Nature's Powerhouse

Cairns & Far North Queensland

At the entrance to Cooktown Botanic Gardens, the town visitor centre is home to an inviting cafe (9.30am to 2pm) with outdoor deck and the Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery, displaying botanical illustrations of the region’s native plants.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cairns & Far North Queensland attractions

1. Cooktown Botanic Gardens

0.02 MILES

The 62-hectare botanical gardens contain a large number of plant species, including the Cooktown orchid. Marked walking trails lead to the beaches at…

2. James Cook Museum

0.59 MILES

Cooktown’s finest building (an 1899 convent), this National Trust museum houses well-preserved relics including journal entries, the cannon and anchor…

3. Cooktown History Centre


Everything you ever wanted to know about Cooktown's history, run by the local historical society volunteers.

4. Kuku Bulkaway Gallery

0.73 MILES

Cooktown and the surrounding area has a strong tradition of Indigenous art. This main street gallery represents the Yuku Baja Muliku people, with all…

5. Cooktown Markets

0.78 MILES

The local weekly market features local crafts including woodwork and jewellery, and food stalls.

6. Grassy Hill Lookout

0.79 MILES

Captain Cook climbed this 162m-high hill looking for a passage through the reefs. The 360-degree views of the town, river and ocean are wonderful,…

7. Bicentennial Park

0.79 MILES

This waterfront park is home to a much-photographed bronze Captain Cook statue, the kid-friendly musical ship and nearby Milbi Wall – a snakelike mosaic…

8. Keatings Lagoon Conservation Park


About 5km south of Cooktown, this 47-hectare wetland is a favourite among birdwatchers and walkers. The waterlily-filled lagoon is home to thousands of…