After Mulambin we drove several days in a row to get all the way up to Cooktown. It was tiring, driving for several hours and staying for just one night at our stops along the way. Cooktown is as far north as the sealed road goes, so this is as far north as we will be going on this trip. The plan is to make our way back down the coast as far as Mackay, then we’ll head inland all the way to Uluru before going north to Darwin. Cooktown is where Captain Cook came ashore after his boat hit the reef and needed repair. They ended up spending seven weeks in the area. Lots of history here. We drove up Grassy Hill to the lighthouse. You can walk up, too, and do a walk around town to visit all the historic sites. We opted to drive up this hill. This is the view from one side of the hill, looking down on the town. It’s not a huge place, that road you can see with the buildings is the main road in the town. The lighthouse was very small, one of the smallest we’ve seen! The area was revamped at one point with help from the community. There are signs and plaques all over the place. Including this seemingly random rock with a dedication to Captain Cook. And this compass marker pointing out what lies in various directions. I told the kids to point to their favourite. SkeeterBug chose the Coral Sea, LadyBug chose Melbourne, JitterBug chose Tokyo. TurboBug felt left out and needed a turn too. 🙂 The community did well to make the area surrounding the lighthouse an attractive feature for the town. The design on the walkway followed the circular path, making it look like a giant snake was painted on the path. Captain Cook himself climbed this hill, hoping to see a way out of the harbour without damaging his ship on the reef again. Insert lovely random kid pics! Mt. Cook is not too far away. We stayed near the base of the mountain. We didn’t do the hike since it was a four hour return. With our four kids it would have been more like six or seven! There were several signs like this around the area with journal excerpts from both Cook and Banks. Joseph Banks journal 14th June: The Captain and myself went ashore to view the Harbour and found it indeed beyond our most sanguine wishes: it was the mouth of a river. 18th July: Indians were over with us today and seemed to have lost all fear of us and become quite familiar; one of them at our desire threw his lance; it flew with a degree of swiftness and steadiness that really surprised me, never being above 4 feet from the ground and stuck deep in at a distance of 50 paces. After this they ventured on board the ship and soon became our very good friends.
Grassy Hill & The Cooktown Lighthouse
posted in: Queensland
All those historic sites in Cooktown – How Many More Minutes?
[…] anyway?’ Along the path were all sorts of tiles telling the history of the town. Look, the lighthouse on Grassy Hill! We came across the Milbi Wall which tells the story of European settlement from the Aboriginal […]