Coastal, remote 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 used as a meeting ground, and it was here that on 17 June 1770, Lieutenant (later Captain) Cook beached the Endeavour, which had earlier struck a reef offshore from Cape Tribulation. Cook's crew spent 48 days here repairing the damage, making Cooktown Australia’s first (albeit transient) non-Indigenous settlement.
Today Cooktown makes the most of its colonial and Indigenous history – and its pristine natural environment. It's also an easy-going place to recharge with good accommodation, dining, beaches and gardens. This is a starting base for trips to the Cape and serious fishing expeditions.