Cooktown is one of the most northern places that you can reach via rental car in Queensland. The town is pretty small, and you can probably see the majority of the sites in one day.
24 Hours in Cooktown
One of the best things in Cooktown is the spectacular views from the Grassy Hill lookout, which is why the lookout features at both the start and finish of this guide.
Morning: Grassy Hill Lookout : Grassy Hill is the highest spot in Cooktown, and therefore a great place to enjoy sunrise. After enjoying the view, head halfway down the hill to a small parking lot which marks the start of the walking trail to Cherry Tree Bay. The trail is about 20 – 30 minutes each way through a forested area and leads down to a secluded little beach.
Noon: Head back into town to grab lunch at one of the several restaurants available, and don’t forget to check out the James Cook Museum. James Cook is such a central player in the history of Australia, so you don’t want to miss this museum which features the anchor and cannon from his HMS Bark Endeavour.
Afternoon: After lunch head to the Botanic Gardens. Wander around the gardens, before heading to the start of the hike for Finch Bay. The start of the walk is located just outside of the Botanic Gardens. This walk is a deal less strenuous than the Cherry Tree Bay hike, and leads to another secluded little beach.
Evening: Grassy Hill Lookout: End the day back at Grassy Hill Lookout for a spectacular sunset.