, Cooktown. We had visited the Town some 16 years ago when the road here was an unsealed very rough rock track, now there is a 110 kph super highway to Helensvale, within 30 km of the Town. We were amazed to discover that not a lot has changed in the intervening years. The only different aspect is that there are many more visitors in town because of the new Mulligan Highway. Nicko's Seafood Van drives around each afternoon and sells excellent product, even scallops from Hervey Bay, when he can access them. The final two nights we are camped at The Council RV Park for $5 per night, apparently the locals have named this "Scab Alley". Jude and I have decided not to spend money on dinner at the Top Pub if that's what the locals think. We have left a considerable sum of money in town over our six days stay. Might not be hasty in returning.

The Cooktown Hotel, commonly known as the "Top Pub", hasn't changed at all.

This grand old building was once The National Bank of Queensland.

Long ago this was the Cooktown Railway Station.

This imposing building was once a Convent but now houses "The Captain Cook Museum". A visit to this museum is an absolutely essential requirement. Most people seem to spend at least 2 hours in there.

As you would expect, Cooktown is very focussed on the fact that James Cook was nearly stranded in the Endeavour River. A monument to his visit with a canon from the Endeavour in the background.

Near to where the Endeavour was beached now stands a statue of James Cook. Having viewed "Cooks Cottage" in Melbourne and seen a pair of Cook's boots, the figure of this statue is grossly exaggerated in size.

The actual point where the Endeavour was beached. I don't think those concrete steps were there at the time.

The estuary of The Endeavour River, looking seaward. Once the Endeavour was repaired and reloaded, day after day James Cook would have stood here waiting for the prevailing SE winds to change to enable them to depart. Obviously the wind patterns are identical today as they were back in 1770. So much for Climate Change!

The high point from which James Cook plotted his exit through Barrier Reef Shoals to The Coral Sea.

From the high point looking upstream of The Endeavour River.

Cooktown, nestled beside The Endeavour River.

Many Years ago this fountain was the town water supply well.

The Coral Princess is a visitor to the Cooktown Port.

This Leopard Tank is permanently positioned here in Anzac Park.

Jude, looking out to The Coral Sea from Finch Bay.

At the entrance to The Botanical Gardens Jude found this Python.

Paperbarks grow very well up in these parts.

It is not extremely clear in the picture but there is a small tree attached to this rock with the roots running down to the soil far below.

Bright colours in The Botanical Gardens.

A general view through the woodlands section of the Gardens.

Isabella Falls. Not a lot of water in the 'Dry Season'.

The road to The Isabella Falls actually fords The Isabella Creek here and the falls are immediately below this point.

Beside the Isabella Creek Jude is standing on what is left of this rock overhang. This event was reasonably recent as the trees are still growing beneath the rockfall.

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