Cooktown Botanic Gardens
|What are now the Cooktown Botanic Gardens were first established in 1878 as 'Queens Park'. However, the history of the gardens really spans thousands of years over which time the local people, the Guugu Yimithirr, have used many of the plants from the region as both a food source and for medicinal purposes.|
In 1770 over 200 biological specimens of this rich and diverse natural resource, previously only know to the local Aborigines, were identified and catalogued by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. Banks and Solander, along with Sydney Parkinson and Alexander Buchan made up the scientific team aboard when Lieutenant James Cook, on his epic voyage around Australia, beached his ship on the banks of the river to effect repairs.
The Gardens are only about 1km from the "Top Pub" on Charlotte Street, Cooktown's main business centre. They include 62 hectares (153 acres) provide a spectacular range of natural settings and delightful walks to Cooktown's two most popular beaches.
New to the gardens is a beautiful, 7 metres (23 ft) Amethystine python (Morelia amethistina), carved from Cooktown Ironwood by local craftsmen Mark Berg and Rodney Lousteau with help from Flint and Ursula. This larger than life-sized python, is the only one like it in the world. It is a great favourite with children and adults alike and presents wonderful photo opportunities.
Links to other resources of botanical interest: