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COOKTOWN  
  HOME :: VIEW GALLERY :: 27 August
   
 
The Last Frontier?

Cooktown, or Cookie, as it is affectionately known, is a beautiful, unspoilt, small historic coastal town. We are immediately drawn to the wide open spaces of the Endeavour River, the pristine landscape and its sense of adventure. There are two types of travellers in Cooktown; the Scones, retirees sipping tea and eating scones, at their northern most destination in Qld; and the Yorkers, the big adventurers doing the hard yakka trek up to Cape York. To do this you need an all round 4wd rig. Cape York is no place for a caravan, especially one like the bus we are towing...we are deeply disappointed.

Adventure is imbedded in the history here. After his recent bingle on the reef, Cook found refuge here, with his sinking ship, HM Bark Endeavour, and so named the river. A hostile and unforgiving place in the wet season, December to March, which was really a strike of luck for Cook to arrive in June, now the peak of the tourist season. A trip to Cooktown museum gives us a great insight into Cook's great feats in exploration. A quote sticks in mind from an explorer of the same time, "Cook has done so much there is nothing left for me do but admire his work", LaPerouse, Explorer. A century after Cook's arrival, amidst the gold rush, the port and community was formed and called Cook's Town. In its heyday, Cooktown boasted a population of 30,000 (its now around 1,700), 162 pubs and 93 brothels. Harrison was less impressed with the museum visit, expecting it to be the Melbourne Museum back home, and that perhaps his friend Grace might be there.

We planned to visit Cooktown for three or so days. It is now early October and we have been here for seven weeks. We are staying a caravan park at the foot of Mount Cook National Park. Plenty of space for Harrison to roam freely. Garry calls Harrison 'a free spirit'; a fellow caravan park resident calls Harrison 'Harassment'. The occasional squalls of wind drive some travellers out, but it keeps the mosies and midges at bay, and the baby cool. We love it here.

From our Cooktown base we have explored many amazing places. Too many to cover in one blog entry, so await with bated breath for the next installment...

(Go to VIEW GALLERY to see our pictures)