The draft Cooktown 2020 program has been developed following broad consultation with the Cooktown community and with the assistance of the Cooktown 2020 Advisory Committee.

It is a 48-day event that reflects the time Cook spent in the Cook Shire region and explores his activities, scientific discoveries and interaction with the local Indigenous people (Guugu Yimithirr) through events, lectures, story-telling and art.

Each weekend has been developed to explore a key theme relating to Cook’s time in the region and has activities that aim to attract all potential audience groups to events running from Friday night through until around midday on Sunday.

In order to make this a genuine 48-day Festival there will be exhibitions, competitions, tours and possible conferences which run between the major weekend activities.

The events within the program will be developed and delivered by assigned teams which all report into the Cooktown 2020 Advisory Committee.

The Program

Endeavour Festival

Endeavour Festival

Attracting Government representatives (Australian and International), Historians, Maritime experts, Locals, Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • Cook’s voyage
  • Navigation
  • Astronomy
  • Cartography

Major events

  • Mayoral ball
  • Flotilla
  • Royal visit
  • HMAS Endeavour tours
  • Navigation expo
  • Cartography expo
  • Re-enactment
Banks & Solander Festival

Banks & Solander Festival

Attracting Botanists, Scientists, Historians, Birdwatchers, Locals, Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • Botany
  • Ethno botany
  • Scientific discoveries
  • Flora and fauna
  • Art

Major events

  • Banks’ Florilegium
  • Guided botanic regional tours
  • Botanic Gardens of Australia & New Zealand conference
  • Opera in the gardens
Something’s Cooking Festival

Something’s Cooking Festival

Attracting national media, Locals, Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • Bush tucker
  • Regional produce
  • Cooking
  • Historical nutrition

Major events

  • Captain Cook Off competition
  • The Captain’s Plate signature dish
  • Paddock to Plate showcase
  • At the Captain’s Table formal dinner
Indigenous Showcase

Indigenous Showcase

Attracting national media, Locals, Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • Shared History
  • Reconciliation
  • Language
  • Arts

Major events

  • Language workshops
  • Life before Cook
  • Dance festival
  • National Reconciliation debate
Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival

Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival

Attracting national media, Locals, Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • Reconciliation
  • Indigenous and non-indigenous music
  • Arts
  • Shared history

Major events

  • Music showcase with Indigenous and non-Indigenous headline entertainment and Reconciliation remembrance event
Shipshape Art Festival

Shipshape Art Festival

Attracting National arts communities, Locals, Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • Storytelling
  • Reinterpretation
  • Creative Arts
  • National competitions

Major events

  • Re-enactment and reverse re-enactment
  • Indigenous art fair
  • Tropical trop fest
  • Reconciliation remembrance ceremony
Cooktown 2020 River Festival

Cooktown 2020 River Festival

Royal Family, Government representatives (Australian and International), Historians, Maritime experts, Sailors, Locals, International and National Tourists & Families

Major themes

  • History
  • Beyond Cooktown
  • International relationships

Major events

  • Historic 2020 England vs Australia Cricket match
  • Opera in the Park
  • Captain Cook Society Conference