Cooktown is located on the remote, unspoilt beauty of the Cape York Peninsula is nestled between the mouth of the Endeavour River and Grassy Hill – the location of the first recorded sighting of kangaroos by Europeans. With Mt Cook as a backdrop, Cooktown is a charming, historical town, unspoilt by the urgency of modern life. View more
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Take a ride aboard the safari style riverboat, the Nautilus and hear stories about Captain Cook's infamous passage along the Cape, about devastating cyclones, the glory days of pearling luggers and about the new Cooktown, the gateway to the frontier.
Depart the pier for an approximate 80 meter (262 feet) walk from the pier to the riverboat.
Endeavour River Cruise
Once on-board, take a seat and enjoy the approximate 90-minute leisurely cruise on the Endeavour River and discover its natural beauty and its abundant diversity of flora and fauna. Enjoy an afternoon refreshment of tea, coffee and cake whilst taking in the views as the boat navigates through the lower reaches of the Endeavour and the maze of smaller mangrove lined creeks.
Please Note: This tour requires a minimal amount of activity for approximately 160 meters (525 feet) to walk to and from the riverboat location. It is suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utilise a wheelchair however guests must be able to embark and disembark the vessel via 2 steps on their own or with the assistance of their travelling companion. The vessel is not wheelchair accessible however foldable wheelchairs and walkers may be stored on board (subject to availability) and must be advised well in advance by contacting ShoreConcierge@Silversea.com. We recommend guests wear light comfortable clothing and comfortable walking shoes, sun protection, a hat and sunglasses. The tour operates on a covered open air safari vessel without air conditioning.
Visit two of Cooktown's most iconic sites: a mysterious heap of granite boulders known as Black Mountain, and the Lion's Den Pub, a fixture in the bush for more than 135 years.
Depart from the pier for a brief ride to Black Mountain, an enormous labyrinth jumble of granite that originally formed beneath the earth's surface about 240 million years ago. Erosion gradually exposed the rocks, rounding their corners, and creating one of Queensland's most dramatic natural phenomena, with the rocks precariously stacked upon each other, seemingly defying gravity. While the granite appears to be black, the color is actually the result of oxidation and lichens clinging to its surface. The granite is pinkish-gray inside.
Over the centuries, the bizarre nature of Black Mountain has given rise to mysterious tales of people and even herds of cattle disappearing without a trace inside the maze of rocks. The ancient aborigines called Black Mountain "the place of spear" and held it sacred. Gazing out over the heap of granite boulders is a haunting experience, especially considering its place in aboriginal mythology and contemporary legend.
Lion's Den Pub
Continuing on via coach your next stop is at the Lion's Den Pub for a cool drink. Built of timber and iron in 1875, the pub is known for its quirky decorations,100-hundred year old mango trees, and offbeat characters that often drop by for a "coldie" or two in the afternoon. After absorbing the atmosphere for a bit, re-board the minicoaster for the ride back to Cooktown.
Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking for approximately 35 - 50 metres (114 - 165 feet) and is mostly at guests' discretion and is suitable for guests with limited mobility and those who utlise a wheelchair however guests must be able to get in/out of the vehicle on their own or with the assistance of their travelling companion. It is not suitable for guests who are wheelchair bound as vehicles do not have lifts. We recommend guests wear comfortable walking shoes, lightweight clothing, a hat, sun protection and glasses. The vehicles used are the best in the region but are not of the same standard as other ports around Australia. 1 beverage per person is included in the cost of the tour, however additional beverages are available for purchase at guests own expense.
Discover the picturesque beauty and landmarks of Cooktown during this memorable sightseeing tour of this historic city.
Cooktown Tour and Grassy Hill
Depart the pier for a scenic sightseeing tour of Cooktown. Your tour begins with a visit to Captain Cook's landing place. Upon arrival, learn about the famed explorer, the HMS Endeavour disaster and life in Cooktown during the late-19th-century Gold Rush. From here, continue on to Grassy Hill for expansive views of its picturesque coastline, Great Barrier Reef and Lighthouse, built in 1886.
Botanical Gardens and Nature's Powerhouse
Next, proceed for a brief stop at to the Botanical Gardens. Here, view extraordinary displays of local flora and fauna and visit Nature's Powerhouse, an Environment Interpretative Centre and accredited Visitor Information Centre. Afterward, re-board your coach and continue on to the James Cook Museum.
James Cook Museum
Operated by the Queensland National Trust, the James Cook Museum is housed in a former convent building built in the late 1880s during the gold rush. Upon arrival, some free time is made available to learn about the history of the museum and Cooktown, as well as the discovery of Australia by Captain Cook. The museum now houses the anchor and cannon of the HMS Endeavour, along with Chinese, pastoral, mining, and indigenous collections. Following your visit, you may opt to return directly to the pier, or remain in town for further exploration and return to the ship at your own expense.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 100 - 500 metres (328 - 1640 feet), with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and staircases at the Museum and Grassy Hill lookout (both optional). This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair however coaches are not equipped with lifts therefore guests must be able to get in/out of the vehicle on their own or with the assistance of their travelling companion. Lightweight, comfortable clothing and sunscreen are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.