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Things to do in Cooktown

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Establishment
“Grassy Hill offers a 360 degree view of Cooktown, the Endeavour River and the Great Barrier Reef. Although now quite heavily forested, Grassy Hill is so known because local aboriginals deliberately burnt the forest on the hill to encourage re-growth of vegetation and draw animals to the area for hunting. The landscape you see today from the top of the hill has changed little since Captain James Cook and the crew of the HMB Endeavour climbed Grassy Hill in 1770 to view the surrounding reefs enabling him to navigate a safe passage. The views today, especially at sunset and sunrise, are still as spectacular as in 1770 making Grassy Hill one of Cooktown's most popular attractions.”
  • 3 locals recommend
Lodging
“Upstairs the Balcony Restaurant serves a la carte meals. Lovely sitting up there catching the sunset and the breezes. Downstairs also serves bistro meals. Provides a courtesy bus as well 4043 0500”
  • 2 locals recommend
Art Gallery
“Nature's PowerHouse, a large interpretive centre stunningly situated within Cooktown's historic Botanic Gardens, houses the nationally significant Vera Scarth-Johnson botanical illustrations, a natural history display, gift store, and café, as well as being the Cook Shire Visitor Information Centre.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Café
$
“Lovely Thai food cooked by a genuine Thai Chef. Dinner Wednesday to Sunday..BYO alcohol! (better ring and check days, they sometimes change them to suit the season. Take-away available as well.”
  • 1 local recommends
Museum
$$
“Discover the rich history of Cooktown in Far North Queensland. Set in a stunning nineteenth-century convent, James Cook Museum is a must-see when visiting far North Queensland. ”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“A great spot for bistro meals. Check the specials board outside for specials for lunch and dinner.... Club has pokies and keno as well. Has a courtesy bus for pick-up and takes you home just ring them 40695819.”
  • 1 local recommends
Lodging
“The menu is absolutely fantastic! Lee and her hubby are so welcoming and interesting - just fantastic. If you do nothing else in Cooktown, make sure you have dinner here one night”
  • 2 locals recommend
Bakery
  • 1 local recommends
Establishment
“Nice food, good atmosphere, the higher end of the market but worth a visit for an evening meal”
  • 1 local recommends
Point of Interest
“Cakes, burgers, Rosies Chicken and great coffee. Opens very early and closes around 7-7.30 7 days a week. In the main street next door to ANZAC Park. (It's not at 2 Charlotte, but 99 Charlotte)”
  • 1 local recommends
Bar
“Great atmosphere and fabulous bistro meals. Lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Cant beat the $15 pizza night on Wednesday nights. Pokies and Keno. Has a courtesy bus to pick up and take you home, Just ring them 4069 5780”
  • 1 local recommends
Park
  • 1 local recommends
Café
“Amazing pastries created by French pastry chef and owner, Luc. He is an absolute artist!! You must try their scollop pie, but get in early! Opens very early to 4pm. Closed Wednesday and Thursday. Right over the water down near the wharf, behind the laundromat. Worth it ”
  • 1 local recommends
Café
“Great breakfast with a view over the river. Added bonus of the locals hanging out telling each other “Cooktown” stories.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Great take-away fish and chips right there at the wharf. Lunch and dinner, but check the times.”
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
“Driftwood Cafe is a lovely spot for breakfast or lunch, or the best coffee in town. Open from 6am to 4pm daily. On the main street, overlook the waterfront. Say Hi to Jo and Krissy for me! (great selection of GF foods)”
  • 1 local recommends

Top restaurants

Café
“Lovely Thai food cooked by a genuine Thai Chef. Dinner Wednesday to Sunday..BYO alcohol! (better ring and check days, they sometimes change them to suit the season. Take-away available as well.”
  • 1 local recommends
Bar
“Great atmosphere and fabulous bistro meals. Lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Cant beat the $15 pizza night on Wednesday nights. Pokies and Keno. Has a courtesy bus to pick up and take you home, Just ring them 4069 5780”
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
“A great spot for bistro meals. Check the specials board outside for specials for lunch and dinner.... Club has pokies and keno as well. Has a courtesy bus for pick-up and takes you home just ring them 40695819.”
  • 1 local recommends
Café
“Great breakfast with a view over the river. Added bonus of the locals hanging out telling each other “Cooktown” stories.”
  • 2 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Great take-away fish and chips right there at the wharf. Lunch and dinner, but check the times.”
  • 1 local recommends
Restaurant
“Driftwood Cafe is a lovely spot for breakfast or lunch, or the best coffee in town. Open from 6am to 4pm daily. On the main street, overlook the waterfront. Say Hi to Jo and Krissy for me! (great selection of GF foods)”
  • 1 local recommends

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