Cooktown is a port town located in Shire of Cook (Queensland, Australia). The town is approx 2000 km (1200 ml) north of Brisbane and approx 330 km (205 ml) north of Cairns. It has population of around 2,500.
Cooktown lies at the mouth of Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula (Far North Queensland), where in 1770 James Cook beached the Endeavour ship for repairs. Both Mount Cook (rising up behind at 431 m / 1415 ft) and the town itself were named after James Cook (British explorer and cartographer, 1728-1779).
Cooktown is among the few large towns in Cape York Peninsula. It was founded on October 25, 1873 as a port of supply for the goldfields along Palmer River. It was named 'Cook's Town' until June 1, 1874.
Cooktown has grown in importance and become a popular tourist destination. Mulligan Highway's paving today provides all-weather access by road. There are two flights per day connecting the town with Cairns. Currently, Cooktown has good communications, better roads, more services, and provides a healthy and relaxed lifestyle.
Fewer than 2,000 inhabitants live in the town, while about 4,000 people in the region use it as service centre. Tourists enjoy the tropical environment, historical connections, and use Cooktown as an access point to the Lakefield National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, and for fishing.
Cooktown's main tourist attractions are a public library, James Cook Museum, swimming pool, bowling green, golf and turf clubs, Chinese shrine, historic cemetery, Botanic Gardens with walks to the beaches, heritage-listed Grassy Hill lighthouse, as well as a new US$3 million Events Centre near Cooktown State School, created to double as emergency cyclone shelter. The Information Centre and Environment Display are located in Nature's Powerhosue in Cooktown Botanic Garden. The main heritage precinct is Charlotte Street.