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About James Cook Historical Museum Cooktown

QLD Tourism welcomes James Cook Historical Museum Cooktown in Cooktown, You'll discover wonderful places to visit in Cooktown.

The James Cook Historical Museum is housed in the former St Mary's Convent for the Sisters of Mercy, built in 1888-9. Cooktown's economy was buoyant due to the town's role as a port for the region's mineral wealth, dominated by the Palmer River goldmines. The local Catholic Priest was appointed Bishop in 1887, and prioritised the establishment of the convent, day and boarding school for girls. Financed by his Irish relatives, the building was designed by former colonial architect FDG Stanley. As gold production declined so did Cooktown. Businesses that were not prospering didn't rebuild after the destruction of the 1907 cyclone. St Mary's continued to operate until the 1930s. It was occupied by the US military during World War Two and then abandoned and earmarked for demolition. The building was saved and donated to the National Trust for use as the James Cook Historical Museum. The grounds have been landscaped as the Joseph Banks Memorial Garden, planted with species identified by Banks and Dr Solander during their seven week stay at the Endeavour River in 1770. The museum holds many items related to the large Chinese population of Cooktown, including items from a temple formerly located on Charlotte Street. ...

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Overall Ratings

4.6 based on 5 reviews

Reviews
  • Thomas Petitt 4
    7 April, 2018

    Beautiful building but the section devoted to Captain Cook is only about one fifth of the entire centre. The rest of the building is devoted to: early settlers, mining, Chinese settlers, local indigenous peoples, and the original Catholic convent.

  • Olena Shako 5
    28 February, 2018

    interesting informative museum! with pics and info) has 2 floors but very poor conditioning, so can be extremely hot on second floor( but chilled on first)

  • Latvian girl in Sydney 5
    4 January, 2018

    Was a bit hard to find the entrance. Wonderful museum. Details of Cooks trip excellent. Loved the authenticity of the place.

  • Peter Ziemann 5
    7 November, 2017

    Great to see both sides of captain cooks landing. Very imformative . A must see while in Cooktown.

  • Iza Stef 4
    5 August, 2017

    Very informative about Captain Cooks time in this area of Australia. Also a lot of information about the history of the Sister's of Mercy convent that the museum is displayed in. An impressive and attractive building.

James Cook Historical Museum Cooktown

James Cook Historical Museum Cooktown has some interesting information on why Australia is called the land down under?
Australia is known as 'the land Down Under' for its position in the southern hemisphere. The discovery of Australia began when European explorers searched for land under the continent of Asia. Before Australia was discovered, it was known as Terra Australis Incognita the unknown southern land.

James Cook Historical Museum Cooktown

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