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Cooktown

Grassy Hill Lookout

Hidden beneath this beautiful lookout with a spectacular panoramic view of Cooktown lies a heritage site rich in history. It’s well-known for the Guugu Yimithirr people igniting a forest fire on the hill to revitalise the forest floor for lush re-growth of vegetation and was a hunting ground to lure out animals. The first recorded sighting of kangaroos was seen up on the grassy hill by colonists aboard the HMS Endeavour beached on the shoreline below.

Today, it is a top-rated attraction for visitors and locals to marvel in the breath-taking 360-degree view of the town’s historic buildings, distinctive terrain, and scenic view. At the summit of the hill, you can explore the Grassy Hill Lighthouse that’s been guiding light for vessels at the mouth of the Endeavour River since 1886. This stunning location is easily accessible by vehicles travelling up on Hope Street from town or take the bush trail from Cherry Tree Bay by foot.

Please visit the following site for more information:

Grassy Hill Lookout

Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park

A cultural landscape of the Kuku Yalanji, Kuku Nyungkal and Guugu Yimithirr people protected as a national park known to them as Kalkajaka translating to the “place of spear”. It’s a historical landmark which was traditionally a battlefield for warring clan groups who fought over grander hunting grounds. It is a geological site made up of dried lava dating back 250 million years ago.

A lookout platform was built for visitors wanting to treasure the viewpoints in and around the national park. Like any sacred place, climbing the Kalkajaka is very disrespectful to the traditional owners of the Kuku Yalanji, Kuku Nyungkal and Guugu Yimithirr people due to the spiritual significance of the site. Located 25km south west of Cooktown, there are information boards and signposts from the Mulligan Highway to give more information about this region. The Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park and traditional owner’s land always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

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Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park

Cooktown Botanic Gardens

Established in 1878, one of Queensland’s oldest botanic gardens located within the Gallop Botanic Reserve. The garden is most popular for the Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander’s seed collection discovered in 1770, the beginning of European botany. Traditionally, the plant species were used by smaller clan groups of the Guugu Yimithirr nation for food, cultural rituals, or medicinal purposes.

The Cooktown Botanic Garden houses five (5) major plant species and over two hundred (200) bird species. Explore the natural beauties of what this region offers and take the walking trails to Finch Bay and Cherry Tree Bay linking to the Grassy Hill Lookout. You can also visit the Nature’s Powerhouse which features the Vera Scarth Johnson Gallery, visitor information centre and cafe. Watch the collection of botanical illustrations from the gallery spring to life and Vera’s dedication to enrich the public’s appreciation for the flora environment of Cooktown. Situated 1.5km from town, the carpark is located adjacent to Walker Street close to the garden’s entrance and a disabled carpark can be found near the Nature’s Powerhouse.

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Cooktown Botanic Gardens

Fishing Adventures in Cooktown

Cooktown lies at the mouth of Endeavour River, the closest neighbouring town to the Great Barrier Reef, known as an angler’s paradise. It’s unique for its varied fishing environments accessible to outer reefs, inner reefs, on beaches, headlands, coastal flats and sweetwater fishing grounds. Most common for its marlin, mangrove jacks, golden snapper, crab, and a whole variety of fish species you may have never heard of. Travel down to the Annan River, 5 minutes away from town to launch your boat off the ramp for a successful fishing trip. There are several other fishing spots at Archer Point, Finch Bay or across the river at Endeavour River National Park to experience a first-class fishing trip.

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Fishing Adventures In Cooktown