Aerial View of the Endeavour River Image from State library Queensland View of the Endeavour River Banks 1984 Image from State Library Queensland HM Bark Endeavour Replica in Cooktown Harbour Image by John Hill
Aerial View of the Endeavour River Image from State Library Queensland


Endeavour River

The Endeavour River (Guugu Yimithirr: Wabalumbaal) on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia, was named in 1770 by Lt. James Cook, R.N., after he was forced to beach his ship, HM Bark Endeavour, for repairs in the river mouth, after damaging it on Endeavour Reef. Joseph Banks named it the Endeavours River but the form Cook used, Endeavour River, has stuck.

Cook and his crew remained for almost seven weeks and made contact with the local Guugu Yimithirr Aborigines, while the naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander made extensive collections of native flora, while Sydney Parkinson illustrated much of the flora and fauna of the region. Botanical specimens were also collected by Alan Cunningham after he arrived on the Mermaid, captained by Philip Parker King on 28 June 1819.

Modern Cooktown which has a population of about 2,000, is located at the mouth of the Endeavour River. It is the northernmost town on the East Coast of Australia and was founded in 1873, around the site of Cook's landing, as a port to service the newly discovered Palmer River Goldfields. Some of the relatively undisturbed natural features near the mouth of the river have been reserved as a Queensland National Park, the Endeavour River National Park.