A magnificent vista of the Cooktown coastline.

Quick trip to Cooktown

Late November and early December bring glassy and extremely humid conditions to far north Queensland.

The transition period into the wet season – known as the doldrums – sees the strong southeasterly wind completely drop out.

It can be one of the most exciting times to visit Cape York.

The author and a nice trout.


Most travellers have headed south to avoid the onset of the wet and therefore miss some of the best weather windows to explore the reef and fish offshore.

Having previously lived in the Torres Strait for 12 years, annually we would plan long-range fishing trips at the end of the year, as early December provided an opportunity to fish remote areas in dead flat seas.

So, when planning a trip to Cooktown to visit friends, I booked flights for the beginning of December in the hope of scoring excellent weather, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The landscapes and waterfalls around Cooktown are stunning.


With the wet approaching, flying is a far better and easier option than driving.

From Cairns, you can fly to Cooktown with Hinterland Aviation on a Cessna 208, which seats 12 people.

The flight on this small aircraft is a scenic one and only takes 45 minutes.

Cooktown is a place of pristine and diverse landscapes, strong indigenous culture and historic significance. Located at the mouth of the Endeavour River, it is where Captain James Cook beached his ship the HM Bark Endeavour for repairs in 1770.

A passionfruit trout was a surprise addition.


Upon arrival, I was greeted by friend Reece and his partner Eva, who gave me a tour of the stunning foreshore, beaches and lookout, before a quick stop at the

Lure Shop Tackle World Cooktown to grab a few supplies and seek a bit of local knowledge.

The staff were extremely helpful and passed on loads of information, which was invaluable.

The first day, we dropped a couple of crab pots in a land-based creek and went for a drive to cool off at a little roadside waterfall in the dense rainforest.

There are so many hidden creeks and stunning waterfalls to cool off in around this part of the world, though make sure you know which ones you can and can’t swim in.


About Matt Potter

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