Cruises to Cooktown
A place where the tropical rainforest meets the reef, and home to exotic animals and plants that can be found nowhere else. unique natural wonders such as waterfalls, coral reefs and lagoons abound here.
In 1872, one hundred years after Captain Cook’s arrival in Cooktown, gold was discovered in Palmer River. This essentially put Cooktown on the map as a port and trading centre. The town became the second largest in Queensland with a population of 4,000. During the gold rush another 30,000 people passed through. Due to its direct shipping lines with China, thousands of Chinese people lived in the town. After the gold rush the population reduced to about 400 people. It was also hit by two devastating cyclones which destroyed most of the town. Cooktown was rebuilt and is progressively becoming a popular tourist destination.
At A Glance
2,339 (2011 census)
Cooktown Shore Tours
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
What To See
Take a look around the historic township
Why not take a self-guided or fully guided walk along Cooktown’s historic streets. You’ll see buildings from the late 1800’s, including James Cook Museum. The building was constructed during the 1880’s and became the first High School in North Queensland. Discover the fine collection of memorabilia on display and learn about Cooktown’s history.
Visit the botanic gardens
LorCooktown’s Botanic Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Australia. Discover the amazing collection of Cape York plant life on display.
Learn about the indigenous history of Guugu Yimithirr
Join Willie Gordon, Nugal-warra elder and story-teller, on a tour to his ancestral rock art, hidden high in the hills above Cooktown. Listed as one of Australia’s Ultimate Must-Do Experiences in 2006, these powerful and moving rock art tours are now revered as one of the best indigenous art experiences in Australia.
Your ship will anchor off Cooktown’s coast. You will be transferred by the ship’s tenders to the main pier which is within walking distance from the town centre.
Taxis are available pier-side.
There are a good selection of cafes and restaurants along Cooktown’s main street. Cooktown is famous for its seafood so be sure to sample local prawns, crabs, sea scallops, barramundi and coral trout.
Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products and sandwiches to be taken off the ship however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
A range of souvenirs can be found at the Croc Shop, Gunjarde Artifact Shop and the Cooktown Art Society, all located on the main street. There is also a supermarket for any other purchases.
Cooktown has a tropical climate. The maximum average temperature is 27 degrees and the period between April and December is when Cooktown experiences least rainfall.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.
A public telephone is located outside the post office. Internet access can be found in town. Mobile coverage is generally available.
WHAT TO WEAR ASHORE
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen and bottled water.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Cooktown. Tours can be booked onboard at the shore tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Coral is an extremely precious marine organism. In an effort to preserve its natural beauty and habitat please avoid touching it in all circumstances. During your time ashore we also ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.