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Two Cultures – One People

‘Community Working Together’

Turtle Illustration © Braham Stevens

About us

Cooktown Re-enactment Association is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to educate and celebrate the history of the significant events which occurred on the banks of the Endeavour River (Waalmbal Birri) in 1770 by annually re-enacting the landing of Captain Cook and his first meaningful contact with the Guugu Yimithirr bama.

Cultivated through promotional, educational and fundraising events and activities with the aim of encouraging cultural appreciation, historical awareness, community pride and regional economic development – Waalmbal Birri Heritage and Culture Centre is a bucket-list destination.

What we stand for

To be a leading local, cultural and heritage organisation. Sharing our past histories to create a better tomorrow for future generations.

To share the story of the land, the people and their interactions with Lieutenant James Cook and his crew during the 48 days they spent on the banks of Waalmbal Birri [Endeavour River] in 1770.

Educate, stimulate, collaborate, reconciliate.

Waalmbal Birri Heritage and Culture Centre

This new state of the art exhibition space creates a platform to showcase the history of the interactions between Captain Cook and the Guugu Yimithirr Bama-ngay [people] during the 48 Days Cook and his crew of 86 men spent repairing the HMB Endeavour after she was severely damaged on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Endeavour Journals of ship’s Captain Lieutenant James Cook, Naturalist Joseph Banks and Artist Sydney Parkinson were studied in detail by the Traditional Owners of Waymburr [Cooktown] and members of the Association. A treasure trove of information was revealed.

Local artist Ms Jane Dennis was commissioned to paint a series of twelve stunning historically accurate murals depicting the extraordinary story.

Cook and his fellow travellers left a legacy for the people of Waalmbal Birri to discover and it is within their journals we found our story.





The Re-enactment of the Landing of Captain Cook was first performed in 1959 and continues 63 years later.

Hundreds of locals have been involved over the years – either in an organisational role or as a participant in the performance and many people have chosen to do both.

Thirteen years ago the Association changed direction, taking on more of a promotional role to share our 48 day history with the world.

This gives us the opportunity to show what can be achieved when communities work together for the benefit of all.

The Endeavour Journals – The European description of New Holland and it’s people in 1770.

Captain Cook and the Guugu Yimithirr – A self-guided tour of Cooktown’s 1770 historical locations.

Local and regional supporters

Many thanks and appreciation to all our local and regional supporters for their ongoing dedication to Cooktown Re-enactment.

Post Office


Street Address: 121a Charlotte Street,
Cooktown Queensland 4895

Postal Address: PO Box 180,
Cooktown Queensland 4895

Contact us

Loretta: (+61) 427 194 820
Marilyn: (+61) 427 075 455

Email us