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Cooktown is a small town and locality in the Shire of Cook, Queensland, Australia. Cooktown is located about north of Brisbane and north of Cairns, by road. At the time of the 2011 census, Cooktown had a population of 2,339.Cooktown is at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770. Both the town and Mount Cook (431 metres or 1,415 feet) which rises up behind the town were named after James Cook.Cooktown is one of the few large towns in the Cape York Peninsula and was founded on 25 October 1873 as a supply port for the goldfields along the Palmer River. It was called "Cook's Town" until 1 June 1874.HistoryAboriginal historyIn the local Guugu Yimithirr language the name for the region is Gangaar, which means "(Place of the) Rock Crystals." Quartz crystals were used in various Aboriginal ceremonies across the continent and are found in the vicinity; they were traded from the Cooktown region at least as far as Mossman, about 300km south of Cooktown, and possibly much further.Cooktown is in Cook Shire. To personalize your trip to Cooktown, create itinerary details specific to you using our Australia trip itinerary builder app.
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Top Cooktown tours
2-Day Cooktown 4WD Small-Group Tour from Cairns or Port Douglas BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $377
Duration: 2 days
Scenic Cooktown & Outback (Fly/Drive) from Cairns or Port Douglas BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $387
Duration: 12 to 13 hours
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Duration: 2 hours
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