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16°52’00” South 145°54’29” East

Joseph Banks, 8 June 1770:

In the morn we passd within of a mile of a small Islet or rock on which we saw with our glasses about 30 men women and children standing all together and looking attentively at us, the first people we have seen shew any signs of curiosity at the sight of the ship.

 Colour photo of a view from mangrove trees looking out to a beach and ocean with an island in the distance.
Yarrabah — Cape Grafton

Yarrabah is an Indigenous community located 55 kilometres east of Cairns, in Far North Queensland. On an evening in early June 1770, the Endeavour briefly anchored in what is now called Mission Bay. James Cook had no luck finding accessible fresh water but Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander added to their extensive collection of plants.

Cook and the crew did not document any significant encounters with local Gunggandji people, the locals say that the Endeavour’s visit was recorded in nearby rock art.

James Cook, 9 June 1770:

The point of land we were now abreast off I call'd Cape Grafton ... In the night we saw several fires along shore and a little before noon some people.

White devil spirits

Kurt Kynuna, Yarrabah, 2019:

We were thinking, what would our people have thought about Cook and his crew? They would have seen Cook and his crew as white devil spirits. That's what we decided to make.

Hop bush

Joseph Banks, 9 June 1770:

The countrey was hilly and very stony affording nothing but fresh water, at least that we found, except a few Plants that we had not before met with.

Education resources

These resources cater for students in Years 3 to 6 and all activities align with the Australian Curriculum. Years 3 and 4 align with the history content and Years 3 to 6 align with the cross-curriculum priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures.

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