Queensland holidays: Cooktown festival has history and crocodiles

This year will be a big one for Cooktown in Tropical North Queensland. The popular town, located en route to Cape York and the tip of Australia, will mark the 250th anniversary of the landing of Captain James Cook and the first known act of reconciliation between Cook’s crew and the local Aboriginal people.

Cook sailed in on HMS Endeavour in 1770 and spent a total of 48 days in harbour making repairs to his ship after hitting the reef. On a trip inland, Cook and his men were approached by an elder from the Guugu Yimithirr tribe carrying a broken-tipped spear. Cook recognised this as a peaceful gesture.

For the Aborigines, this was a sacred space to meet, where the local clans had agreed no blood would be spilt.

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