About Cooktown Visitor Information Centre

Nature's Powerhouse

Nature's Powerhouse

The Nature’s Powerhouse facility, located in the historic Botanic Gardens, features the Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery, Exhibition Space, Café and the Cooktown Visitor Information Centre.

Nature’s Powerhouse is an innovative building located in the beautiful, heritage listed Cooktown Botanic Gardens and includes the Cooktown Visitor Information Centre, Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery, an exhibition space, retail shop and a Cafe. 

The Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery displays the only collection of original botanical illustrations of flora from the region. Many plants can be found in the adjoining Botanic Gardens.

Nature’s Powerhouse also hosts a wide range of community events and activities including concerts, corporate functions, weddings, parties,  nature presentations, educational programs and walking trails in the Botanic Gardens.

  • Open: 9.30am - 4.00pm daily 
  • Walker Street, Cooktown

For further information, please contact Nature's Powerhouse on (07) 4069 5763 or email

Where to Stay

Where to Stay

Whether you plan to take a self-sufficient camping holiday or indulge yourself on a luxurious desert island, follow the backpacker trail or seek a rainforest retreat there is a variety of accommodation options to suit all budgets in Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula.

Cooktown has a variety of accommodation options including caravan parks and campgrounds in beautiful natural surroundings, working cattle station and farmstays, comfortable hotels and motels and nearby rainforest retreats.

There is a choice of farmstay, cabin and camping accommodation in the Hopevale and Elim Beach area, and camping, cabin and simple hotel accommodation at Lakeland and at Laura.

The Rainforest Coast offers stunning rainforest retreats as well as camping options.

Travelling through Cape York Peninsula most of the roadhouses have camping facilities and some have self-contained units as well. Camping permits must be organised in advance for the National Parks.
Holiday rentals, beach campsites, farmstays and comfortable hotels offer a variety of options and Lizard Island is one of Queensland's premier island resorts.

Advance bookings are essential in the peak tourist season from June-November so always pre-book over this period.  Visit the Cook Shire Visitor Information Centre at Nature's PowerHouse [situated in the historic Cooktown Botanic Gardens] to get brochures and find out accommodation options for the Cook Shire / Cape York region.  Bookings can also be made here for camping in the national parks.

Where to Eat

Where to Eat

Cooktown has a wide range of dining options with cafe snacks, a scenic kiosk, traditional pub fare or fine dining at one of the licensed or B.Y.O restaurants.

Snacks are available at Endeavour Falls Tourist Park, about 15 minutes from Hopevale. There are no restaurants at Elim Beach, so if camping it's best to be self-sufficient.

There is a great coffee shop and cafe at Lakeland, as well as a pub which serves meals. In Laura, there's a choice of homestyle food at the Laura Roadhouse.

In the Rainforest Coast region meals are available at Ayton Store, and at the Bloomfield Cafe between Ayton and Wujal Wujal. In Helevale the historic Lion's Den Hotel serves good meals and Mungumby Lodge also accepts lunch and dinner guests with prior reservations.

Further north on the Cape York Peninsula the roadhouses along the Peninsula Development Rioad and Old Telegraph Track serve meals and are welcome refreshment stops.

In Northern Peninsula Area the main centres of Seisia and Bamaga have dining options and on the West coast Weipa has several restaurants.

What To Do

What To Do

Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula has a wealth of natural beauty, a rich and diverse Aboriginal culture and colourful colonial history. Take your time to appreciate the diversity of the landscape and spend time with the traditional custodians of the land who know this country best. Immerse yourself in the Great Outdoors, whether fishing, camping, bush walking, bird watching or exploring the excellent cultural centres, rock art galleries and museums. You will cherish the sense of freedom and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere found throughout the region.

Cooktown's stunning location, rich colonial history and Aboriginal culture provide a wide range of wonderful things to see and do. There's museums and galleries, must-do tours, world-class fishing, scenic drives, bush-walking and more.

The Aboriginal community of Hopevale is set in an area of great natural beauty with ancient rock art and the famous Coloured Sands. You can learn about the history of Hopevale, meet local artists, and there are some wonderful Aboriginal tours available.

This is an area which combines rich farmland, great local coffee and some of the world's most impressive rock art galleries. The region's shared Aboriginal and colonial history is celebrated at the excellent Quinkan and Regional Cultural Centre in Laura.

There's lots to explore in this rainforest region, with beaches, waterfalls and the beautiful Bloomfield River. Call in at the wonderful Black Cockatoo Gallery and take the opportunity to see Bloomfield Falls with its traditional custodians.

This vast and beautiful area boasts many National Parks, fantastic fishing, deserted beaches, secluded waterfalls, bird-watching, 4wd adventures, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, and historic sites.


Cooktown Visitor Information Centre

Walker Street, Cooktown

Direct Contact Info

Hours: 9.30am - 4.00pm daily

Botanic Gardens
Walker Street
Queensland 4895

Enquiry Form