Formerly known as ‘Cook’s Town’ after Captain James Cook discovered the area in 1770, Cooktown is one of Australia’s most important historical towns. It’s spent time as a busy port during the Gold Rush but these days makes an even more ideal fishing destination. Close to the picturesque Endeavour and Annan Rivers, but not too much of a travel up North, Cooktown is a frequently popular destination for visitors. The Great Barrier Reef is also just nearby, only 20 minutes by boat from the Endeavour River.

Over 2,500 friendly locals reside in Cooktown, many of who work in local government administration, hospitals, accommodation and education. Major developments currently include the completion of the Cooktown waterfront development to revitalize the town and reconnect the local people with the waterfront, and continued development of the Cooktown Airport.

Cooktown is home to a great number of heritage buildings which helps bring in tourism throughout the year. The town is currently preparing for a landmark 48-day historical festival, Cooktown 2020, celebrating 250 years Cooktown and James Cook’s time within the region. This event will likely attract more tourists than ever before.

From it’s history to it’s fishing, Cooktown is a proud regional town with plenty to offer. It’s a town with a storied past and an exciting, prosperous future yet.


The population of Cooktown is 2,631 with 52% of the population male and 48% female. The median age of people living in Cooktown is 44 years. Children (0-14 years) make up 19.8% of the population with people aged 65 years and over making up 19%.


The largest industry of employment in Cooktown is local government administration, followed by hospitals (except psychiatric hospitals), accommodation and combines primary and secondary education.


The most common methods of travel to work for employed people is in a car as the driver or as passenger.