The northernmost town on the east coast of Australia, Cooktown is named after the famed explorer James Cook, who beached his ship The Endeavour here in 1770—thereby making it the site of Australia’s first non-indigenous settlement. Be sure to visit the James Cook Museum for further insights into this intrepid explorer and the Cooktown History Centre to learn a little more about the town itself. Grassy Hill offers spectacular views of the surrounding area, the crystal clear ocean and white sandy beaches like the one at Cherry Tree Bay, which you can walk to from the summit of the hill. Cooktown is also Australia’s closest town to the Great Barrier Reef, and the perfect place from which to explore the world’s largest coral reef as well as the rugged beauty of the Lower Cape, noted for its Aboriginal culture. No wonder the area is known for offering some of the best Aboriginal tours in the country.
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