On 17 June, 1770 His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour, captained by Lieutenant James Cook, found refuge at the mouth of the Waalumbaal Birri (Endeavour River as it’s now known) after suffering severe damage when it struck the Great Barrier Reef.
The crew spent forty-eight days at what would later be named Cook’s Town, a period of extraordinary discoveries and significant contact with the Guugu Yimithirr and Kuku Yalanji First Nations’ people (Bama) of the area.
When the Endeavour reached shore, the region was known as Gun-garr.
Notable landmarks such as Grassy Hill and the Endeavour’s mooring point, recorded in Cook’s journals, are still present and marked with contemporary interpretation.
One such site, now known as Reconciliation Rocks, was the location for what is believed to be the first recorded reconciliation between Cook and the Bama as recorded in the official HM Bark Endeavour journals.
This holds substantial poignancy because a mere month later, at a small island at the tip of North Queensland, Cook would claim possession of the East Coast of Australia for King George III.Cook's Arrival »