Every year since 1959, the Cooktown Re-enactment Association marks the anniversary of the Endeavour’s arrival on the banks of Waalumbaal Birri (Endeavour River). The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 event.
The Cooktown Discovery Festival includes a re-enactment of the arrival. In recent times it has included a sunset warrama (corroboree) celebrating Guugu Yimidhirr stories from before the time of Cook. An Indigenous choreographer leads this performance, which includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous children from the area. It is a coming together of the Cooktown community.
Arrival re-enactment, 2018
In 2009 the Re-enactment Association revised the script to better reflect the role of Guugu Yimidhirr people in this momentous event. It now concludes with these words:
The claiming of these lands and the dispossession of our people has continued for more than 200 years.
Queen's visit, 1970
Lyn Miller lived in the Cooktown region for more than 20 years. She met her husband, Keith, in Hope Vale.
Lyn moved to Queensland from South Australia and joined groups including the Ladies' Auxiliary of the James Cook Historical Museum and the Country Women's Association.
A passionate photographer, Lyn keenly captured a visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1970. The Queen opened the James Cook Historical Museum on the 200th anniversary of Cook's 1770 voyage.
The Queen arrived in Cooktown by boat. A small tender took her to shore to meet community members and dignitaries. During a visit that lasted a few hours, the Queen unveiled a plaque where Cook had landed, met Re-enactment Association members and officially opened the museum.