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Address: 50 Helen Street, Cooktown, Cook Shire, Queensland 4895, Australia
Phone Number:
+61 7 4069 5386

First opened in 1970, this museum, housed in a spectacular 19th century...

First opened in 1970, this museum, housed in a spectacular 19th century convent building, showcases the history of Cooktown, from Cook's landing in 1770 to the more recent past. The exhibits include the original anchor and one of the cannon jettisoned from Cook's Endeavour in 1770, items from the Palmer River gold rush and personal items and stories from Cooktown's early residents, making this an unmissable part of your visit to Cooktown.The James Cook Museum is operated by the National Trust Queensland, a membership-based community organization dedicated to the promotion and care of Queensland's cultural and natural heritage.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 315 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 197
  • 99
    Very good
  • 8
  • 3
  • 1
Worth a visit

We enjoyed our visit however expected more. The building is very interesting being an old convent. Two rooms were not accessible and one was a chapel, leaving five gallery rooms... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Laurene H
Port Douglas, Australia
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315 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 308: English reviews
Port Douglas, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We enjoyed our visit however expected more. The building is very interesting being an old convent. Two rooms were not accessible and one was a chapel, leaving five gallery rooms. Most impressive was the collection of aboriginal artefacts. The Cook exhibition in entry foyer was good and garden very lovely.

Thank Laurene H
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We could feel the little hairs on the back of our neck tingle, walking around this place. Sooo much history and so well presented. The anchor from Endeavour is cool ,& the staff can't seem to do enough for you.

Thank Gordon E
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This museum details and important part of our Western and Indigenous history. It was very interesting to read the Western and Indigenous accounts of the same interactions and how each perceived what had happened. Fantastic exhibits and I feel much more could be done with the upstairs displays with information etc. This is a must do while in Cook Town.

Thank yarrum34
Raleigh, United States
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviewed 19 April 2017 via mobile

Just amazing. In 1770 captain James Cook and the Endeavour ran aground in the Great Barrier Reef, damaging the Endeavour in the process. That event led to the discovery of Cooktown for repairs to the ship. It also led to losing an anchor in the reef. The anchor and a cannon were retrieved 200 years later and are now on... More 

Thank Sean S
Level Contributor
26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2017

The building is lovely and there was a good variety of information and exhibits. The staff were friendly and told us a lot about the district as well as history

Thank hazfromoz
Cairns Region, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2017

Loved the history of Capt James Cook and the Endeavour. Definitely worth a visit. Well maintained and including cultural history.

Thank Sandy W
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2017

Excellent history of early days in Cooktown. Quiz for the kids to keep them entertained... aboriginal history included

1 Thank Nicole T
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 April 2017 via mobile

Fantastic knowledgeable friendly staff, if you're into history it's a must see for sure! I could have spent a lot longer only my children were ready to go. The kids 8 and 11 were given a search game and both loved going around finding the various items listed. This was great keeping them occupied while I read about our history!... More 

1 Thank Rebecca G
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2017

Cooktown is a place we visit often, and whilst we are here we never miss a visit to the museum. This is a fascinating place. The building itself is a beautiful old piece of the history of Cooktown, and when you step inside and view the myriad of wonderful displays and exhibits you can feel completely enveloped by the atmosphere... More 

1 Thank kjbailey2017
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2017

I really thought the kids would be bored (10, 12) but they weren't! It was in a fascinating old building used as a school once with new sections added on. My 10 year old did the 'treasure hunt' which helped keep his interest. There is a good range of history, including indigenous and Chinese. Managed almost an hour in here... More 

1 Thank kathy1932

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Questions & Answers

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Sydney, Australia
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?