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WWI Memorial Journey - Cairns to Cooktown
2 Days  / 343 Kilometres

WWI Memorial Journey - Cairns to Cooktown - Print Brochure
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Description

The Cairns to Cooktown journey begins with the Cairns War Memorial on The Strand and travels by the Cook Highway to Port Douglas, and the Mulligan Highway to Cooktown.

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Cairns is a great base for exploring the tropical north. It is the heart of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Wet Tropics Rainforest.

Travelling north along the coast, Palm Cove, Queensland's friendliest beach is fringed by palms and native melaleucas. An alternative overnight stay to Cairns, it offers award winning restaurants and day spas.

Further north, Port Douglas, the Daintree and Cape Tribulation showcase the rainforest and reefs of Far North Queensland.

From Port Douglas, drive to Mossman before skirting around the lush Daintree National Park and head north through the savannah, very different country, where remnants of the gold and tin mining industries can still be found.

Cooktown, the place where Captain James Cook repaired the HMS Endeavour when it struck a reef in 1770, is a sleepy beachside town, with a wealth of history and heritage. Visit the Captain Cook Memorial where ANZAC services were held for years, and stroll down to the new memorial in ANZAC Park.

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Photos



Journey Routes


  • Cairns to Port Douglas

    The Cairns War Memorial is located on The Strand opposite the RSL Club. Swim in the Esplanade pool before enjoying the local cuisine and shops. The Cook Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas has been compared to Victoria's Great Ocean Road for its scenic beauty. Swim in the enclosure at Ellis Beach. Stop off at Rex's lookout to enjoy the view back towards Palm Cove. Drive through the cane fields before heading into palm lined entrance to Port Douglas. Five star resorts along Four Mile Beach draw Australian and international tourists. Visit the picturesque St Mary's by the Sea church in ANZAC Park on the foreshore. The town's soldier statue war memorial is located here. Port Douglas is the gateway to the Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulation to the north.
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  • Port Douglas to Cooktown

    Drive south-west from Port Douglas to the leafy sugar town of Mosman and enjoy a coffee and perhaps a short detour to the Mossman Gorge, part of the Daintree National Park, where indigenous rangers help you to appreciate the natural heritage of the region. The Mulligan Highway between Mossman and Cooktown traverses open savannah country through mining areas which led to the settlement of region. Take a break at the Palmer River roadhouse which marks the edge of the goldfields to the west. North of Lakeland on the Mulligan Highway the tin mining settlement of Rossville sits below Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park. Travel north crossing the estuary of the Annan River, a great fishing spot, before winding through the hills into Cooktown. The Cooktown War Memorial, created only recently, is located on the foreshore, not far from the Captain Cook Memorial where ANZAC commemorations were previously held. The James Cook Museum in a former convent is a 'must see'! Cooktown has a number of motels, a caravan park and a resort.
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Journey Details

Duration2 Days Itinerary TypeLand
Distance343 KilometresItinerary RouteOne Way
Mode of TravelCar
Level of Difficulty Unrated

Facilities

  • Car park
    Car park

Activities

  • Self-Guided
    Self-Guided


Other Information


Visit our Driving Safety and Advice page for more information or the RACQ website for the latest road conditions.

WWI Memorial Journey - Cairns to Cooktown Full Itinerary


Cairns to Port Douglas

The Cairns War Memorial is located on The Strand opposite the RSL Club. Swim in the Esplanade pool before enjoying the local cuisine and shops.

The Cook Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas has been compared to Victoria's Great Ocean Road for its scenic beauty. Swim in the enclosure at Ellis Beach. Stop off at Rex's lookout to enjoy the view back towards Palm Cove.

Drive through the cane fields before heading into palm lined entrance to Port Douglas. Five star resorts along Four Mile Beach draw Australian and international tourists. Visit the picturesque St Mary's by the Sea church in ANZAC Park on the foreshore. The town's soldier statue war memorial is located here.

Port Douglas is the gateway to the Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulation to the north.



Photos

Cairns War Memorial
Cairns War Memorial
Port Douglas War Memorial
Port Douglas War Memorial
Port Douglas War Memorial
Port Douglas War Memorial


Route Details

Duration:
1 Hr 6 Mins
Distance:
67 Kilometres
Mode of Travel:
Car
Route Type:
One Way
Suggested Stops:

- Cairns War Memorial
- Port Douglas War Memorial

Experiences
  • Defence Tourism
    Defence Tourism
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



Port Douglas to Cooktown

View Detailed Map >

Drive south-west from Port Douglas to the leafy sugar town of Mosman and enjoy a coffee and perhaps a short detour to the Mossman Gorge, part of the Daintree National Park, where indigenous rangers help you to appreciate the natural heritage of the region.

The Mulligan Highway between Mossman and Cooktown traverses open savannah country through mining areas which led to the settlement of region. Take a break at the Palmer River roadhouse which marks the edge of the goldfields to the west.

North of Lakeland on the Mulligan Highway the tin mining settlement of Rossville sits below Black Mountain (Kalkajaka) National Park. Travel north crossing the estuary of the Annan River, a great fishing spot, before winding through the hills into Cooktown.

The Cooktown War Memorial, created only recently, is located on the foreshore, not far from the Captain Cook Memorial where ANZAC commemorations were previously held. The James Cook Museum in a former convent is a 'must see'! Cooktown has a number of motels, a caravan park and a resort.



Photos

Cooktown War Memorials
Cooktown War Memorials


Route Details

Duration:
3 Hrs 34 Mins
Distance:
276 Kilometres
Mode of Travel:
Car
Route Type:
One Way
Suggested Stops:

- Cooktown War Memorial

Experiences
  • Defence Tourism
    Defence Tourism
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage


Level of Difficulty
Unrated



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Itinerary Routes



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Driving Directions

1 - Cairns to Port Douglas
Start from:107-113 Esplanade, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
End at:48 Macrossan Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia
Distance:67.2 km
Duration:1 hour 6 mins
Directions:
  1. Head northwest on Esplanade
  2. Slight right to stay on Esplanade
  3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Upward St
    Go through 1 roundabout
  4. Turn right onto National Route 1
    Go through 3 roundabouts
  5. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on National Route 1
  6. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Captain Cook Hwy
    Go through 4 roundabouts
  7. Turn right onto Port Douglas Rd
    Go through 3 roundabouts
  8. Continue onto Davidson St
  9. Turn left onto Macrossan St
2 - Port Douglas to Cooktown
Start from:48 Macrossan Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia
End at:51-61 Charlotte Street, Cooktown QLD 4895, Australia
Distance:268 km
Duration:3 hours 24 mins
Directions:
  1. Head southeast on Macrossan St toward Davidson St
  2. Turn right onto Davidson St
  3. Continue onto Port Douglas Rd
    Go through 3 roundabouts
  4. Turn right onto Captain Cook Hwy
  5. Turn left onto Mossman-Mt Molloy Rd
  6. Turn right onto Mulligan Hwy
  7. Continue onto Harrigan St
  8. Turn right onto Charlotte St




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