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Introducing Cooktown

At the southeastern edge of Cape York Peninsula, Cooktown is a small place with a big history: for thousands of years, Waymbuurr was the place the local Guugu Yimithirr and Kuku Yalanji people held as a meeting ground, and it was here that on 17 June 1770, Lieutenant (later Captain) Cook beached his bark, the Endeavour, on the banks of its estuary at Waymbuurr. The Endeavour had earlier struck a reef offshore from Cape Tribulation, and Cook and his crew spent 48 days here while they repaired the damage – making it the site of Australia’s first, albeit transient, non-Indigenous settlement.

The inland route from Mareeba was finally sealed all the way in 2005, and tourism is now a growing industry. It’s still remote territory, though, and still firmly believes that happiness is a fishing rod and an Esky full of beer.