Plan Your Trip

Plan your trip

Cooktown is located on the lower section of Cape York Peninsular, Tropical North Queensland, an unspoilt historical town surrounded by countryside and the Great Barrier Reef. With a laid-back atmosphere and friendly people, Cooktown is the perfect base to explore and experience the rich culture and history of the region.

Where to stay

Whether you plan to take a self-sufficient camping holiday, indulge yourself on a luxurious deserted island, follow the backpacker trail or seek a rainforest retreat, there are a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets in Cooktown and the surrounding areas. Options include caravan parks and campgrounds in beautiful natural surroundings, working cattle station and farm stays, comfortable hotels and motels and nearby rainforest retreats. There is a choice of farmstay, cabin and camping accommodation in the Hopevale and Elim Beach area, and camping, cabin and simple hotel accommodation at Lakeland and at Laura.

Camping & Caravan Parks

Motels and Hotels

Tent City

What to do

Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula have a wealth of natural beauty, a rich and diverse Aboriginal culture and colourful pioneering history. Take your time to appreciate the diversity of the landscape and spend time with the traditional custodians of the land who know this country best. Immerse yourself in the Great Outdoors, whether fishing, camping, bush walking, bird watching or exploring the excellent cultural centres, rock art galleries and museums. You will cherish the sense of freedom and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere found throughout the region. 

Natural Wonderlands

Great Barrier Reef Tours
Bicentennial National Trail
Botanic Gardens
Bird Watching
Gamaay Dreaming Track

Art & Culture

Ancient Aboriginal Rock Art
Chinese Gold Rush History
Community markets
Local art galleries
Art and craft workshops
Art Galleries

Fishing & Boating

Freshwater River Fishing
Estuary Fishing
Reef Fishing
Big Game Fishing
Wildlife and River Cruises
Heli Fishing 


James Cook Museum
Cooktown History Centre
Heritage listed buildings
Historic Cemetery
Reconciliation Rocks precinct
Grassy Hill Lookout and Lighthouse

Agriculture and Produce

Local cafes and restaurants
Fresh produce markets
Wildlife and botanic river cruises
Fishing tours
Guided botanic and bush tucker tours

Other Regional Events

Laura Dance Festival 3-5 July 2020
CIAF (Cairns Indigenous Art Fair) 10-12 July 2020
Babinda Harvest Festival October 2019
Wallaby Creek Festival September 2019
Port Douglas Carnivale May 2020
Cairns Eco Fiesta June 2020
Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival June 2020
NPA Culture Festival July 2020
Cairns Festival August 2020
Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival August 2020

For more events click here.

Getting there

Located north of Cairns, just travelling to Cooktown is an adventure all on its own. A breathtakingly beautiful and still relatively unspoilt region of the Cape York Peninsula. Daily scheduled flights are available from Cairns to Cooktown. The flight is stunning, with views of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. For people wanting to travel by road there are two main routes for getting to Cooktown from Cairns. The fully sealed inland route takes approximately four hours from Cairns. The stunning coastal route (four-wheel drive only) through the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest takes approximately four and a half hours and rewards you with magnificent scenery.

Cook Shire Council acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which Cooktown 2020 commemorations will be held and pay respect to the Elders past, present and future. 

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