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12 June, 2022

Festival perfect time to discover Cooktown

COOKTOWN’S biggest event of the year has landed with the annual Cooktown Discovery Festival set for next weekend.


The event, which runs from 17- 19 June, brings thousands of visitors to the small town every June to celebrate the landing of Captain Cook on 17 June, 1770. 

The Endeavour and its crew of 86 men spent seven weeks in Cooktown, previously known as Waymburr – the longest and most significant land-based stay during Cook’s east coast expedition. 

Cook’s long stay in Cooktown was due to his ship, The Endeavour, hitting the Great Barrier Reef on high tide, damaging the ship. 

Cook and his crew landed in a neutral zone of Waymburr and him and his crew walked the shores of the Endeavour River, climbed Grassy Hill and other ranges, made numerous flora and fauna discoveries, communicated with Indigenous locals and explored the extensive coastline as they searched for safe passage out through the reef. 

The Cooktown Discovery Festival celebrates the landing with an authentic re-enactment which is not to be missed. The annual festival is also a celebration of local indigenous culture and dance.

Throughout the three days, there are a range of events for people to enjoy, starting on Friday with market stalls, a river cruise, the Banks Banquet Dinner, a Kid’s Creator Space, and Botanic Garden night tours. 

On Saturday, there will be a regional street parade, kids workshops and entertainment, BMX Stunt Show, Spaghetti Eating Competition, Queensland Ballet workshops, a performance by the 1RAR Army Band, finishing with a spectacular fireworks display. 

On Sunday, the re-enactment will take place in Bicentennial Park from 10-11am, with other activities during the day and finishing with the Hats and High Tea which will be held on the verandah of Nature’s Powerhouse, set amongst the Cooktown Botanic Gardens. 

To secure your place for the ticketed events, head to www.cooktownexpo.com.au/events/ before the events are all sold out.

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