Duration: 2 hours
Tour Code: ctn-001
This enlightening jaunt around Cooktown introduces many of the highlights, offering an excellent overview of this frontier town in the far north of Queensland.
Depart from the pier and begin driving through Cooktown, the first non-indigenous settlement in Australia. Named for British explorer and cartographer Captain James Cook, the isolated town has quite the history. It all began at Grassy Hill, where Cook arrived in 1770 and established a settlement. A monument there commemorates his landing and offers a 360-degree view much like Cook enjoyed.
Next, you'll visit the James Cook Museum, which is housed in a former convent built in the late 1880s during the gold rush. The most notable pieces in the collection are items from Cook's ship Endeavor, including the anchor and one of the cannons he jettisoned when his ship ran aground. The large, two-story building is also significant as its grandeur indicates the vast wealth that the gold rush provided.
In Cooktown's nearby Botanic Gardens, a tropical wonderland that dates to 1878, you'll see a variety of exotic and colorful plants, many of which the aborigines used for food and medicine. You may see chocolate pudding trees, jackfruit, Guinea bushes, blue ginger and the Cooktown Orchid, the state emblem of Queensland. Meandering along the garden paths is an immensely peaceful experience, and afterwards you'll return to the pier in a relaxed state of mind, ready to explore further on your own.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach, and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes re suggested. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary. Tour may be operated with a driver-guide.